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Liana

Hi everyone! - said the complete beginner

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Hi! ^_^

I've been working on the flowchart, game description, all graphics and sounds for an iOS (and hopefully Android) app.
I haven't been able to find answers to my questions on the net, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not even sure what search terms to use.

Maybe you guys can help me. ^_^

Please bear in mind, that I know nothing about programming. :(

Here are my questions:

1.) What format do I need to have my graphics in, so a programmer won't run away laughing when he looks at my project?

2.) Same question goes for sounds (both music and sound effects) and animations.

3.) If my game contains a few 3D elements, what format do they need to be in (I assume .obj, but I have no clue), and what about their textures?

4.) What else can I do to make the programmer's time as easy as possible regarding programming my game.
Here I assumed that programmers must be tired of people coming to them with no layouts of any kind, and starting with "Hey, I thought of this awesome game last night, can you make it?".
So I wrote a complete game description, almost finished with an all-scenario encompassing flowchart (this includes gameplay, menu navigation, backend, frontend, etc...), and am making all visual and audio arts as well.
Hopefully this will cut down on programming time, as well as keep frustration levels low.

How am I doing so far?

Thanks in advance for the help!

I'll probably remember a few more things tomorrow, but then I'll update this thread.

Nice to meet you all!

~ Liana

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1) A programming isn't wondering if your file format is silly, per se. They're wondering "Can I edit the image? Does the image contain the data needed (transparency/alpha channel/etc.)? Can I open the format in common tools (Paint, Gimp, Photoshop)? Is the image in a lossless compression format (so data isn't lost every time I edit and save)?"

2) Same for music, sounds and animation.

3) Yep.

Most of the common tools can open all the common formats, so in short, just pick one.

4) Pay them. Or start an open-source project (You'll loose a lot of control over the project, but you won't have to pay anyone).

It sounds harsh, but:

Yes, we all love to program. But all (most?) of us are busy on our own awesome projects. We don't have time to program every project random people want us to do - And if we tried, we'd never get anything done. So, the average programming greets any request along the lines of "Can you make my game for me?" about the same way you'd react to "I want you to create a portfolio for me. For free. And you have no clue who I am. But my idea is awesome."

Now for the good news:

You've done all the preliminary design work. If you're willing to share equally, you might attract a few programmers to your start-up. But like open-source, it'll no longer be just yours. Or even mostly yours.

If that's what you're planning, great. Otherwise...Don't be surprised if there's a lack of enthusiasm. :)

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1.) What format do I need to have my graphics in, so a programmer won't run away laughing when he looks at my project?

3.) If my game contains a few 3D elements, what format do they need to be in (I assume .obj, but I have no clue), and what about their textures?

For images you should use some kind of lossless-compression or uncompressed file format. Therefor artist often like TGAs, but PNG will do the job too, try to avoid jpg, because this will introduce compression artifacts.

For models/meshes you should use some kind of standard format. Wavefront-object (.obj) is very simple, but enough for textures, static meshes. Then there's .fbx and collada for more advanced models (i.e. including animation data).



4.) What else can I do to make the programmer's time as easy as possible regarding programming my game.

Well... cash, to be honest.



Here I assumed that programmers must be tired of people coming to them with no layouts of any kind, and starting with "Hey, I thought of this awesome game last night, can you make it?".
So I wrote a complete game description, almost finished with an all-scenario encompassing flowchart (this includes gameplay, menu navigation, backend, frontend, etc...), and am making all visual and audio arts as well.
Hopefully this will cut down on programming time, as well as keep frustration levels low.

It is hard to write down your requirements in a good way, when you never have worked in this context. Nowadays many small teams (and large coporations too) work with an agile development process, that is , you don't need to write as much as possible down (because most of this will never see the light of day), it is more important to get the basic/core ideas to paper and develop the program in coporation with your development team.

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Thank you so much for the reply! happy.png

Of course I would pay the programmer. smile.png I do a lot of art work, so I know what it's like when someone comes up to you and asks "Hey, could you design/draw/model this for me, you know, for FUN?" *giggle*

I was mostly wondering about how I need to get things ready to discuss with potential programmers, so that they don't run away screaming "OMG noob" when they see my plans and ideas biggrin.png

One more question I thought of:

How does it get decided what is used in regards to putting the game together?

I've heard of Unity 3D, let's say the programmer wants to use that. Would I have to buy the program for the programmer, or would he already have it?
If he doesn't have it, how would I know if what he uses will do the job properly?
Or, since it's a iOS game, would he HAVE to use their SDK (?) and that's it?

Let me elaborate on a theory here smile.png

If I were to make a game that is comparative to someone looking at an aquarium. The background is the inserted piece of plastic at the back of the aquarium, depicting whatever (so it's 2D). Your characters are the fish running around inside (3D). That's a mix of a 3D and 2D programming job, right?
If a programmer were to program fish swimming about in this aquarium, is that considered a big job, or a small job?
(Sorry, this is the best comparative I could come up with, haha).

Please please keep in mind, that I know nothing about programming, so if I say something dumb, I don't mean to offend anyone smile.png

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You have to differentiate between tools and engines. Unity is an engine which you need to get your game running. So you need to buy any license which is needed to get it running (thought unity has some free licenses). So, first you need to choose an engine (or write your own one), because you need to pay the bill eventually. But as already said, many engines has atleast a restricted, free license available.


If I were to make a game that is comparative to someone looking at an aquarium. The background is the inserted piece of plastic at the back of the aquarium, depicting whatever (so it's 2D). Your characters are the fish running around inside (3D). That's a mix of a 3D and 2D programming job, right?
[/quote]
Well... you have some art skills, why not draw some concepts ? Pictures are telling more than 1000 words, right ? What games are comparable ? From some post-mortoms I've read, I would guess that small games (iPhone games) are doable for 50k-80k & 4-12 month , smaller indie games (magika ?) for around 300k-500k & 12-24 month.

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@Ashaman: Thanks for the infos! :)
I do have concept art somewhere on my external HDD, I'll dig them out (hopefully today). ^_^

I can't really say comparative games, as I've not seen or played anything similar yet.

Wow so 50k-80k! Do programmers work for a per hour wage, or a per project/overall fee?

I do have another project that's pretty similar to the game Robot Unicorn Attack (it's 2D, graphics, flowchart, design, etc are all done, just need a programmer to put it together :D). How would that go over with regards to programming time and cost?

Again, sorry for my ignorance on what I feel like are completely basic knowledge. wink.png ph34r.png

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If you can do all the game art then you may be able to find a programmer willing to split profits 50 : 50. I wouldn't recommend hiring a freelancer for your first project since you wouldn't really know what you're doing, and you'll most likely lose all the money.

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I Am Not A Lawer, This Is Opinion:

1) Have a contract.
2) Have a solid contract.
3) Have a contract that spells out:
3a) Exactly the work to be done.
3b) Exactly what you will provide.
3c) The process by which the work may be modified, and the extent.
3d) The process by which the contract will be arbitrated.
3e) The compensation for the work as defined initially.
3f) A process for determining compensation for any modifications (at this point I can guess you've had people say things like "I know this is what I asked for, but can you just change it like this (for free)?").
4) Make sure you look over (on the internet, not just any website they give you, but you probably know that ;) ) the history of all potential programmers for hire.
5) Read up on programming itself. You should know enough to tell if you're being sold unreliable information.

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I have tried to look at programming, and I didn't even know where to start, to be honest.

So many different languages....
What should I look at to learn about programming for the iOS (Android too, but iOS for starters)?
I don't even know what kind of language people use for that, and what a typical programmer's workflow is like.

I looked into learning programming, but it feels very overwhelming, and between doing great graphics, sounds, menus, music, designs, QA and bug testing PLUS programming, it would sap the living life out of me to do it all myself. Especially that I highly doubt I could learn any sort of programming sufficiently enough within a relatively short period of time, to complete all the work by myself.

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I have tried to look at programming, and I didn't even know where to start, to be honest.

So many different languages....
What should I look at to learn about programming for the iOS (Android too, but iOS for starters)?
I don't even know what kind of language people use for that, and what a typical programmer's workflow is like.

I looked into learning programming, but it feels very overwhelming, and between doing great graphics, sounds, menus, music, designs, QA and bug testing PLUS programming, it would sap the living life out of me to do it all myself. Especially that I highly doubt I could learn any sort of programming sufficiently enough within a relatively short period of time, to complete all the work by myself.

True, and I didn't suggest you do it all yourself - just to get a high-level overview, so you can tell if you're getting a snow job. :)

You could also just interview some programmers and ask us questions about stuff you don't understand. At this point, I'm at the limit of my knowledge; I've never hired a programmer. :)

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