Gamasutra offers up yet another unique feature: an annotated contract for a big-budget game. The document, part of a legal dispute between studio Spark and Activision, was released to the public. Game developers Tom Buscaglia, Chris Bennett, and Dave Spratley have chimed in with some insightful commentary on the particulars of game development in the major leagues. Particularly interesting is page twelve of the document, which lays out milestone payments for the project. "Payments totaling $8.5M USD are spread over the initial game milestones. Since these schedules are incorporated into the Agreement, the Notes to this milestone schedule are as important as the other provisions of the agreement. Here the requirement of approval before payment is reiterated. Also Spark is required to do monthly code dumps to Activision throughout the progress of the Game pre-Alpha, and then weekly builds thereafter. It also includes Activision's detailed requirements for the Final Milestone Schedule (FMS), Technical Design Document (TDD) and Game Design Document (GDD) that are very informative."
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