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Have assets and content created, looking for guidance with my programming team

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[background=#fafafa]Heyo, [/background]

[background=#fafafa]This may be the wrong place to ask this, and if so I kindly ask for your recommendation on where to ask this question. I have a dedicated team of animators who got together to make an app, ten in total. I also have two programmers who are using the UNREAL game engine to program the app we want to make. I had a third person who was going to take point on programming for the game, but he bailed. The two people I have left are capable, hardworking, and ambitious individuals; but we need some guidance. So here is what I am asking:[/background]

[background=#fafafa][recruitment wording deleted by moderator - see posting guidelines, http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/gdnethelp/gamedevnet-posting-guidelines-r2891] What we have is a level design, original assets, how we want the gameplay to go, maps, and all of that stuff. We are all college students doing this to grow in our skills and learn, [recruitment wording deleted] for when we are published at the end of Spring semester 2017. I have a marketing team who is going to help promote the app once we get it out, looking to have local papers pick up the story as well as other magazines. We are finalizing our website this month. [/background]

[background=#fafafa]Any advice or help is greatly appreciated, [deleted by mod] [/background]

[background=#fafafa]Cheers[/background] Edited by Tom Sloper
recruitment wording deleted - use Hobby Project Classifieds for recruiting

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Just have your programmers ask questions here, very few people are going to find interest in helping you guys for free, but we well absolutly help out if you/they have questions about how to go about implementing certain aspects of a game, so don't wait to be told what to do, instead ask what the best way might be to do something.   you are also college students, why don't you ask your professors to check over things and ask questions to them? 

Edited by slicer4ever

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@slicer4ever

 

I totally agree that personal initiative is key to the success of any project, and if I were the programmer for this basic game I would be asking questions. As far as teachers go, they don't really teach game design and programming, so it is an extracurricular pursuit. I'm just trying to figure out how to encourage the team to get that initiative and thought an external influence would help with that, as it would not be a friend to friend interactions. Thank you so much for you reply, I appreciate the time you took to help me process through our next step. I will point them towards these kinds of forums. 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

 

Cheers! 

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I'm just trying to figure out how to encourage the team to get that initiative

 

some folks have it [initiative] some folks don't.  them that do, will, them that don't - will eventually become a liability not an asset to the team.

 

you really need it [initiative] in spades to be a good gamedev. else you're never be "gone gold".

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Maybe instead you should be asking what would be good to know for you to be the project's team leader. Since you already have an interest in the project, presumably you'll care more about its success than a random person from the internet.
 

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Maybe instead you should be asking what would be good to know for you to be the project's team leader. Since you already have an interest in the project, presumably you'll care more about its success than a random person from the internet.
 

 

That's probably unfeasible unfortunately.  I'm not trying to imply that McAwesome isn't capable of learning how to do it, but the sheer amount of time it would take is the problem.  The others in the group are likely to lose interest while they wait for him to learn and develop the skills required.

 

edit: I just noticed there's a deadline as well, so there's definitely not enough time to learn.

Edited by LennyLen

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Thanks for your responses and time! 

 

@Norman Barrows, I just wish there are more people who engage and take initiative! What you say is true. 

 

@Kesh, leadership cannot micromanage and do everything, that is not a healthy system for sustained growth. I love figuring things out, but I cannot at this point commit to learning everything. I am a producer and director and have already done internships in LA and have more lined up for this summer. I need to focus on my strengths, but if I had time yet I would totally dig into this side of things for myself. Thanks for your input, I do value it. 

 

@Lenny Len, Thanks for your reply and input man! 

 

And Merry Christmas to you all! 

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Just have your programmers ask questions here


Actually, programmers should ask their questions in one of our technical forums - probably For Beginners.

I am a producer and director and have already done internships in LA


You can ask questions about producing and managing in the Production/Management forum.

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Based on what I can read between the lines here, it sounds like the real dilemma is a project management problem.

Here's how I see it:
1) Your two programmers are going to be the backbone of the project. They're only two people, so they're going to be the bottleneck which limits the speed of progress. That makes them the MVP's of the team. Generally, with a "real life" project, you'd have your programmers go through and create a working prototype of the game. They'd make the skeleton and test it out, and you'd skip all of the art production until you have the core game mechanics in place. How long it takes to create these mechanics depends entirely on your programmers.

2) 13 animators and artists? That's a lot... That means you have a 13:2 artist to programmer ratio. With 13 artists, I would expect some turn over and people quitting the project. Be prepared for at least 1-2 people quitting. Also, that's going to mean that someone needs to manage them all. 

3) nobody is getting paid, right? So, that's going to be a huge, huge risk for the project. There is no compelling incentive for anyone to continue working on the project if they just don't feel like it anymore. So, they'll work for 1-2 months and start bailing on you. Maybe you can afford to lose a few artists since you have 13, but you cannot afford to lose your two programmers. If the programmers abandon ship, the whole project is in danger of failure.

4) There was a hint at a deadline, but no mention of project scope and timelines. Please, please, please, make sure that you work on an under scoped, achievable project for the timeline and staffing resources you have available, for the sake of everyones first game dev experience on the team. It's better to deliver a 100% complete tiny game than get 50% done and then abandon the project because its too big. This will require a hard assessment of your programmers abilities and past experience. If they've never made a game before, producing a game like asteroids or space invaders would be sufficiently challenging.

5) Personally, I wouldn't spend a minute worrying about marketing right now. It's a distraction and tends to make people feel important before they've even done anything -- that's not quite good. Focus on the production of the game, and when you get to 90%, then focus on promotion. Oh, by the way... 90% complete is really 50% complete because the last 10% takes 50% of the total project time. ... you are accounting for schedule overruns, right? 

6) The learning curve for UE4 and your programmers learning to program a game is going to cost about 3 months of time to become 100% proficient.

7) Who will maintain the project after release? How will revenues be collected and distributed?

Anyways, I would spend 2-3 days right now going over the feasibility of the project and doing risk assessments and working out risk mitigation strategies. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure :) Don't get 3 months into the project and find out that it's not possible to complete it with your resources (time, money, skills, team).

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