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appdev

Where to find advanced freelance game programmers ?

10 posts in this topic

I just started a new app games company, and i'm having a hard time finding the right programmer to work on our games. The games that we're making are a bit complex when it comes to programming.

 

I've tried Elance, guru and odesk, but with no luck.

 

Any idea where i can find programmers who have the skill to work on app games that are on the higher end when it comes to programming complexity ?

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This is not a Breaking In question (you're not looking for a job in the game industry), so I'm moving this to Production/Management.

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As you keep saying "app", I assume you're talking about mobile (iOS/Android) games.

 

Most of the really good ones band together and start companies.  I know a few, but their typical project STARTS at a 6-digit price tag (US dollars).

 

Right now there is a lot of money to be made in porting stuff to mobile apps.  Demand is high, and experienced quality developers are already gainfully employed.

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appdev,

You should probably post a paid job ad on one of the jobs websites, like CreativeHeads, CoolGameJobs, etc. And on the Classifieds here, too, of course.

Edited by Tom Sloper
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Offshore may be considered "cheap" by people with no knowledge of offshore software development, but you also get what you pay for.. and I think you just found that out.

 

I want to help you, but I'm confused by you saying you cant find anybody. There is a lot of people who want to code in games that have the skills,.  Unless of course, your trying to underpay them? That is the typical thing I see when people say they "cant find anybody".  Its not that we don't exist  its that we have a lot of options so getting our attention is very hard if you wrongfully expect to be cheap about it.  And please understand that I do not say this to be rude or anything; I'm just trying to educate you on the facts.  Unlike other industries where people are lucky to get a job, IT and Higher End Software doesn't have the problems another type of job have as the amount of people available still does not exceed the available positions for them to fill, so companies try to hang on to the ones they have even if work slight in order to mitigate the future risk of not having anybody who can do the work.

 

This is why if you want to keep your talent - or even get it in the first place - you are going to have to be willing to give them what they want.

 

The good news for you is that this does not always mean sackfuls of money.  You could try profit sharing , vested equity, free food, full medical perks (Although even MS had to make their medical benefits worse to comply with recent new laws), flexible hours, working from home, or any number of other things.  What are you trying now?

Edited by HonestDuane
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appdev,

You should probably post a paid job ad on one of the jobs websites, like CreativeHeads, CoolGameJobs, etc. And on the Classifieds here, too, of course.

 

Sorry for posting in the wrong place, and i appreciate the input, thanks.

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Offshore may be considered "cheap" by people with no knowledge of offshore software development, but you also get what you pay for.. and I think you just found that out.

 

I want to help you, but I'm confused by you saying you cant find anybody. There is a lot of people who want to code in games that have the skills,.  Unless of course, your trying to underpay them? That is the typical thing I see when people say they "cant find anybody".  Its not that we don't exist  its that we have a lot of options so getting our attention is very hard if you wrongfully expect to be cheap about it.  And please understand that I do not say this to be rude or anything; I'm just trying to educate you on the facts.  Unlike other industries where people are lucky to get a job, IT and Higher End Software doesn't have the problems another type of job have as the amount of people available still does not exceed the available positions for them to fill, so companies try to hang on to the ones they have even if work slight in order to mitigate the future risk of not having anybody who can do the work.

 

This is why if you want to keep your talent - or even get it in the first place - you are going to have to be willing to give them what they want.

 

The good news for you is that this does not always mean sackfuls of money.  You could try profit sharing , vested equity, free food, full medical perks (Although even MS had to make their medical benefits worse to comply with recent new laws), flexible hours, working from home, or any number of other things.  What are you trying now?

 

I think i didn't make my self clear enough, my problem is not money, i don't want cheap labor, what i want is quality work, im looking for a programmer who has all the "know hows" in developing a game, and preferably someone who is also a gamer.

 

Believe me when i tell you I've gotten tons of quotations from offshore freelancers or agencies, but most of them don't have the proper skill set to develop a quality game, they all tend to work with a factory mindset, where the main goal is to develop as much apps as possible while maintaining a low cost.

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I think i didn't make my self clear enough, my problem is not money, i don't want cheap labor, what i want is quality work, im looking for a programmer who has all the "know hows" in developing a game, and preferably someone who is also a gamer.

 

ah yes, They are a rare species aren't they? Those who were born to be a gamedev.

you'll find them in four places:

1. working at a game company

2. running their own game company (like me)

3. out of the industry due to disenfranchisement caused by the rise of the mass market games industry (IE disgust with non-hardcore games, gamers, and development companies).

4. still in school or not yet in the industry. but they won't have the skill set (yet).

 

one possibility might be a recent grad from one of the schools like Full Sail.

 

what skill set / mind set specifically are you looking for?

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I think i didn't make my self clear enough, my problem is not money, i don't want cheap labor, what i want is quality work, im looking for a programmer who has all the "know hows" in developing a game, and preferably someone who is also a gamer.

 

ah yes, They are a rare species aren't they? Those who were born to be a gamedev.

you'll find them in four places:

1. working at a game company

2. running their own game company (like me)

3. out of the industry due to disenfranchisement caused by the rise of the mass market games industry (IE disgust with non-hardcore games, gamers, and development companies).

4. still in school or not yet in the industry. but they won't have the skill set (yet).

 

one possibility might be a recent grad from one of the schools like Full Sail.

 

what skill set / mind set specifically are you looking for?

 

It's not something i can point at directly, but for example i want a programmer who can understand me when i tell him i want you to imitate the movement of this "X" character from  "Y" game... and he would get me right away.

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It's not something i can point at directly, but for example i want a programmer who can understand me when i tell him i want you to imitate the movement of this "X" character from  "Y" game... and he would get me right away.

 

OK, your looking for a coder, who's a gamer, who plays the type of game your building, and is familiar with the existing titles out there.

 

Such things certainly do exist.   the coder part is that hard to meet criteria.    a gamer coder with gamedev experience won't be cheap.   But as you said, you have a decent sized war chest for the project.

 

I would recommend advertising on career oriented gamedev sites like gammasutra. sample copy something along the lines of:

 

"experienced gamedev coder wanted. skilled in (list technologies / techniques). passionate about (whatever) type games, such as (list your titles you want them to be familiar with here). Generous compensation for the correct candidate."

 

when you interview them, talk about games, as that's the common knowledge base you share. this will let you get a good feel for whether they have the passion you seek. Sounds like you need to talk to some tech guys, or simply ask online here, to learn what the technologies/techniques are that "make character X in game Y" behave that way. That way you'll be able to tell if they can fulfill the technical requirements of the position.

 

Remember, when building games, its what you don't know how to do that you need to worry about, all the rest is just going through the motions. To the greatest extent possible, you should figure out how your going to do everything in the game and the required technologies and techniques to do that. This will give you a shopping list for coder skills you need to add to your team. When you interview candidates, focus on whether you think they can figure out the stuff they don't already know. Obviously, if you find someone with the full skill set, hire them, short of that, favor fast learners and innovative types.

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