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I think this is probably the best place for this, but not positive. When you are trying to recruit a team, sell your game, or just talking about it how much should you tell people? I don't quite mind telling everything because the product will never be the same as what you want if you're not involved with it, but still theft is there and info should be kept to a minimum. Then I love coming up with full histories and backgrounds and that tends to be a lot of information and really how much of that is good to talk about? Of course there is a minimum too and when you're more of a creating the world, the ideas, the character, the story, type of person such as me, just what is the minimum that you should show as every template I've followed never works very well. So I'm in the problem of having all this content in my head or written down that I can't get anyone to help with creating, which means I can get anywhere without doing it myself which I admit, requires more work on my part as that's not my main concern, as it shouldn't be, and because I can't get this help I can't create that which might draw people to work on something. Now I don't intend to do minimum, but I need to know what people want to see to influence them to help. It just seems to me that people want me to do everything I am asking for there help to get done and that doesn't make much sense to me so that leave me with the question of... How much information on a project should I reveal? And what should I show as far as content? Is there much of a point to getting a programmer if I can program the game to the point where a programmer is willing to help?

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Dur wrote:
>When you are trying to recruit a team, sell your game, or just talking about it how much should you tell people?

When you are just discerning their availability or interest or suitability for the project, just the bare facts: genre, platform, your experience level, the reason/goal for doing the project.

Once you've determined that they're available, interested, and suitable, you get them to sign an NDA, and then you can divulge everything.

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what would you consider proof of experience level then for the world designing type people? Their art and programming skill wouldn't be a worthwhile thing to show if they are secondary or tertiary skills. I suppose one can write up stuff, but then isn't that giving too much info?


Also on a subnote...I don't get what "goal" for doing this is. I just want to do something. I have always wanted to do it and I will do it. There really isn't any question in my mind as to that. What is my goal? To create something I love. where that leads always seems a bit reaching to me... My goal isn't to change the world or create a company or whatever else. Those are things that come from these types of things but not the goal.

My goal is not to make a retail product, or freeware, or create a company, or to sell my ideas, or to get a job. If I do this I CAN do those, but what is the point of those if I am not doing what I love. Though that really isn't such a good selling point I've learned.

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Du wrote:
>what would you consider proof of experience level then for the world designing type people?

How much experience do you require? Why do you require that much experience? Why do you require proof? Since you have no experience, why do you think anybody experienced will want to help you?

>I suppose one can write up stuff, but then isn't that giving too much info?

I already answered this question. Which part of my previous answer was unclear?

>Also on a subnote...I don't get what "goal" for doing this is. I just want to do something. ... To create something I love.

I don't get why you can't just say that your goal is to do "something" for the sake of learning how to do it.

>Though that really isn't such a good selling point I've learned.

That's a problem, all right. (^_^) But ya gotta be honest, if you want honesty in return.

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Like i said How does one who's prime focus is to create the world, it's character, and the story show that they have experience other than by having already created a game or giving the full game design. The former seems, not correct as if I created a game why would i be asking for your help and if the latter is the information problem and while an NDA would be a somewhat solution I have to then ask how do you get someone to sign an NDA to see your experience?

The answer seems to create a really bad game and shows that you are bad...which doesn't solve the problem for the most part as I don't think anyone would go hey you created a horrible game I wanna work with you!

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Re:

Tom though that you mean the "world designing" people was one of the people you want to recruit. But you meant that you are the "world designing" person. Tom mentioned that you could show genre, platform, your experience level, the reason/goal for doing the project. You were asking how you could show your experience level in world design.

I suppose you could do so if you had previous work.

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Du wrote:
>How does one who's prime focus is to create the world, it's character, and the story show that they have experience other than by having already created a game or giving the full game design.

Does that really show "experience"? Showing someone a game design doesn't show "experience," it shows that you've written a game design and what the game design is.

Why is it necessary to show experience?

Which party are you talking about - you or the prospective collaborator? I expect that since your goal is to work on your first game, that any collaborators you can get will be just as inexperienced as you.

>The former

You're losing me. Can you pose your questions more succinctly please.

> if I created a game why would i be asking for your help

Why would you lie to somebody and say you created a game, when he's going to figure out soon enough (if he tries to collaborate with you) that you never did any such thing?

>and if the latter is the information problem and

I'm totally lost by your convoluted wording. Sorry.

>while an NDA would be a somewhat solution I have to then ask how do you get someone to sign an NDA to see your experience?

The purpose of the NDA is for him to keep your precious game design secret, to not go around blabbing it to others, to not go off and do your idea without you. That's all the NDA does. You asked how much information you should give. So I answered that question. Once the NDA is executed, you can tell him everything.

It doesn't have anything to do with experience. How did experience sneak into this question?

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Quote:
Original post by Wai
you meant that you are the "world designing" person. Tom mentioned that you could show genre, platform, your experience level, the reason/goal for doing the project. You were asking how you could show your experience level in world design.

Really? Is that how this got off track?

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I can't tell you and I can't show you my experience as a world designer if I'm a beginner how do I get people that want see what I can do to work with me?

Even if I have the best game idea and am the best designer in the world if I don't have a game made it doesn't seem that I could get any game made.

If I'm new to game development and...
If I'm a writer, I can show you a script.
If I'm an artist, I can show an image I've drawn.
If I'm a programmer, I can show you a program I have made.
If I am a Game Designer, I can't do anything because the one way I can doesn't exist.

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Technically, if you are a game designer, you could show "your experience" by showing your critique to existing designs. You could flip open a dictionary, pick a random word and design a game on the spot. It would be like doing algebra.

Just as an aernonautic engineer doesn't need to build a kite to tell you that your kite won't fly.

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I do that all the time, but that's really ineffective when someone goes, "what's your experience" and you say "come look at this game...this this and this is wrong"

It might work for certain jobs because that means if a car is broke and you can tell a car is broke without much looking wrong with it then you probably can fix it, but more intuitive and subjective things don't quite work like that simply because anyone could say that a sentence is wrong or a game has something wrong with it.

And yes that is one of the things I say as well, If you can't pick up any game, even games that you consider to be great and near perfect, and say something is wrong and give a way to correct it you shouldn't even consider game design. So I understand what you're saying.

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Now I understand the another meaning in your term design. If I were to highlight it, I would rephrase it like this:

My possession is the unique style I have (could be world building, could be a gameplay, a game mechanic, a particular backdrop of a story I got from my unique experience, or an integration of many things). How do I convince others that my style is good without hinting about my style?

(I don't know how.)

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May I test something about your concept?

Could you tell the core concept in a sentence or a paragraph without using any adjective or figurative words? For example:

Tetris:
A 5-minute game on arranging shapes falling at increasing speed.

Otherwise I think what you could do is to simply disclose what you want and see what you get.


Suppose now I tell you that,

"I am working on another 5-minute game on arranging shapes falling at increasing speed. It is not a Tetris clone. But I will only tell you the concept if you intend to help."

Would this description be interesting enough to recruit a helper?

Which of the following lines would be the most potent additional description?

A) "I need at least one more programmer because I want it to be completed before Valentine's Day."
B) "I need someone that can program for [insert platform name] cellphone."
C) "I need someone with programming skills on multiplayer games."

Tom already mentioned the platforme and the goal/reason for the project. I think the others are also mentioned in the guide for the HelpWanted section of the forum. I think a big factor is the level of commitment, as in how long you expect the project to last.

I suppose if your project is big and no one wants to commit to it, it might be better to think up some smaller 1-week/2-weeks projects just to start building up a team. You could catch other programmers who are working on long projects. Sometimes they would be attracted to do it because it is short and sweet. If you work well with that person that maybe you could collaborate again.

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Quote:

"I am working on another 5-minute game on arranging shapes falling at increasing speed. It is not a Tetris clone. But I will only tell you the concept if you intend to help."

Would this description be interesting enough to recruit a helper?


As a designer, no.
As an artist, I'd do it just to be helpful as it wouldn't be that hard to do and it's a credit so why not.
As a programmer, It would look interesting from an experience stand point and should be fairly easy to accomplish even with base level programming.
As a writer, not really ,but I'd be open to listen to the idea before I make my descision.
As a producer, I'd be interested as it would be cheap, be easily ported, and small games like that are really popular. It's not a heavy risk, and the possible profit is good.

Quote:

Which of the following lines would be the most potent additional description?

A) "I need at least one more programmer because I want it to be completed before Valentine's Day."
B) "I need someone that can program for [insert platform name] cellphone."
C) "I need someone with programming skills on multiplayer games."


C is a bit irrelevant. If you can program for a single player game you should be able to program for a multiplayer game and that tells me that you really shouldn't be asking what you are asking or are lying.

A and B are a bit harder to judge though as it really does depend on situation and neither would be too helpful in the case that A's and B's situation is true.

On the designer's side of things I'd think the following...

If they are both true and you can only say one then it weak as both have problems. If the project needs to be done by Valentine's day that's important to know as some people aren't good rushed, but if you then want to put it on a specific console or cellphone it is best to get someone with experience on that so they can get it done the fastest. On the other hand any programmer can learn another language and apply it fairly quickly, but you have to judge that on a case by case basis. A & B are both no win situations if the statements are true and we're put in this situation where we don't know the date the programmer is starting from.

I mean it July and you want it by next Valentines day. The code for such a game is probably not that long and easily programmed so saying you need it by Valentine's is more important than what language it's in.

On the other hand if it's only a week, or even a month before valentines day. A programmer who doesn't know the language would generate many more problems that couldn't be handled by the time it needed to be launched so in that case even though it would be important that deadline is in only, say, a month saying that you need the programmer for whatever language would be better I would think.

It also depends on the game's design. If I'm developing a game that is a romantic game or something of that nature that goes with valentine's day that it must absolutely be released then then it's important to say, but if not who cares, you can push it back.

On the programmer's side I'd think...

It's nice to know how long I'm committed for and it is definitely nice to have a schedule if i have other plans and I think I can fit this in. It tells me how long I have and further if the date is a long time off it tells me i can have input to the design and make sure everything's going alright, but it is also nice to know what language and what I will be developing for, though as I said above it's not too important if I have the time. If I don't know how, I can simply state that I don't know how to develop for that, but I'll learn.

On the other hand if both are true and time is short I would be annoyed that not being in the description, doubly so if i had to figure out a whole new program. And more than likely it would result in a bad partnership and a bad end product.

So I think the best option, I could only say 1, would be that I want it done by Valentine's day, mainly because it would lead to the least aggravation and those who couldn't develop for the console I wanted could be weeded out with the first question after while those with enough time can't be put back in the group. It's pretty basic logic when you think it out...


So my answer to you is A is what I'd put if I had to put only one of those.

I wonder if i got an A on the test :P

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Hi, I am sorry to disappoint you but my "Test" was only referring to:

"Could you tell the core concept in a sentence or a paragraph without using any adjective or figurative words? For example:

Tetris:
A 5-minute game on arranging shapes falling at increasing speed. "


I often refer to the comment where you could roughly tell whether a game design is worth working on if it still sounds interesting after all of its themes are stripped and the play time is attached to the description. So I was trying to test this concept by asking you to describe your game in a distilled sentence. I wanted to test whether there is a correlation when someone else other than myself came up with the description.

I didn't mean to "test" your ability. I was asking for help on something I wanted to verify.

Otherwise I think what you said about the three options were true. And if you were to post something on the Help Wanted part you would have to post pretty much all three. I think all three were quite important. I think the choice of programming language is important. I don't think that this is generally assumed: "any programmer can learn another language and apply it fairly quickly." Even if a programmer can learn another language, it doesn't mean that they want to do so for your project. Some programmers won't want to code in a certain language even if they know it. If the language is not important for the game design you could let the programmer pick. I don't have any more to say about the topic otherwise.

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According to the Game Design book I have, that I picked up years ago, that's written by Bob Bates, says that a game's high concept should tell you all about what someone will doing and such in a sentence or two.

Which I understand as time is important and the producers of games get tons of these things, but I also see a problem with it for someone that's a good writer and something like an RPG. I can write fairly long sentences and without background an RPG would seem to mundane and boring.

I also find it amusing that this would be the hardest genre to create a "high concept" for and it just so happens that the book doesn't give any sort of example for it. They give one for most of the others though.

BUT I can do that with just about everything...I just found I got bad grade for it and stopped doing it >.> after high school of course :D

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Quote:
If I'm new to game development and...
If I'm a writer, I can show you a script.
If I'm an artist, I can show an image I've drawn.
If I'm a programmer, I can show you a program I have made.
If I am a Game Designer, I can't do anything because the one way I can doesn't exist.


It sounds to me that you want to get a team together of people you don't know to work on your project and you want to somehow hold up your design skils to show you're serious and get them to follow you. Am I on the mark here? If so, Consider developing leadership skills by involving yourself in other people's projects and observing what works and what doesn't. If all you have are design skills then you are at a disadvantage for getting people volunteering time for your project. But if you can show that you have experience managing a team then you may have better luck. If you feel you have no hope of ever developing coding, writing, or drawing skills, then I might suggest taking a stab at quality assurance as a way of wiggling into a team and then see if they can involve you in some project management.

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Dura wrote:
>I can't tell you and I can't show you my experience as a world designer if I'm a beginner how do I get people that want see what I can do to work with me?

You've gone off on a tangent from my advice. Your OQ was what you should tell a prospective collaborator on an indy game project. My advice included that you tell him what your experience level is.

>I do that all the time, but that's really ineffective when someone goes, "what's your experience" and you say "come look at this game...this this and this is wrong"

No, you don't have to show anything. In your instance, the truthful answer to "what's your experience level" is "I'm a beginner. This'll be my first project." I said before, you have to be truthful if you want others to trust you. Because the truth is bound to come out.

>It might work for certain jobs

You went off on another tangent. Are you now talking about applying for a job? Because that's a very different matter, and a very large topic. Can't we stick to one question at a time? Still trying to get you the answer to your OQ.

>Which I understand as time is important and the producers of games get tons of these things

Here you were talking about "high concepts" - a short (one sentence or less) description of a game. Game designers and game producers are often asked to come up with short descriptions of the current game project. A designer and a producer always have to write one-sentence, one-paragraph, and one-page descriptions, targeted to a specific audience. It's all part of the process. But we've gone far afield from the OQ, and I don't know if you've yet understood the answer to that.

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Tom, the original question has not been moved away from, but stated differently.

As far as I can tell if you are a primarily looking to be a designer, you have no recourse whatsoever. If you say you are a beginner as a designer you are ignored. Which is understandable to a degree, but I think the current model of "if you want to be a game designer you have to be a programmer or something else first" is really stupid and it is why so many bad games exist. People who can do the job the best and focus on it are ignored and/or looked over for those who are primarily other things.

I do agree that a game designer should have other skills, but they shouldn't have that as their primary and then get promoted into it. It would be like


Anyways, as the text above is stated the answer to the question above is simply "go be something else first"

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Du wrote:
>As far as I can tell if you are a primarily looking to be a designer, you have no recourse whatsoever.

Then you haven't read very carefully. Nobody has told you that your goal of becoming a game designer is a hopeless Quixotic quest.

>If you say you are a beginner as a designer you are ignored.

You said you were a beginner as a designer. We have not ignored you.

>I think the current model of "if you want to be a game designer you have to be a programmer or something else first" is really stupid

You can whine and rant all you want. But whining and ranting is a complete waste of time. Better that you prepare to become a designer and make a realistic plan to become one.

>it is why so many bad games exist.

No. The reason for bad games is the way the business side of things works, and some publishers' willingness to release some games the way they are. It has absolutely nothing to do with the high barriers of entry that exist between every pie-in-the-sky game designer wannabe and the game designer job. If everybody that wanted to become a designer could become one easily, you'd see a lot more bad games than you do now.

>People who can do the job the best and focus on it are ignored and/or looked over for those who are primarily other things.

That's a fallacious argument based on your pouty mood. We get "idea whiners" all the time here. If you think you "can do the job the best," you have to back up that statement with proof. Show us a portfolio that knocks our socks off. If you don't have one yet, nobody's stopping you from making one.

>I do agree that a game designer should have other skills, but they shouldn't have that as their primary and then get promoted into it.

Not a well-worded argument, but I get your point. You don't get the point that the position of game designer carries a prerequisite of trust, built up from solid game industry experience. Since you can't break in as a game designer, you have to break in somewhere else, then build up that trust by dint of being a spectacular communicator, collaborator, and worker.

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Tom, I didn't say you told me it's a hopeless dream or that you ignored me. I said that if you say you are a beginner at being a designer without any former experience as a video game developer you won't get anywhere. I understand why but it doesn't make it right and it's not just the game industry that does this.

It's flawed and should be changed but that's unlikely to happen so instead of having someone great at what they do what you get is someone who is mediocre in a sub-field of what they want because they really don't care about doing it and mediocre in the field they want do to lack of experience and diversification. This, along with the other business stuff leads to bad games, and bad movies for that matter.

->You don't get the point that the position of game designer carries a prerequisite of trust, built up from solid game industry experience.

Actually, I do. I just think that "solid game industry experience" means jack when it means that creativity and good gameplay suffers which it does, because if it doesn't you could hold up a game and say this is a great game and have noone deny it. They might be able to say they don't like it but they couldn't claim it wasn't great and that is how every creative medium outside of games are.


This is the flow of this conversation...

me: I, as a designer, want to make a game and I want help to create said game. how do I get people to help?
others: Show a portfolio
me: I am new to making games
others: go make a game
me: that's what i'm trying to do
others: what can you do?
me: i can design, hence why i said i was the designer.
others: So show me your design
me: In what way?
others: got any games?
me: why would i as a beginner as a designer have any games?
others: why don't you go build a game for your portfolio?
me: because i don't know how to program at the level needed nor are my art skills at the level needed
others: why don't you go learn that?
me: why would I learn that and ask for you to help?


and your answer to that, Tom, was so that you trust me. You want me to go learn something that I am asking you to do for me AND if it is a trust issue well if I'm going to learn it then why don't I just do it myself because I trust myself more than I trust someone for all intents and purposes that can be justified wants me to do their job.

Do you go to your accountant, tell them to go do your job before you let them handle your money? No, because that is silly. And further would you ever expect an accountant to suddenly become a manager of a store simply because it has some commonality and overlap with being an accountant? No. This is what I see that people are doing with game design and it makes no sense, especially when you consider the the of mind set each one takes.


and this is not a rant or whining. If it were I'd use curse words and be a lot more hateful ^.^ I am trying figure out how to do something and your telling me to go do something else...and logically that make absolutely no sense.

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Re:

The story is different if you are talking about hiring a programmer to program your game concept. Otherwise, "programmers" have their own ideas to implement. It is not like programmers have the skill but ran out of game ideas.

A question that could be either essential or irrelevant:

Why is it essential that your game is a computer game? Why not a forum game, a board game, or a card game? Why is it essential that the result of your design is a game, instead of a movie, a book, or just a series of drawings?

[Edited by - Wai on December 27, 2008 9:22:49 PM]

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Du wrote:
>if you say you are a beginner at being a designer without any former experience as a video game developer you won't get anywhere.

That's not true. And we never said any such thing to you. You can get lots of places after having told some unknown person that you're a beginner. You can get to school. You can get involved in indy projects or mods. You can get to the next town via Greyhound bus, provided you have the moola. You can even get a job in QA. You exaggerate when you say "you won't get anywhere," and again... this is "whining."

>I understand why but it doesn't make it right

Again... this is "whining." Saying something is wrong with the world is pointless. I can think of a lot of other things that are worse about this world.

>I just think that "solid game industry experience" means jack

Well, since that's your solitary opinion, and the industry's opinion differs, and the industry's opinion is the one that applies, your opinion means "jack."

>me: I, as a designer, want to make a game and I want help to create said game. how do I get people to help?
>others: Show a portfolio

No, no, no. If you want to get others to help you collaborate on a first game, find other amateurs and try to get them to collaborate with you. You don't need no stinking portfolio before you make your first amateur collaboration. I don't know where you got that idea.

Your painting of the conversation to the present time got totally sidetracked right there with the "show a portfolio" bit, so the rest of your post is therefore moot. You misunderstood something along the way. You should go back and start over with a fresh question, perhaps in a fresh thread.

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-> You can get to school. You can get involved in indy projects or mods. You can get to the next town via Greyhound bus, provided you have the moola. You can even get a job in QA. You exaggerate when you say "you won't get anywhere," and again... this is "whining."


Again, your answer is go do something else.

No schools focus on design. They focus on things that lead to that career with a class or two in design. Give me the course listing of one school that doesn't do this and if you do I will pay the money to go there.

QA is not the same thing, despite what I said in another thread so don't even try to throw that at me :P

And money will get you anywhere, but it's a bit of a cheat and it harms the creative process. Rarely it doesn't.


-> Saying something is wrong with the world is pointless. I can think of a lot of other things that are worse about this world.

Knowing it's wrong and not trying your best to fix it is stupidity especially when it has to do with something you like that it is harming. Saying that talking about it won't change it shows a lack of historical knowledge.

Anyways, I'm going to stop posting in this particular thread as I see it will devolve from here if it goes on so I suggest just dropping it.

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