View Full Version : How long to sit on a project when you have lost contact?

07-12-2010, 03:26 AM
How long do you hold an unpaid commission map where the patron seems to have fallen off the grid?

I took on the commission and things seemed to be working out very well but then suddenly nothing....it's been over a month now since I've been able to get a response. I am left wondering if I tanked the job or something, which really sucks.

The last I heard from him there was a illness in the family so it's possible that turned out really bad (I certainly hope not). It sounded like a cold or something but you never know. With the internet anything is possible.

This was for a VTT map and at some point I would like to release a pack for it on the maptools forum, etc. I have held off because I figured it would be nicer for the guy ordering the map if he was able to show it with as few as possible having seen it since he was going to be using it at a public event. Based on what I've learned I might need to simplify the map for file size constraints but as I am left without a tester I am not sure.

Bottom line, how long is long enough to wait for a response on an unpaid commission before releasing it into the wild?


Left scratching my head

07-12-2010, 03:35 AM
I would recommend sending a message with information indicating that you'd like to release it and non-reponse within some period (a week, perhaps) indicates consent to release. As it's an unpaid bit of artwork and (presumably) no contract, I would say that releasing it would at most cause minor aggravation to the patron who abandoned the work.

07-12-2010, 06:04 AM
I agree with Waldronate - as you say you've allready tried in vain to contact him give him a week to respond. If you hadn't, I'd given him a month in these holiday seasons :)

07-12-2010, 08:22 AM
I'm one of those guys who only reads his email like once a month...unless there is something important in the works. Now either this guy is even worse than I or he got what he wanted from ya and is "done" and feels no need to tell you or he found someone else to finish or he just lost interest in the whole thing (which is pretty common). So I would say proceed as you see fit and do what you want - 1 month without response is pretty rude but I find that it happens a lot with unpaids as the people requesting unpaid are often on the young side and therefore impetuous and flighty like butterflies with the attention span of kids in a candy store.

07-12-2010, 08:44 AM
yep.. we older guys are not so easily dis... oh.. bunny... ;)

07-12-2010, 10:01 AM
@Ascension - He didn't sound like a youngun and had a couple kids but the rest of what you say may well be how it is. I guess as soon as I find time I will try and brush the whole project up and package it for whoever wants it.

I guess it makes a case for NOT taking an unpaid commission. At least if they were making a small donation to the guild it would mean they were investing something and not likely to rabbit (there it goes a gain Tilt).

On a side note that's how things worked with my first customer in my current business....I got stiffed. LOL

07-12-2010, 10:20 AM
well.. you might get stiffed in payed commission also, never a safe day for "FANTASY - CARTOGRAHPER" !!!! ... is it a pencil, is it a pen.. no its... ;)

to bad about it, but I gather you learned alot about VTT in the process and now can use the stuff for your own needs :)

07-12-2010, 10:36 AM
Oh, yeah, learning and experimenting is one of the main reasons to take an unpaid commission. I don't feel like I was done learning about the whole VTT thing yet but I definitely know more than I started with. Next time I'll be that much more ahead. So at least it isn't like a total loss. I still have hope the patron will contact me but it's diminishing obviously.

Everything I make right now is a huge learning experience. At the end of it I'm looking back and saying, "Well, if I did that again I would certainly change this or that." I'm thinking about starting up a notebook of techniques that I really like as well because there have been a few things I've figured out where I thought, "boy, I hope I don't forget this before I want to use it again." I just know I'm going to be kicking myself if I don't.

07-12-2010, 02:17 PM
well.. you might get stiffed in payed commission also, never a safe day for "FANTASY - CARTOGRAHPER" !!!! ... is it a pencil, is it a pen.. no its... ;)

to bad about it, but I gather you learned alot about VTT in the process and now can use the stuff for your own needs :)
You can always do what I do, which is ask for a percentage of the fee up front, the rest to be paid on completion. If the client is familiar enough with your work to ask for a commission, they know what you can do, and so should have no qualms about paying something up front. It acts as a hook to get them to stick around until it's done, and if worse comes to worst, at least you made some money from the thing...