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How to Hire Freelance Programmers?

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Not sure if this is the right forum for this question and topic, so, sorry in advance if I'm off.

I'm an illustrator and a  senior in college, and I'll be graduating in december. I'm building a portfolio for concept art and game asset design, with emphasis for ios games, and thats how I hope to be fully supporting myself in one year's time.

I want to start hiring freelance programmers to help me make my first fully fledged game, and I'm not sure how to go about it. I don't know where to look for programmers who would be willing to help me make a game engine or a functional user interface or what have you. From what I know about how not to be a bad client, I figure the best thing to do would be to say, for example, "I need a game engine that revolves around side scrolling and uses X ammount of buttons, how much would this cost you to do and how much time?"

Where's the best place to start looking for freelance indie programmers? How much should I expect to pay for services? How much information should I know to ask for beforehand? I know next to nothing about how to hire a programmer, and google doesn't really tell me much about it, so if you guys know anything, I'd love to hear it.

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I'm an illustrator and a  senior in college, and I'll be graduating in december. ...
I want to start hiring freelance programmers to help me make my first fully fledged game


Why? What are you going to do with the game once they've programmed it? Do you have a lot of money?

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Everything about funding and publishing a game is something I've slowly been piecing together how to do for some time now. I know it can and probably will cost me thousands of dollars to pay someone just to program, say, an engine, but it's something I need to learn how to approach. When I finish the game I'd like to sell it on steam, if only because I know it's the most indie friendly venue to sell through, but I'm trying to find ways to keep it open for, say, selling it on Xbox's Marketplace. I'm interested in and have been practicing with understanding the Unity Engine, which I understand is applicable to all platforms. I also know steam wouldn't really put a game made by a novice indie developer on their list unless it had already proven itself through a different store thing, so I'm still studying different strategies on how to go about it.

I don't have terribly much money to my name right now, but it's not impossible for me to save money. I'm trying to gauge just how much I should be setting aside to give to programmers when it comes time for me to worry about paying for services. Is there anything else you'd like to or need to know? I'm here to learn.

EDIT: Just noticed your website Sloperama has entire sections and articles all about how to teach people to get into the game business! I'm definitely going to be reviewing what you've written here. Was this thread too vague and open of a question?

Edited by benlchristianson

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I'm trying to gauge just how much I should be setting aside to give to programmers when it comes time for me to worry about paying for services. Is there anything else you'd like to or need to know? ... Was this thread too vague and open of a question?


The main problem with the question is that it assumes we understand what you're trying to do, and why. Most of the time, cost questions get moved to Business. While producers also have to worry about cost (since they have to write budgets), it's the business owner who has to cough up the money. So I might move this to Business, since what you're doing is planning a business (not just planning to produce a game).

An American developer charges somewhere around $10,000 per man-month. That covers not only salary but also office expense and the cost of running a business. Depending on the scope of your game, it could take a minimum of 3 months for the smallest simplest mobile or web game, up to a year and a half. Now I feel like I'm just saying the same thing I said to somebody else within the past few days on the Business forum. I'm moving this to Business, and I'll go find the link to that thread and add it to this. Edited by Tom Sloper
tone improvements

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Thanks Tom! I'll be sure to review this information and come back with a bit more intelligible of a question. Frankly I'm just glad to finally be able to find a solid resource for learning this stuff.

Edited by benlchristianson

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