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How to recruit programmers?


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#1 pfloyd333   Validating   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

Hey,
I'm completely new to this forum. I'm a college student and aspiring concept artist for games.I have recently been working on a game concept because I have heard from multiple pros that one of the best ways to land a job and stand out in the industry is to actually make a game, on top of having a great portfolio. I have very little coding experience, i have made a couple of pretty lame "escape the room" type games in flash, but thats about it, nothing impressive. I was originally going to try and code the entire game myself in flash as a point and click adventure game. However the more i look into it, the more daunting it becomes. I was thinking i should try and get a programer to help me, but i also realized i have no idea how to go about that. Especially finding somebody as passionate about the game itself as me. I was think i should have the entire game fleshed out first, but ideally should't everyone on the team be apart of the whole process? basically what i am asking is, how much information should i have to "sell" my idea for potential coders? what would you guys wanna see before you are willing to jump in a project? i'm just hoping to find some people on the internet, possibly here, to work with me. also, i should probably add that my art is very good, so i definitely provide a valuable skill set, in the end i wanna make a good game but also have some game art experience that i can show off.

any advice is appreciated,
thanks!

also, i wasn't really sure where to post this thread, hopefully this is fine.

Sponsor:

#2 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:37 PM

Everyone has a game idea that no one else is ever going to be passionate about, so you recruit people like any other job. You hire and pay them. Programming your game for someone else is grunt work, just like installing someone's pool, cutting their grass, or sweeping their floors.

If you can produce all the art yourself, you are pretty much ahead of the curve though. Grab something like LibGDX (or maybe Flash) and learn how to program the little bits that go into a simple point and click game, and when you are done, you will have a nice little game that can run on iOS, Android, and PC to show off.

#3 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:47 PM

As an artist, having a good portfolio is nearly as good as having a game done. And it's far less... Eh... Doomed as trying to complete a full game with strangers.

#4 pfloyd333   Validating   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:21 PM

well the idea is that I would work with a programmer from the beginning so they would be passionate about it also, and that they would be in it for the experience too... but i see what you are saying. So maybe i would be better off making a game thats less ambitious but that i could pull off on my own? the thing is, i can do easy things like being able to click on items,multiple levels, text boxes and stuff. but when it comes to complex ideas like an inventory system, or dialogue options, i'm in over my head. it makes me wish i had a coding friend, but i honestly don't know anyone who programs.


As an artist, having a good portfolio is nearly as good as having a game done. And it's far less... Eh... Doomed as trying to complete a full game with strangers.

yeah, maybe your right. but everyone who wants to be a concept artist will have a great portfolio, having a game could give me the edge over other people out of college. Being able to say that i have experience working with a team of people would be impressive, especially if the game is good. this is advice i have gotten from game developers too... i thought it was a great idea.

#5 Pash   Members   -  Reputation: 237

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:31 AM

Hi and welcome,

I can see you mention you have a portfolio and thats good. If you havent already --> Get yourself a good sketchbook setup on conceptart.org and a portfolio to showcase your work (ie deviantart).

Id honestly say for now - bypass working on your ideas and your projects, you probably dont know enough already to get a mod team together or know what to ask coders to produce for you to put things together. Look around on moddb indiedb websites for any projects recruiting artists so that you can work to other peoples ideas as well as your own. Im not saying drop your ideas entirely but just put them on hold and gain experience in working in indie mod teams so you are used to producing concept art and game assets for a group project. That will also give you contact with programmers and sound engineers etc.

Good luck and post back with any further updates.

Pash
Please Add Rep if I helped // Working on untitled 2D platformer (more to come soon)
Twitter - @MarkPashby

#6 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 18536

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:03 AM

Take a read of the recent discussion "so you're a programmer" where someone asked what a designer could do to attract capable programmers. The majority of the advice should apply to you.

If you're after a completed game for your portfolio you might consider the alternative approach; rather than trying to recruit a programmer to work on your projects, you could see if you're able to offer your services to work on a programmer's project. Ideally find someone with a small and achievable project.


Hope that helps! Posted Image

#7 Celiasson   Members   -  Reputation: 502

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:36 AM

I believe that Pash nailed it. As a designer it's incredibly hard to come with an idea for a game and have other people code it for you. You would be much more "safe" getting in on someone else's idea where programmers already are recruited and a good way to do that is at indiedb. However, the "passionate"-problem still applies, but for you this time. You need to stay passioned towards someone else's game which could be just as hard.

You should definitely put up portfolios as Pash said, but I would also recommend you to try and pursue your own idea and recruit programmers. The problem is to keep the motivated, and how do you do that? Well, you don't give them a game idea that is fully developed and written in stone. Your start off small with an idea and then you develop together. That way everyone will stay motivated.

So, how do you do this? Well, when it comes to games the usual process, at least what I've understood so far, is that the people who wants the funds to create a game will pitch the game to the investors. In this case you will be the pitcher and the programmers will be the investors.

The first thing you do when you got an idea you'd like to sell/pitch is to write a Game Pitch or high concept. In this you include some concept art, which in your case will not only show off the "feeling" you want in the game but also your skills. If you google on Game Pitch or High Concept you will see the basic structure of them and they are very much an overview of an idea. I'm positive you will find programmers who will like your idea if you make a good pitch and if you then can develop it together everyone will, hopefully, share the same passion.

Where to pitch your idea? Make a project on indiedb and try to market it as much as possible and announce what you are looking for. At the same time just look for other projects where people needs artists and join in on something you find interesting.

Hopefully I was of any help^^

Good luck! :D

#8 pfloyd333   Validating   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

Hi and welcome,

I can see you mention you have a portfolio and thats good. If you havent already --> Get yourself a good sketchbook setup on conceptart.org and a portfolio to showcase your work (ie deviantart).

Id honestly say for now - bypass working on your ideas and your projects, you probably dont know enough already to get a mod team together or know what to ask coders to produce for you to put things together. Look around on moddb indiedb websites for any projects recruiting artists so that you can work to other peoples ideas as well as your own. Im not saying drop your ideas entirely but just put them on hold and gain experience in working in indie mod teams so you are used to producing concept art and game assets for a group project. That will also give you contact with programmers and sound engineers etc.

Good luck and post back with any further updates.

Pash


Thanks for the advice! i already have a concept art.org sketchbook, been on that site for a looong time. My ideas aren't really fully developed concepts, they are more general story plots and gameplay ideas. i haven't even bothered doing concept art so i wouldn't get too attached to my ideas if they don't ever go anywhere. I will for sure check out thats site. sounds like a smart idea to get some experience first.


I believe that Pash nailed it. As a designer it's incredibly hard to come with an idea for a game and have other people code it for you. You would be much more "safe" getting in on someone else's idea where programmers already are recruited and a good way to do that is at indiedb. However, the "passionate"-problem still applies, but for you this time. You need to stay passioned towards someone else's game which could be just as hard.

You should definitely put up portfolios as Pash said, but I would also recommend you to try and pursue your own idea and recruit programmers. The problem is to keep the motivated, and how do you do that? Well, you don't give them a game idea that is fully developed and written in stone. Your start off small with an idea and then you develop together. That way everyone will stay motivated.

So, how do you do this? Well, when it comes to games the usual process, at least what I've understood so far, is that the people who wants the funds to create a game will pitch the game to the investors. In this case you will be the pitcher and the programmers will be the investors.

The first thing you do when you got an idea you'd like to sell/pitch is to write a Game Pitch or high concept. In this you include some concept art, which in your case will not only show off the "feeling" you want in the game but also your skills. If you google on Game Pitch or High Concept you will see the basic structure of them and they are very much an overview of an idea. I'm positive you will find programmers who will like your idea if you make a good pitch and if you then can develop it together everyone will, hopefully, share the same passion.

Where to pitch your idea? Make a project on indiedb and try to market it as much as possible and announce what you are looking for. At the same time just look for other projects where people needs artists and join in on something you find interesting.

Hopefully I was of any help^^

Good luck! Posted Image


This is very helpful, thank you. I'll probably try joining in on someone else project, but eventually i would like to start or be part of a project from the beginning. I think if i show id be willing to work hard and prove my skills via my portfolio i may be able to get programmers.

#9 Celiasson   Members   -  Reputation: 502

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:12 PM

I wish you the best of luck, and feel free to PM me with your project(once you join or create one on indiedb) for me to check out!

#10 dynasty1121   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

I myself am a programmer (and can't draw a square to save my life) but had to have an artist to make certain games that required good presentation. So I decided to meet some artists. There aren't many artists in the Engineering Building so I decided to seek them out by taking art and 3D modeling and animation classes. From those classes I was able to befriend artists who had the same interests as I and we made some flash games when our school work wasn't bogging us down. As a perk, I also learned to draw and can now make a decent square.

I believe you said you were a college student. Then my best advice is to meet and become friends with programmers. Where do you find programmers you may (or may not) ask? Well, CS courses of course. Take introductory to CS courses where you can meet other programmers that may have the same interest as you. Also it will improve your coding skills as well so you may not always have to rely on them.

Also with wanting games in your profile, while it is good, you don't need huge, and possibly incomplete, projects in your resume. What employers want are complete games even if they aren't a AAA game or even being sold on Steam. Making smaller, complete games (even those escape the room type games that no one will play) will go a longer way than bigger, incomplete games.

#11 superman3275   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2011

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

Just to get this out of the way: as a programmer, unless someone who can't program has a good portfolio, I won't join their project.

Everyone has a game idea they want to make. Unless it was a game idea I was passionate about (I'd helped conceive the game's mechanics), I won't work for you without pay. Right now, I like to do smaller contract jobs on the side (Imagine writing a program to do something specific for someone, and getting payed when I finish it). It'd probably be better, if you're going to pay people, to pay them by program / mechanic, than by hour. Since your indie, paying someone by hour won't work at all. There isn't an office, and there's no way to keep track of how much they worked.

For your portfolio: Use GameMaker. If you're an artist, employers will far rather see a smaller game made with a tool that represents your art, rather than some hard-coded game. They're looking for an artist, not a programmer. I can guarantee you that if I was hiring an artist, and one came to me with a portfolio of good sketches / 3D Models, and the other came to me with 1-3 Games made in GameMaker with good art in them, I'll pick the latter.

For an artist, I'd look for:
  • An understanding of sprite-sheet creation
  • An understanding of basic Art Logic / Drawing
  • Good 3D "visualizing" skills
  • A game they'd made using their art.
That last one is very important. It's not that hard to make a simple game that shows off their art. Sure, it may be small and not really a game, however you need to show me that you understand what I have to do, even a little bit. I want my artist to know that if I say something isn't possible, I'm not trying to get away without doing work. I'll only work on projects I'm passionate about, I would never even try to join a game that I didn't care for.

Edited by superman3275, 30 November 2012 - 09:19 PM.

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#12 Telastyn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3726

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

yeah, maybe your right. but everyone who wants to be a concept artist will have a great portfolio, having a game could give me the edge over other people out of college. Being able to say that i have experience working with a team of people would be impressive, especially if the game is good. this is advice i have gotten from game developers too... i thought it was a great idea.


It is a good idea, if it is done well.

And please, try to make well formed forum posts... It doesn't exactly fill me with optimism that you can complete a full game when even that is done half-assed.

#13 pfloyd333   Validating   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:45 PM

Just to get this out of the way: as a programmer, unless someone who can't program has a good portfolio, I won't join their project.

Everyone has a game idea they want to make. Unless it was a game idea I was passionate about (I'd helped conceive the game's mechanics), I won't work for you without pay. Right now, I like to do smaller contract jobs on the side (Imagine writing a program to do something specific for someone, and getting payed when I finish it). It'd probably be better, if you're going to pay people, to pay them by program / mechanic, than by hour. Since your indie, paying someone by hour won't work at all. There isn't an office, and there's no way to keep track of how much they worked.

For your portfolio: Use GameMaker. If you're an artist, employers will far rather see a smaller game made with a tool that represents your art, rather than some hard-coded game. They're looking for an artist, not a programmer. I can guarantee you that if I was hiring an artist, and one came to me with a portfolio of good sketches / 3D Models, and the other came to me with 1-3 Games made in GameMaker with good art in them, I'll pick the latter.

For an artist, I'd look for:

  • An understanding of sprite-sheet creation
  • An understanding of basic Art Logic / Drawing
  • Good 3D "visualizing" skills
  • A game they'd made using their art.
That last one is very important. It's not that hard to make a simple game that shows off their art. Sure, it may be small and not really a game, however you need to show me that you understand what I have to do, even a little bit. I want my artist to know that if I say something isn't possible, I'm not trying to get away without doing work. I'll only work on projects I'm passionate about, I would never even try to join a game that I didn't care for.


Thanks for the advice! It makes sense that having a game more focused on my art, without any complicated coding, would probably be more worth my time in the long run. I'll be sure to look into GameMaker. Would you recommend it over Flash? I already have a very basic knowledge of it, and it seemed to complement my 2d art pretty well. Also, I have no idea what you mean by sprite sheet creation. Care to fill me in on that?

Edited by pfloyd333, 30 November 2012 - 10:46 PM.


#14 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9852

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:29 PM

I have no idea what you mean by sprite sheet creation. Care to fill me in on that?


Just Google it. Once you look at a sprite sheet, you'll get it.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#15 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4328

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:58 AM

You could always use some bait, like a sign telling "Free Visual Studio Ultimate licences!" and then when they get close you throw a fishing net over them.

Edited by TheChubu, 01 December 2012 - 03:58 AM.

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#16 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3155

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

LOL

That's a good lead to my reply:

Leadership combined with demonstrating good game design concept, clear reasonable plan (like a business model only for games), and bring at least one major contribution with yourself. As a successful 2D/3D artist, IT consultant, and recent game designer, I won't touch anybody's game without all the above.

The only exception to my previous advice is for hobby efforts which I feel should be fun above all else. If a hobbyist game developer can convince someone that it will be a blast of fun, then you have him or her likely.

Clinton

Edited by 3Ddreamer, 03 December 2012 - 12:05 PM.

Personal life and your private thoughts always effect your career. Research is the intellectual backbone of game development and the first order. Version Control is crucial for full management of applications and software.  The better the workflow pipeline, then the greater the potential output for a quality game.  Completing projects is the last but finest order.

 

by Clinton, 3Ddreamer


#17 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 09:47 PM

Lots of programmers with somewhat finished games that need art.






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