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TheKrust

Swimming through the false hopes....

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Let me first start by saying that I am fully aware of how much effort goes into even a small game project. I'm also aware of how long it takes to make a game even if you know all the technology involved. I know that almost all indie games are never completed, and also that about half of them will never even reach any serious development. So my question is actually related to the Help Wanted forums. How do you make serious programmers, artists, writers, and audio buffs recognize that you're not one of the people that just think game design is "cool"? How do you convince them that you're not one of those 14 year old kids that go online and brag about how cool their game idea is when in reality it's never going to even reach production stage? Furthermore, how can you tell if the people applying are committed to actually working on the game? I literally had someone say to me once "I'm not here to work, I'm here to tag money off you." While I'm sure this is one of those necessary evils of game production, I've been through it enough and I've learned my lesson. So as I say, does anyone have any methods for these? (PS:) if this is in the wrong forum I apologize

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A lot of people can talk the talk, you have to prove that you can walk the walk. The best way to convince people that you're for real is to show them what you've done (read "completed") in the past. If you have nothing to show off, you'll have a really hard time convincing people that you know what you're doing.
I personally think the best way to get started is to team up with people you already know (aka friends, fellow students, colleagues...). If you don't know anyone with game making ambitions, then just make a post in the "Help Wanted" forum and accept that not everyone applying for a job will be as comitted as you hope. If you manage your team well, little setbacks along the way won't cause your project to fail.

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I agree that having completed past projects goes a long way to convincing people of your sincerity, but not everyone has that luxury. How do you convince people you can complete a project if you've never done one? Kind of a catch 22 there, can't start a project because you've never finished one, and can't finish one because you can't start one. Of course, you could always pickup the skills yourself and work on small projects and work your way up (which isn't a bad way to go either).

The other way you can help your cause is to appear professional, have a clear business plan and/or design document with reasonable goals given your previous experience (no "i'm gunna make the l33t3$t MMOFPSRPG EVA!"), and having completed and continuing to work on some concept art/code/music/in game art can show that your commited to working on your project and that you can contribute. The more your project looks like it will get finished (because you show you know what your doing), the more likely you are to convince people to consider helping you.

As for dealing with derelict team members, keep in mind that this can be hard to avoid sometimes (either out of outright laziness, real life complications, school, etc). You may want to scrutinize other people the way they'll scrutinize you, look at past works and completed projects, or portfolio's/demo's of their work. If money is involved (and it helps allure those proffesionals), i highly recommend getting a Contract, to ensure that both their and your interests are upheld, (such as an agreement to pay a flatrate for X work, so if X work isn't done, they don't get anything or a reduced rate, etc). There are some contract/buesiness materials floating around GD somewhere.

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Actions speak louder than words. Its as simple as that. Nothing will convince people more than actual proof of work done. Unfortunately, this is a catch 22. You cannot get good people without showing good quality progress/work, but you can't make the work without the good people. So, what do you do now?

Work your butt off and be patient. You yourself will have to put in a heck of a lot of work, moreso than anyone else, assuming that you are heading the project. This also means that people with ideas, and no skills, probably are doomed from the start. That just adds one more handicap to an already unlikely task. If you are someone who has the idea, but doesn't have the skill to make anything, learn. Learn something and get to work. Your only other option is to try and convince someone with your passion.

If you really are not going to get the skill, because of inability, some people can be enticed with proper game design documents. These will only take you so far, however. These initial people will be needed to entice more people later. You will need to sort through a lot of them. You will find people who just don't live up to what they promised to contribute. This is going to happen to all projects though, not just some.

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Hmm, I just wrote all that before completely reading Gyrthok's and Harry Hunt's posts. I pretty much said the same things they already have, only in a different way. They are spot on.

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Demos! Demos, demos, demos!

You don't need to be able to build a complete RPG on your own to prove you code, draw or play an instrument. It is NOT impossible to find people with commitment. Simply require examples of their work. If necessary, you could also request references. (Employers ask for these all the time, so why not?)

A single wannabe CAN create demos. If you know the applicant isn't an artist, but claims to be a great coder, you should expect a demo showing off coding prowess, even if the demo doesn't look that amazing. (If your own skills are up to understanding it, request some examples of source code.)

The above also applies to artists, who should ALWAYS have a portfolio of their own work available for you to study.

And, of course, the same applies to musicians and any other content creator. (Yes, this includes writers.)


Oh yes: if you're an aspiring game designer, you'd better have a portfolio of game designs too.

(Yes, you read that right: a *portfolio*, not just "a really, really cool idea". You need to have *at least* two fully fleshed-out game design *bibles*. That means *everything* a team will need to plan and implement the game, right down to all the nitty-gritty details. Prototypes are good too, but not always feasible on larger-scale projects.)

Managers should also provide evidence of their managerial skills. This will usually mean references and/or a list of projects managed. Note that being able to guide projects right the way through to successful completion on time and on budget is key for managerial roles. Whether the project proved a critical success is less relevant as it's not the manager's job to be good at game design.



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I have worked on a few projects that never really went anywhere. If you want something done right, do it yourself. Think of something you really want to play and make it a demo. Have the player start off in the middle of the game (already with certain abilities), make the scenario interesting. Constrain your demo to a single scenario/level/match/etc, that way you don't need to spread your assets around.

Money should help, but then you still might run into the scammers. From my (limited) experience it seems that people with there own website showcasing examples of there work seem to be reputable enough.

[Edited by - Aiursrage on July 27, 2007 11:07:58 PM]

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