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Help Wanted topic approval


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#1 Wilhelm van Huyssteen   Members   -  Reputation: 828

Posted 01 July 2011 - 04:51 AM

Hi.

I would like to discuss the criterion that gets used to approve help wanted topics. I believe that making some adjustments can greatly improve the professional image of gdnet and help members find feasible game projects much easier.

IMHO there is really just too much clutter to siff through if you’re honestly looking for a project and even worse sometimes great talent (especially great artists) get wasted on projects never had a chance to begin with.

I am not saying the forum is not working. It definitely is. 2 weeks ago I successfully recruited an artist into my team that I am really happy with and I have used the forum successfully in the past as well. I just think it can be much better.

My suggestion is a simple extra requirement for a new help wanted thread. Show some progress on the game you want help with. (Note I am specifically referring to Help Wanted posts not Help Offered posts)

If you’re a programmer. The requirement should be that you include a link to (or at the very least have screenshots of) a working prototype of your game. This might seem like a harsh requirement but if someone cant produce a prototype for his game using stickmen drawn in paint or cube models typed out in notepad or created in blender then he wont be able to create the actual game and his thread just adds to the clutter and worse case he waste’s the time of a good artist. The argument "I don’t even have enough artistic ability to create programmers art" is invalid. He can draw stickmen and he can type out the 3D coords for cubes and rectangles in notepad or alternatively spend the time to learn the basics of blender and create the cubes and rectangles in blender instead. That’s a purely technical process. 0 artistic ability requirement just a little bit of effort. If he feels spending 3 days to learn blender, draw stickmen and model cubemen is not for him since he’s a programmer and not an artist then I don’t think he will get very far.

If you’re an artist. The requirement should be that you include a good amount of functional assets for you’re game. Not just concept art.

If you’re a composer you should understand that if you cant program or create visual assets for you’re indie game its going to be very hard to finish it. Music and sound is usually only needed later in an indie project. Note I say "needed" Its definitely an advantage to have music and sound from the start but it can be safely omitted in most cases. Of course a composer should get his fair chance to try and create a game if he can include a good amount of functional assets in his thread. Fortunately not many composers try their hand at starting a team most probably because they realise the implications or there just isn’t that many composers on gdnet as opposed to programmers and artists.

If you have a great idea for a game and you want to assume the role of team leader or manager. IMHO I don’t think posts like these should get approved at all. But I suppose to be fair it can be allowed if a link to a detailed GDD is provided.

Maybe I am missing the bigger picture so if someone can give me a counter argument it would be nice. I’m sure I am not the first person to think that help wanted should be stricter so I am guessing there might be more to it.

Sponsor:

#2 Matias Goldberg   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2712

Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:45 AM

I agree! :lol:

#3 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:47 AM

As requested, counter arguments :)

Programmist -- a picture is no proof of coding. A YT video is more proof, as it actually shows that something is done -- a picture might as well be a static scene that will mean nothing.

Artist -- It happened in the past that people presented not their work and forgot to mention that. And some are reluctant to showing off art as it might be criticised instead of taken for proof of concept/being serious

Music -- strong disagree here. Music can be VERY important -- as all the other elements -- especially if it comes to aesthetics and the feel of the game. We, people, are geared towards being stimulated both visually and through sounds. An excellent sound track can give birth to a game on it's own.

Designer/idea dude -- here I would also disagree. You cannot just shun away a person who thinks he has another block buster AAA title. He might actually have one. Just because he can't write code or draw doodles doesn't mean he is less important, or less likelly to create a game for that matter. What I am saying here has very little to do with me being in the same situation -- IMO, if you come out with only an idea, you need it at least fairly well written out and it's for the community to decide is it worth a shot or not.



What troubles me is that non-template posts are springing up all over the place. The fields marked as mandatory are either not filled or left out alltogether, resulting in post wars in the topic about "why do you hide information X". I understand the template is not mandatory to people offering help, but it should be for those that seek it.

On the other hand I do agree it's frustrating in a way to see some projects gain hype and crew, while from our point of view they are just too intangible.

To conclude, being a bit more strict in the template department would do the trick. I understand the forum mods have lots of work on their heads apart from their daily lives, but checking if all the mandatory points are there and properly adressed should take up 1-3 minutes more than usual.

Also, while we're at it, I propose introducing a better guideline for creating topic subjects -- f.e. a cryterion such as [FPS], [TPP], [MMO] followed by [PAID], [UNPAID] or [STRT] which would stand for a starting project or [WRKNG] which would stand for work in progress (like getting past the design stage, supplying some art or YT videos). I saw that work quite well on the UDK forums :) And it was a drop-down list, if I recall correctly, available at thread creation.
Disclaimer: Each my post is intended as an attempt of helping and/or brining some meaningfull insight to the topic at hand. Due to my nature, my good intentions will not always be plainly visible. I apologise in advance and assure I mean no harm and do not intend to insult anyone, unless stated otherwise

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#4 Matias Goldberg   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2712

Posted 01 July 2011 - 09:18 AM

I think Zethariel talks more about a "composer offered" while Wilhelm V. H. talks more about "composer wanted".

Both are right; music is extremely important in a game, but Wilhelm V. H. makes a good point: it comes last. This means first you need to have strong, stable (and fun!) playable game, with mostly finished 3D assets before adding (most) music and sound effects. It's one of the final steps in the process. If you don't have a game in such stages, a composer would be wasted (and ultimately dissappointed because his work is lost)

There are a few exceptions, like music-based games (guitar hero) or games where music plays an important gameplay element (i.e. Lost Woods in Zelda OoT)

#5 RedPin   Banned   -  Reputation: 36

Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:49 PM

I will never post that I want to hire people from here, as there are better boards (pst for a list) that contain artists, composers, and programmers of industrial grade degree. If I wanted to hire talent, personally I go down to the art institutes in my state and place a ad there. That weeds out the hobbyists and posers. Unless over night you add special linkage to industrial professionals on here, I wouldn't bother weeding out the life blood of this forum. Those "posts" are traffic, and if gamedev.net is going to get picky, I'd assume they have a plan to spend money and draw a more professional crowd here.
Failure is simply denying the truth and refusing to adapt for success. Failure is synthetic, invented by man to justify his laziness and lack of moral conduct. What truely lies within failure is neither primative or genetic. What failure is at the heart, is man's inability to rise and meet the challenge. Success is natural, only happening when man stops trying to imitate a synthetic or imaginable object. Once man starts acting outside his emotional standpoints, he will stop trying to imitate synthetic or imaginable objects called forth by the replication of his emptiness inside his mind. Man's mind is forever idle and therefore shall call forth through the primitives of such subconscious thoughts and behaviors that Success is unnatural and that failure is natural. Success is simply doing something at man's full natural abilities and power, failure is the inability to act on what man wants, dreams, wishes, invisions, or thinks himself to do. ~ RED (concluded when I was 5 years old looking at the world with wide eyes)

#6 Matias Goldberg   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2712

Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:24 PM

I will never post that I want to hire people from here, as there are better boards (pst for a list) that contain artists, composers, and programmers of industrial grade degree.


There's quite a few people here who will disagree on that. Personally, I think you're mostly wrong about programmers, somewhat true about composers & 2D artists, and definitely right for 3D artists (finding a good 3D artist here takes a lot of digging).

If I wanted to hire talent, personally I go down to the art institutes in my state and place a ad there.


Amen.

Unless over night you add special linkage to industrial professionals on here, I wouldn't bother weeding out the life blood of this forum.



I've heard the staff is working towards that kind of integration. More info in the Developer Journals from the Staff

#7 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 14829

Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:41 AM

Thanks for the detailed suggestion! Apologies in advance for what is likely to be a lengthy reply -- some of which will directly address the suggestion (and feedback already offered!) at hand and some of which, whilst still related, may not directly address the suggestion at hand.

IMHO there is really just too much clutter to siff through if you’re honestly looking for a project and even worse sometimes great talent (especially great artists) get wasted on projects never had a chance to begin with.

Also, while we're at it, I propose introducing a better guideline for creating topic subjects -- f.e. a cryterion such as [FPS], [TPP], [MMO] followed by [PAID], [UNPAID] or [STRT] which would stand for a starting project or [WRKNG] which would stand for work in progress (like getting past the design stage, supplying some art or YT videos). I saw that work quite well on the UDK forums :) And it was a drop-down list, if I recall correctly, available at thread creation.

I think Help Wanted, perhaps more-so than some of the other forums will get a lot of benefit from the next update to the site software due later this year; specifically, we get "tagging" and "prefixes" added to the software, which should allow for much easier categorisation and filtering of topics. We should be able to apply and police the use of tags such as "paid"/"unpaid", "mmo", etc. in order to allow people to quickly cut through to the sort of projects they're really looking for. Before we knew these features were included in the next release and coming soon we did actually consider splitting the forum into two separate sections for "Help Wanted" and "Help Offered", but given the amount of manual work moving existing topics and additional work of moderating the topics as separate forums decided it wasn't worth it for the short period before the update.

As software support for these features is expected fairly soon, I'm hesitant to go through the hassle of implementing temporary rules/guidelines in the meantime to (poorly) mimic the tagging and prefixing capabilities; I got a lot of good feedback about requiring the "[MMO]" prefix a couple of years ago, but it took a while to catch on when first introduced, and I suspect policing additional "tags" of this type before we have the software support would add a surprisingly large amount of overhead to running the forum.





I'm also looking at adding an additional small feature (I'm actually planning on sending my suggestion and request for the necessary changes to be made to the staff later tonight!) which may help narrow down which projects are more worthy of your time, as well as helping to identify those forum members who might be a better recruit than others:

You may have noticed since the migration to the new forum software that some users now have "badges" displayed under their username and display picture to the left of forum posts for varying things; if you hadn't noticed and don't know what I'm talking about, you should see I have a couple if you look to the left of this post, in my case given for supporting the site and for having posted journal entries. What I'm going to propose is the addition of a couple of new badges, indicating completion of prior projects, valued participation in on-going long-term projects, and similar. Users should then be able to look for these badges as an additional hint that a particular project or recruit may or may not be the right one for them.





My suggestion is a simple extra requirement for a new help wanted thread. Show some progress on the game you want help with. (Note I am specifically referring to Help Wanted posts not Help Offered posts)

I was originally hesitant about this to begin with, but giving it some consideration it does make a lot of sense, and would very likely lead to a higher visibility of quality projects in the forum -- hopefully then having the flow-on effect of those projects finding better help and thus being completed.

Enforcing this sort of rule would exclude a lot of users from the forum, but I think if the requirements for acceptance are relaxed enough we should be able to strike a balance between improving the quality of posted projects, and setting a reasonably low bar that would hopefully give newer users something to aim for.

I'm strongly considering it, but I'll be looking for plenty more feedback before enacting any policy changes of this sort.


What troubles me is that non-template posts are springing up all over the place. The fields marked as mandatory are either not filled or left out alltogether, resulting in post wars in the topic about "why do you hide information X". I understand the template is not mandatory to people offering help, but it should be for those that seek it.

There shouldn't be any non-template posts ("help offered" of course excluded) in the forum since we introduced moderator approval, although we do have the occasional topic slip through without all of the sections either included or sometimes present but not properly filled out.

There is a "report" button (I believe it's in the lower left) on every post -- if you see any of topics that are missing required parts of the template and report them, then I or another moderator will see about having that corrected.

#8 braindigitalis   Members   -  Reputation: 150

Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:58 AM

@jbadams -i really like the idea of having a badge to show the user has previous completed projects, however i have two questions:

first how will someone prove they have completed games and second are we talking Indies or AAA games?

Many users have produced some great games however relatively few work for a game studio as their paid job (me being one of those who don't!) :-)

#9 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 14829

Posted 02 July 2011 - 04:09 AM

first how will someone prove they have completed games

Under the terms of my proposal, to get one of the badges a given user would have to satisfy either myself or another member of the moderation or staff team with the capability of awarding badges that they had done so; they might do this by providing links to journals showing their development progress, by having team-mates vouch for them, or any other reasonably verifiable method of demonstrating significant participation. I also have a list of users who would be given the badges as soon as they are added, as I already know of plenty of people who would deserve them -- as I'm requesting this from the staff they may reject the idea or might have different ideas as to how the badges should be awarded.

and second are we talking Indies or AAA games?

Many users have produced some great games however relatively few work for a game studio as their paid job (me being one of those who don't!) :-)

We're talking both -- any completed game is fine for the purposes of Help Wanted. I can see some merit to the idea of specifically flagging those with industry rather than simply indie or hobbyist experience, but for now I'm only interested in showing that people are capable in whatever capacity. Remember also that there are some members of the forum who are industry professionals but who would prefer not to openly disclose that fact.


#10 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

Posted 02 July 2011 - 07:16 AM

I really like the badges idea -- That would definnetly boost the ambitions of members to be more serious about their projects.

If there will be an update that will provide the tags and prefixes, then I guess we can just bear with how the situation is right now -- it's not drama or anything going on at the moment, and the community is healty either way.
Disclaimer: Each my post is intended as an attempt of helping and/or brining some meaningfull insight to the topic at hand. Due to my nature, my good intentions will not always be plainly visible. I apologise in advance and assure I mean no harm and do not intend to insult anyone, unless stated otherwise

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#11 Wilhelm van Huyssteen   Members   -  Reputation: 828

Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:21 AM

Thnx for all the feedback. Im looking forward to the new filtering system (had no idea it was in the making). Also i think the "badge" system is viable if strictly moderated. It seems like it might be a burden on moderators though. These are ways to improve the help wanted without exlcuding anyone. Wich is good. Although exlcuding an unfeasible project might encourage its owner to do some preliminary work and maybe scale down his ideas as he realizes the real complexity of it. Excluding a project doesnt mean killing it on the spot. It simply tell its owner to get it started and to come back later. Of course i fully agree that the new system should be implemented and observed first before any more changes gets considered.

#12 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:08 AM

I feel like adding one more thing to this topic: The nuking of MMOs

As luck would have it, some people come here with MMO ideas. I think that it is a bad idea both for the idea givers as well as the community to read those. Usually such topics catch fire fast, there is a lot of reputation downgrading etc. which renders the badges/reputation system quite prone to mood.

My suggestion is that when something contains the word MMO, the mods should really consider approving the topic beforehand. I don't know if it is possible via scripts or anything, but maybe upon finding the word MMO, the author would receive a couple of links with failed MMO titles, with a short note: "R u sure?". It would improve somewhat the quality of the Help Wanted section. Not that many MMO's come up as of late -- still, every little bit helps, no?


Disclaimer: Each my post is intended as an attempt of helping and/or brining some meaningfull insight to the topic at hand. Due to my nature, my good intentions will not always be plainly visible. I apologise in advance and assure I mean no harm and do not intend to insult anyone, unless stated otherwise

Homepage (Under Construction)

Check my profile for funny D&D/WH FRP quotes :)

#13 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 807

Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:58 PM

i really like the idea of having a badge to show the user has previous completed projects, however i have two questions:

Lets be honest though, even the best programmers on here haven't really completed stuff. I have tons of uncompleted stuff, some awesome and some not. I do have cool tech demos and videos to show.

The real problem with help wanted is that people are signing up just to post in help wanted. I was just browsing HW, and every post I clicked I viewed the profile and it was started by someone who joined a few days ago and their first post was looking for help. Of the ones that list age, they are like "15,16" and use terms like "hiring" and so on. The best way to fix help wanted is to make people be a user for a certain period of time. It is so flooded with 1 time users posting about how they are 12 and how much profits they will give and so on.

It seems like all these new young guys are laming up the forum. I didn't post in help wanted till I had been on here for almost 2 years in which I hung around programming forums. The best way is to get 2 forums for help wanted, pro and amateur. I would bet the 12 year old new guys will follow this very well in filtering their stuff into the amateur thread so that I dont have to see such awful garbage anymore. There used to be somewhat decent stuff between IOTD and help wanted but it is so rare that there is anything good, and I barely check HW, so I'm sure anything cool passes by before I see it.

#14 Haps   Members   -  Reputation: 1315

Posted 05 July 2011 - 11:43 PM

There's also been a few new members offering services, too. It seems a little arbitrary to make them wait out in the cold just because of the behavior of others before them.

Segregating forums by aptitude wouldn't be very effective either: It'll create more work for the mods, and anyone who thinks they're a "CEO" that's "hoping to release on Playstation" is going to consider their project professional. Then we're back to evaluating posts or earning clearances again.

I browse through the HW forum from time to time, and it seems like trouble's not only because an inexperienced person posts a project that's too ambitious or lacking essentials, but that someone criticizes them about it. I know everyone just wants to add a little caution, and most of the respondents aren't necessarily rude, but that's where the flame wars and the downrating have been happening.There's also been incidents of people adding a quick good word to justify a paragraph of flaming.

jbadams recently posted:

If you're of the opinion that this project isn't going anywhere then rather than ignoring or trying to side-step the feedback rule, simply do not respond and our bumping rules will allow it to drop away pretty quickly; your constant responses keep this topic at the top of the list.


I say let the new system kick in since it's happening anyways, and the thread tags should help cut down the clutter. At worst have "good feedback only" as the default to keep the conflict down. If that's not enough, perhaps a button for "misrepresentation in Help Wanted" and let the Mods bring up serious issues a little more diplomatically.

Otherwise maybe we need some new pinned FAQs: "How To Accept Criticism" and "Why Is No One Volunteering?" for project posters, and "How To Ignore Projects You Aren't Going To Join" for the rest of us. After all, if a project looks that infeasible to you, it's probably that obvious to everyone else too.

#15 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:07 AM

Otherwise maybe we need some new pinned FAQs: "How To Accept Criticism" and "Why Is No One Volunteering?" for project posters, and "How To Ignore Projects You Aren't Going To Join" for the rest of us. After all, if a project looks that infeasible to you, it's probably that obvious to everyone else too.



Great idea. Alas, it is always the freshman's mistake NOT to read such topics. Not that everyone doesn't -- it's just the posts that get flamed that don't pay attention. I mean, should everyone read the HW FAQ, they would know how people approach MMOs for example. Still, I could use the post "How To Ignore Projects You Aren't Going To Join" -- it is really hard not to comment... Or at least give out advice. Come to think of it, I think I'll start using the PM more often for that. Makes kind of sense -- the goal of helping is fulfilled, and no flames are ignited.

You think that is acceptable?
Disclaimer: Each my post is intended as an attempt of helping and/or brining some meaningfull insight to the topic at hand. Due to my nature, my good intentions will not always be plainly visible. I apologise in advance and assure I mean no harm and do not intend to insult anyone, unless stated otherwise

Homepage (Under Construction)

Check my profile for funny D&D/WH FRP quotes :)

#16 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 14829

Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:59 AM

it is really hard not to comment... Or at least give out advice. Come to think of it, I think I'll start using the PM more often for that. Makes kind of sense -- the goal of helping is fulfilled, and no flames are ignited.

You think that is acceptable?

Absolutely -- I'd strongly encourage it. You should of course still remain polite; from my dealings with you I'm sure it wouldn't happen, but anyone who got abusive offering feedback via PM can still be reported for moderation, and for those with genuine good intentions such as yourself you'll be able to offer your thoughts and advice without bumping or cluttering the topic.




#17 dpadam450   Members   -  Reputation: 807

Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:21 AM

I don't think anyone is going to read an FAQ, how many times still do we have to say "Use the mandatory template?" I still think even if a kid claims as a "CEO" that is "Hiring" that they would understand they are amateur. Or somehow have them all go into amateur and if someone requests it as pro, then you can use this self investigation badge system and move them over to pro (if the OP asks it to go there).

#18 stupid_programmer   Members   -  Reputation: 901

Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:29 PM

I've mentioned it before, why not just a minimum post count before being able to post an ad? Most of the crap posts come from people whos first post ever on the forums is how they got this great new idea for a MMO and just need to get 50 people to work for free to make it a reality. Make them at least put some effort in to learning what goes on in making a game by contributing some posts. Either they will figure out a MMO is hard or they won't be bothered with making enough posts to be able to make an ad. So either way there is less clutter posts floating around.

#19 braindigitalis   Members   -  Reputation: 150

Posted 07 July 2011 - 01:31 AM

I've mentioned it before, why not just a minimum post count before being able to post an ad? Most of the crap posts come from people whos first post ever on the forums is how they got this great new idea for a MMO and just need to get 50 people to work for free to make it a reality. Make them at least put some effort in to learning what goes on in making a game by contributing some posts. Either they will figure out a MMO is hard or they won't be bothered with making enough posts to be able to make an ad. So either way there is less clutter posts floating around.


Either that or they spam the other sections with junk posts about how cool their mmo is until they have a high enough post count... :-(

#20 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 14829

Posted 07 July 2011 - 01:57 AM

I've mentioned it before, why not just a minimum post count before being able to post an ad?

There are two reasons we won't consider doing this:
  • It encourages crap-posting in other forums to artificially reach the minimum.
  • Some of the best Help Wanted posts are the first or only posts in our community by the members in question -- and those who are hard at work on a genuine serious project often don't spend a whole lot of time posting in forums, or are already doing so elsewhere and do not wish to also participate (outside of Help Wanted) here -- if a minimum post count were required many of these people simply wouldn't bother, depriving our members of potentially good projects.






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