The Publishing Contract 179 Time Always be aware of time. What is the effective date of the agreement? Are the milestone dates subject to change if the agreement takes longer than anticipated? Watch the start date for all time periods. Be sure that every decision has a time limit on it--sequels, approvals, and so forth. Oth- erwise you could end up in limbo, with one party having a right with no end date on it and no clear intention of using that right. The goal of a contract should be for clarity and definition, and every decision should have a time limit. Parties Do you know the correct, complete names of the legal entities entering into the agreement? This is important because some companies have a confusing structure of similarly named subsidiaries, and only the signatory is legally bound by the contract. Careless naming of parties can result in a toothless contract, because the party that you want to obligate is not a signatory. Note TIP If you are working on a day and daterelease (where the game release isscheduled to coincide with the releaseof a product like a film or DVD), findout what kind of access to produc- tionassets (story lines, art, backgrounds) thepublisher is negotiating with the producer. Smooth transfer of assets will oftenspeed game development and createsynchronicity be- tween the two releases. Property