I'm new to game dev and am working away on my first intended-to-be-sold game for the Playdate (using Pulp). My music and sound design skills are somewhat lacking which makes me think I should find someone to collaborate with - but I'm lost at the very first step of knowing how it would work! I've tried searching online but perhaps I don't know where to look or what I'm looking for.
As I intend to sell my game, what are the standard approaches when collaborating? Is it a revenue share model, where collaborators agree to split the revenue from each sale by some percentage? If so, what is an expected revenue split for the musician/sound designer? (I imagine that's too simple a question, but even just a rough idea would be helpful!) How is a revenue share agreed and enforced? Practically how does it work - do storefronts such as itch.io allow for splitting revenue between collaborators or does it need to be processed manually, and what are the legal implications of handling that - do I suddenly become an employer (I would guess not!) or what - I'm just handling someone else's money to pass it on? Do I have to worry about what country my collaborator is in and whether they are paying the right taxes?
My assumption is that I would retain the rights to all parts of the game and IP excepting the music and sound. How is that agreed?
I'd expect the composer to be free to do whatever they like with the music and sound (like sell it as an album), other than me retaining indefinitely the right to use it in the game (and any future ports of the game?). Again, is this something made explicit by some standard indie dev collaboration contract? (Wishful thinking, I'm sure, but I don't like worrying about these things.)
I'm intending to sell my game (and any future projects) through a (UK) limited company - not because I expect to make much if any money, but because the limited liability is a great reassurance to me against any number of unlikely outcomes such as finding my game to be the target of patent trolls or other infringement. If I have to process distributing the revenue share, does that become a cost for the company?
What happens if someone claims the music infringes their copyright? Do I (or my company) become liable? Again not a likely scenario, but these possibilities make me anxious.
What happens if mid-development either of us are unwilling to continue? Can I safely call the whole thing off if I find out a collaborator is say a neo fascist? What if they simply get busy - can I find someone else to work with instead?
Thinking about this with my risk-averse developer brain that looks for edge cases, it seems to be an absolute minefield of things to worry about. Am I overthinking it? Am I underthinking it? Can anyone offer any kind of reassurance that it is indeed achievable? Is there a very useful blog post somewhere on the internet that can answer all of my questions?
I just want to make a game, find someone to add some music because it's not my strong point, make sure they are fairly compensated for that, and maybe make some beer money. I don't really want to worry about anything else, so where do I begin?
Thank you for reading, any and all advice is greatly appreciated!