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Info on a general game programmer


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#1 GDMega6   Members   -  Reputation: 128

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:56 PM

This is my very first post here and while I'm fairly certain this is the right place for this post I apologize if I post incorrectly or break any rules.

 

Basically I'm looking for a game programmer but before I post a job posting I need to gather some info.

 

What I'm looking for is a programmer to create a small 3d demo consisting of one or 2 rooms with interact-able objects. It would be first person with normal WASD movement but something like "manually controlled arms". Essentially pressing buttons would increase or decrease the angle of the upper and lower arm and another button interacts with objects like a door which can be opened and objects that an be picked up etc.

 

I've done some 2d programming before however because I don't have experience with 3d programming I don't know the difficulties of this task. Getting a character animated and 2 rooms up wouldn't take that long but I don't know how difficult manually controlling limbs are. Also it would have to be done with a completely free (no commercial license option) game engine.

 

So I have two questions based on the task. All opinions welcome

 

1) How would you rate the difficulty of this task?

2) How long do you think this task would take full time as opposed to a part time hobbyist

 

 

Now comes the business side. I have seen salary information on game programmers but because this is a small demo I'm not sure what way to go with it. 

 

So here is my question. Once again All opinions are welcome. Keep in mind I have limited funds. Assume that I didn't choose the hire a hobbyist route 

 

3) Would you pay per feature, per hour, or a 1 time payment? And how much would you pay? or what do you think a game programmer would charge?

 

 

Much of my difficulty comes from the first 2 questions. Because I don't know the difficulty of this task and even a slight clue on how long it would take, I have no idea if I should try to get a hobbyist or pay someone. And if I do pay someone I'd rather not pay someone a lot of money for what could be simple task. Lack of information is financially fatal so I'd like to thank you guys in advance for helping me out.

 



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10179

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:38 PM


I have two questions

1) How would you rate the difficulty of this task?

2) How long do you think this task would take

3) Would you pay per feature, per hour, or a 1 time payment?

4) And how much would you pay?

5) or what do you think a game programmer would charge?

 

1. Difficulty is a non-issue.  It's really only a question of time and cost.  If somebody rates the difficulty from 1 to 10 for you, what would that number tell you? Absolutely nothing.

2. Do you mean the task of finding the programmer, or the task of the programmer doing the work for you?

3. I would pay what I could negotiate for.  Most of us prefer a reasonable estimate for a whole-project cost, then pay in milestones.

4. I would pay what my budget will bear and no more.  I would pay what he needs to do the project and no less.

5. A freelance programmer has to charge more than industry salary standard, since when someone has a salary he also has health insurance, vacation, and other benefits -- but a freelancer needs to cover all that himself (and his downtime).  A starving student who might not be able to actually do the job would charge a lot less.


-- 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.

#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22849

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:12 AM


Also it would have to be done with a completely free (no commercial license option) game engine.

This line bothers me.

 

If you had the parts available, you could do it in Unity very quickly. But Unity has such a license option. The license is probably among the most friendly licenses around (when you are making $100000 each year you need to pay $1500, no royalties) but you have invalidated.

 

I don't know of any good engines that don't include the option of a commercial license, of only for support.

 

There are many graphics libraries that are 'completely free', but graphics alone are not a game.


Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#4 GDMega6   Members   -  Reputation: 128

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:17 PM

Ok maybe a little more background info would be better. The reason I was asking for a completely free engine was because this was only going to be used for a demonstration. Only to be used as an aid at the very beginning of what I'm doing. I was looking at the UDK license and saw that if I made over 100k they would charge me royalties because it would fall under advertisement I guess. And that's the thing. This is intended to be like a small aid so being charged 12.5% I believe for something that small seemed a little much for something that isnt directly necessary and only going to be used for a month or so. The unity license does sound much better however. 
 
The reason I asked about the difficulty and about how long it would take is because I dont know what to expect. I was asking how long do you think it would take for someone to program those features. I guess it was a bad question because it depends on the engine? I was asking about the difficulty because I figure someone with a decent understanding of their game engine would know how to set up 2 rooms and interact with objects fairly easy and in a short period of time. I don't know if the manually controlled arms is difficult to implement when some programmers are used to having the game engine control the bodies in-engine however.
 
So I wanted to know to what degree does the manually controlled arms add difficulty to the project. Does it require a lot of thinking outside the box, would it just require using functions that a programmer doesnt usually use with his engine Or is it a trivial thing to implement?
 
 


I don't know of any good engines that don't include the option of a commercial license, of only for support.
 
There are many graphics libraries that are 'completely free', but graphics alone are not a game.

 
 
I honestly don't need anything extra honestly. As long as the character can move around and interact with stuff. That's all I need because this isn't meant to be a full game. I will look more carefully at the license options of the popular game engines however because it seems from your responses that what I'm asking for would be much more difficult with a free engine.
 
 


3. I would pay what I could negotiate for.  Most of us prefer a reasonable estimate for a whole-project cost, then pay in milestones.
 
Ok sounds like a good option.
 
 
Thank you again for your feedback.


#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10179

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:46 PM


The reason I asked about the difficulty and about how long it would take is because I dont know what to expect. I was asking how long do you think it would take for someone to program those features. I guess it was a bad question because it depends on the engine? I was asking about the difficulty because I figure someone with a decent understanding of their game engine would know how to set up 2 rooms and interact with objects fairly easy and in a short period of time. I don't know if the manually controlled arms is difficult to implement when some programmers are used to having the game engine control the bodies in-engine however.

 

You contact candidates (you talk to the people you're considering hiring) and you ask them.  If one says it'll take 3 months and one says it'll take 1 month, then it'll take at least 2 months (some people have a bad habit of underbidding -- hardly anybody gets a project done faster than they thought).


-- 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.

#6 GDMega6   Members   -  Reputation: 128

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:06 PM

Thanks for the help. 



#7 m3rlino   Members   -  Reputation: 220

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

Hello,

 

from the responses I saw that people who are wiser and more experienced than me have answered to your question.

I'm a programmer, with some analysis experience (very little). I know a bit of Unity development.

I think that it's important to ask for a portfolio of work to programmer, maybe you can hire some known programmer to consult bits of code to judge technical programmer skill.

Unfortunately not all the programmers are the same, maybe two programmer can both finish a project in two months, but if they are technical unskilled then you will recognize later and it will be a very hard pain.

Consider you will not like the result, maybe you like it partly and you want partly to be changed, good programmer would plan his code to be fit for the problem, but easily modifiable since he followed some design patterns, unskilled ones with try to finish as quickly as they can to get a very big profit at the beginning and they can refuse to work for you once you have payed them since they will say you are too much requiring.

Maybe at the beginning you can set very tight milestones to see how the work is going, and try to ask many details to see how flexible is the programmer. In case he finds many excuses and try to direct too much the design of the project you can change it.

From another point of view anyway there are some technical details that simply can be very difficult to implement, so you have to be wise as well. Try to understand a bit of the basis of developing in unity.

 

The answers (Unity).

 

1. Difficulty medium

2. If i understood well the requirements, for me it would take 100 hours I think, but for a good programmer it can take less than 40 hours.

3. It depends on the programmer and it depends on you, you have to find what it's good for you and what it's good for programmer. Anyway all this work unity can be converted one into another, so try to be more flexible, every work unit has its pros and contros.

4. I agree with Tom, I could also add that if you could see good profit opportunities you could risk to pay even a bit more than your budget.

5. It depends on many factors, the country of the programmer, the experience, how the project attracts him. Keep in mind that some foreign programmers can ask a lot less than others, but you have to think of the time of explain and negotiating features, counting how much effort and time you want to spend on it.

 

Excuse me for my english, I'm italian :)


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