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How do I find a team?

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All right, so my goal is to do this as simply and straightforward as possible, but while getting the most valid advice I can. So please bear with me through a short preface. It's just to ensure that I get what I need rather than misinformed advice [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

I'm a game designer. I mean that in the sense that I've made quite a few actual, tangible, playable games. Much to my ego's joy, they've all gotten almost universal praise from the people who've played them as well, being called interesting, deep, and above all fun. The problem, as I see it, is that up until this point I've only made board games. I'm a huge fan of them, and there's nothing wrong with them, but I would love to make something a level more complex and enter the world of making video games.

The biggest hurdle between that goal and myself is the question of manpower. I'm an avid participator at events such as the Global Game Jam and other local jams that happen around my town, so I've had the opportunity to work on video games before. However, these game creation jams always have a time constraint on them and of the other participants that I've approached, I can't find anyone who is able to dedicate extra time to a project outside of school or work.

[b]Thus my question: How do I find a team of people in order to make a project come to life?[/b]

I'm the sort of person who wouldn't dream of asking something of others if I had nothing to bring to the table. I'm an artist and animator, and am capable of 2D and 3D animation. I have a vague idea of how programming works, and can think in terms of variables, systems, functions and so on. I also used to play piano, can read music, and have done professional sound editing before. But i'm not gifted at any of these things, I only have enough experience and understanding to get by. Certainly not enough to make a fully functional video game. But when it comes to design, that's what I do best. And not the "idea-man" design that a lot of people think game design is about - I'm talking about that tedious design where you play test that one section, dissecting everything wrong with it, until at last you find what makes it just a little bit more fun.

So when I can't offer any financial reimbursement, or any design portfolio short of mailing someone hand made board games, how would you advise I find artists, programmers, and musicians who are willing to say, "What the hell, i'll hear you out." Edited by Vartivas

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the search function is your friend. must be the third thread of the week with the same questions.

The answer is always the same: if you want to make videogames, start making videogames.

Think about it this way.. the typical game programmer has all the skills you claim you have and, ON THE TOP OF THAT, they also can actually make games! Why on earth would they stop chasing their own idea and dedicate months of hard work to you?

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I don't think this topic is like the two before. He is 2D & 3D artist and did professional sound editing. This alone makes him a tasty target for recruitment :)

I think you would make a decent supporting team member (acquiring and editing sounds, making some additional graphics). But I don't think they will take you as the main game designer, althrough you can be almost sure to be in a position where your voice would be heard and you would take a part in the design process (they would let you do the design part as a "payment" :)). Now the question is how much are you into pure game design vs making other things that are needed. If you are fine with being an artist primarily and do the design part as an addition you don't have to do much, just look for a team and they most likely will take you (provide the art portfolio through). If you want to do primarily design, things are more complex.

Right now, you don't have the experience to be the leading videogame designer (boardgames are different than videogames in several aspects), you seem to understand the core of the game design, but not the specifices of the videogames yet (especially the things unrelated to design, like teamwork, dealing with programmers, etc). I would recommend to become a non designer in a videogames team (if you were to become a designer right now you will most likely lead the game to the doom), once you get hand of what videogames devlopment is you could start your tame and make a game you wish. Also, in the meantime I would publish a boardgame, being a published boardgame designer would give you a credibility in the eyes in the team (they will be the ones who know more about making videogames but you would be the one who knows more about actually selling a game, that's a big plus).

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I agree with Acharis on some of his points. You probably won't have much luck starting out as a pure designer. You'll need to start with a more tangible (for lack of a better word) skill, like art. Many starting game developers, like myself, are willing to let team members participate in designing the game in exchange for bringing missing skill sets into the group. For example, I'm a programmer and just earned my bachelor's degree. Now I'm starting to work on my first "official" game project as an indie developer (in my free time after work.) I met a couple people at school who also want to make games. They both bring in art skills that I don't have. One of them is also a programmer. I'm happy to involve them in design or whatever other aspects of the projects they want, simply because I'll never get it done without them. So my recommendation would be to find a team (even just one) of reasonable people to work with and just start making connections. If you're good at what you want to do, people will see that. You'll meet people who will want to work with you again in the future. And that's when you can start putting together a team. Even two people can make decent games if they bring the right skills together.

If you want to go straight to some kind of pure designer position, things will be more difficult. But I think your board game experience can be a big help. If your games are attractive, fun, easy to learn, and mechanically sound, smart people will understand how you can bring those same qualities to video games. But even then, you'll have a hard time finding people without having worked with them before. Everyone has to start somewhere.

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Indeed, thank you all. I'm generally not a big forum goer, and this is one of my first posts seeking help, so I would like to address each person individually.

For Kunos, the search function is the best. I love it an use it often, and if there's any legitimate reason why I have never really been an active forum user it's because, often, someone has already asked my questions before. During my OP this morning, two topics down was a post on the exact same [i]subject[/i] and I was keenly aware of that. A thorough reading of my post and my hopeful intentions should have shown that I [b]specifically[/b] made this post because I couldn't find the answer anywhere. My question was this:

How do I find a team?

It wasn't how do I make video games, how do i get into the industry, how do I learn how to program, or anything like that. It was about something much more subtle, and from my experience, something much more important - it was regarding how I make connections when I can't seem to find any viable local ones?

That being said, and moving on to the next posts, I feel Acharis and Suspense were more close. They spoke of credit, and that to be a part of a team was plausible though being a lead designer was not. As I hoped I had touched on, i'm aware that the role of designer, especially lead designer, is one that requires a serious form of validation in order to get. Because I know, currently, I don't have that, I've done my best to become proficient in as many other skills as possible so that I can simultaneously improve my design skills as well as offering valid and good input in almost any field that needs my help.

Art is my forte, animation specifically, as it's what I have a college background in. My goal isn't to work at EA, Ubisoft, or Blizzard. My goal, at least the first step in achieving my goals, is working for a small fun group that WILL get something done. I want to complete projects, and make connections with some people who are aware that I intend to be a designer and that design is my strongest trait.

I liked Acharis' comment about getting a board game published. It's actually something that had never even occurred to me, but if I claim to be good at game design then surely a publisher would be a good test of that. And, worst case scenario, all I would lose is time. I was also pleased by Suspense's story, because it gives me hope that finding a small, driven, fun group is more possible than I may think.

But I have to critique all of your posts for being off topic. Quoting Suspense: [size=4][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif"]"[/font][left][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]So my recommendation would be to find a team (even just one) of reasonable people to work with and just start making connections." This was exactly my question - I've tried doing this locally with other people who are interested in games, but none of them are able to commit time to a project. Please note that here and in my original post I never said [/color][/font][b]my[/b][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif"][color="#282828"] project, I intentionally and specifically used the term [/color][/font][b][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]a project[/color][/font][/b][/background][/left][/size][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][color=#282828][left][background=rgb(250, 251, 252)].[/background][/left][/color][/font]

[left][font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]Perhaps, for the sake of those who have already responded or may respond in the future, I should as more specific questions:[/color][/font][/left]

[left][color=#282828][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Should I make posts in the classifieds section of this website looking for work / offering projects to work on?[/font][/color][/left]
[left]Should I print ads in newspapers here in town in order to try and find the local game devs I've been unsuccessful with so far?[/left]
[left]Should I randomly hope that if I go though enough people on chatroulette I will find the people to lead/become part of a team?[/left]


[left]I quote myself:[/left]

[left]"How do I find a team of people in order to make a project come to life?"[/left]

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You need to specify, do you want to find:
a) a team in which you will be the game designer deciding what kind of game you all are making
b) a team where you will do as you are told, whatever it is, in order to make a game as designed by the designer which is not you
because these are completely different things and require completely different approaches.

If you want b) then it's rather trivial. You just google "we are making a game and looking for an artist" or look through random forums (especially the forums for coders, they constantly look for artists) and you will instantly find numerous of such offers.

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Proof of skill.

Setting your games up in the same style as this reviewers youtube channel, for your own games: [url="http://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower"]http://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower[/url] Even with the guy not being a game designer(pastor actually) I'm confident he would bring some interesting insight.

Getting your art and writing online.

Getting yourself other places like deviant art would be pretty helpful, maintaining a blog can help as well, and just being places(like game jams, and online). Essentially you want to get to the point you're not an unknown stranger.

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Now that's useful. To answer Acharis, i'm looking to fill either role. Interestingly enough, this post alone has garnered some attention through private messages from this site, and it's very exciting indeed. Both through offers for art specific jobs as well as those offering influence on design as well.

What's been most fascinating though is the niches available through the internet. At the 2012 Global Game Jam in my city, we attracted roughly 30 people. I would say about 70% of them were coders, the rest artists. So, from this group that was interested enough in game creation to come to an event, none were able to do outside projects. In the grand scheme of things, 30 people isn't very many.

However, when considering the number of people on the internet, odds truly are higher it seems for you to get your voice heard. What this experience has taught me is that you have to talk first. That all being said, I would like to take all that I've seen and heard from you guys (in a single day no less) and redirect back into the forums as a bit of advice. Luckily, Lithos phrased it perfectly:

"Essentially, you want to get to the point where you're not an unknown stranger."

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to respond, because you did show me a few valuable things and now I know more of what I need to do in order to get ahead. With any luck I may be a colleague in the future, and I hope to hear from you all as much as you'll end up hearing from me :)


As a last sort of shameless bit of self advertising, if you read anything that peaked your interest about me, please feel free to send me a message.

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[quote name='Vartivas' timestamp='1335667491' post='4935741']
As a last sort of shameless bit of self advertising, if you read anything that peaked your interest about me, please feel free to send me a message.
[/quote]

You must use the Classifieds for that kind of shameless recruiting.

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