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Financing a Game Development Venture Workouts 77 A workout is a renegotiation of the amount or payment schedule of your debts that usually occurs directly between you and the creditor. Before approaching any creditors with a proposal, you'll need a credible budget for the next few months. While some creditors may be willing to restructure your debt based on a good relationship, others will want to see some indication that you won't come back in the same situation at the end of three months. Be conservative in your estimates, and don't allocate every last dollar to creditors--keep a reserve to be sure you can fulfill your workout com- mitments. Creditors value predictability almost as much as cash: many would probably prefer to have you pay 30 cents on the dollar for three months and make the payments on time than pay 40 cents and be late again. Be sure that you and the creditor document any changes in your obligations in a signed writing. Your attorney will tell you if you need a simple letter or something more formal like a settlement and release (for example, if a creditor agrees to take a $3,000 lump sum payment in settlement of a $5,000 debt) which legally establishes that the creditor is accepting your payment in full satisfaction of the debt and relinquishes any other rights against you, or is accepting a revised payment schedule and will not later sue you for breach under the original terms of the debt. Publisher Assistance First, don't count on your publisher's stepping up to loan you money. While it is entirely possible that they will, there may be any number of reasons why they won't. If your original champion has left the company, whomever inherited your project may not be inclined to extend the company any further than its current commitment. Other problems with a scheduled release may arise that make it more logical for a publisher to let a project drop than invest more money, so if you give them the opportunity to get out of a contract for free (by breaching your agreement to deliver milestones), they might take it. Don't forget: publishers run into cash flow problems, too. That said, if you are in a squeeze, don't linger in denial until the last minute and then ask for help.