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Programmer Wanted - Someone Who Is Tired Of Nonsense

This is a discussion on Programmer Wanted - Someone Who Is Tired Of Nonsense within the Projects and Job Recruitment forums, part of the Community Boards category; My name is Jonathan White. My education is in art and design . I'm a right brained person trained left ...

  1. #1
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    Programmer Wanted - Someone Who Is Tired Of Nonsense

    My name is Jonathan White. My education is in art and design. I'm a right brained person trained left brained. I'm having a hard time finding work and have had closed doors after closed doors. I'm tired. I'm disheartened. I'm embarrassed. I just want to work in games without all the nonsense, people bailing on projects and the like.


    I'm looking for one programmer. Just one. I don't want a fleet of people working because that is a disaster waiting to happen. Been down that road. So, I need one person who is:


    -Capable of building an engine. 2D sprites, particles, weight(?), UI, gameplay, simple enemy AI... the works. We're making a game after all. If it makes sense to bring on more people in the future, we will.
    -Good at commenting code
    -Collaborating and communicating over Skype/e-mail/other services. We'll be sharing phone numbers as well, most likely.
    -Ready to commit. This doesn't have to be full time work, but I expect you to take it seriously. Working on it occasionally is not sufficient. I don't know how long it will take. There will be a lot of frustrations, blood, sweat, and tears. We may not have anything for months but we're smart (you're smarter than me), committed, we're going to have milestones, a business model, keep one another in check. You're through screwing around and you're ready to commit for yourself and your career. You're ready to make this a portion of your life. Not just an hour here and there.
    -Honest and have integrity.
    -You can visualize things in your mind fairly well.


    Bonus points if you:
    -Tend to like competitive, cooperative, team games, or otherwise games that don't spoon feed you victory.
    -Tend to like retro style graphics, 2D art, but you also play newer games as well. You're a farily well rounded gamer.
    -Can take criticisms well. Same with me. If you think something should be changed, you're not afraid to say something.
    -Played cooperative games, understand concepts like the trinity and action based combat.
    -Can do "network stuff". This will be a cooperative game.
    -Have experience with scheduling, management, and have good people skills
    -You can write. Totally optional, but would be cool.


    The project will be in sections. We will discuss the first milestone. Once we reach it, we can assess where we are, how we feel, etc. It will be equal ownership of the project's assets.


    If you're interested, my e-mail is my user name @gmail.com or my Skype name is "xflopjack". Serious inquires only. I can't stress this enough. Do not be that guy who is excited for a few weeks then suddenly isn't heard from again. I'm not trying to be mean, I would love to hear from all of you and chill out and eat pizza, but I can't. I love pizza though.


    We'll discuss the details and we can figure out if we're a good fit and if you're interested.

  2. #2
    Registered User ledow's Avatar
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    What, precisely, are you bringing to the table for someone who fits your requirements? If someone can do all that, what do you offer that they can't find elsewhere or couldn't do themselves?

    I've been through any number of game projects, since I was a teenager over 15 years ago, and without doubt the death of almost all of them was a lack of programming, not a lack of design, or artwork, or direction, or ideas. In fact, the projects that succeeded best used the art assets of existing games (e.g. game recreations of old classics) or didn't care about the artwork at all, followed designs of existing games or simple, obvious tweaks of such, and were pushed through by code, not by ideas. In fact, the abandonment of fantastical ideas was usually the key driver in actually getting the code out to the public.

    Every single programmer in the world has a bucket of ideas of games that they could write. Every single games-playing teenager has at least one. The trick is in the execution, not the concept (although, it has to be said, a good concept can go far coupled with the right people - but the right people will make it go far even without some flashy new concept anyway). As such, the programmer you seek - why would they work on your project in particular rather than start up on their own, or hire their own artists / designers?

    I'm in the middle of a personal game project now. It's been years of work. It's not approaching complete. The artwork is non-existent (despite hiring - with real cash - artists at various stages). The problem is not in the design, or the artwork, or the project management, or any of the other bits - it's in churning out code that works. All the pretty pictures and design documents in the world mean nothing until you have a working game, and when you have a working game you can basically just push out a content creator (level editor, mod API or whatever) and people will, in general, come.

    Assume for a second that I was interested in this mystery project of yours. Assume that I can do EVERYTHING you mentioned above (even the "bonus" items like "network stuff"). What do you give me that I can't do myself? What's the USP of your idea? If it's all wrapped up in private conversations then, in my experience, those conversations will be void of content once they arrive anyway ("Yeah, well, we're going to write an RPG, right, but with really good AI that'll do X, Y, Z...").

    The hardest thing in the world is knocking up a complete game of any substance. It can take years, whether for loners or a huge development team. The "superstars" of gaming tend to have got lucky, or have skills far beyond the average person you'd ever find with such a request and would be off making their millions elsewhere.

    I *DO* have a game with 200,000 lines of C code, two years of coding time on it, 20 years of "thinking" time on the concept, and it'll be a few more years before it's finished. How would I have got to that stage differently following your vision rather than my own?

    I think your request is a little naive and one I've heard thousands of times before. "I have a great game idea, I just need a programmer to do it." After years of being involved in similar projects (everything from a ZX Spectrum Chaos remake, to a Java RPG, to educational software), I just hear "I have a great science idea, I just need a scientist to make it work." It's like trying to say "If we could just have a ray-gun that we could fire through space, we could destroy other planets" and expecting someone else to work out the 'fine details' of exactly how we'd do that.

    The question is: What's in it for the person you seek?
    GReaper and manasij7479 like this.

    - Compiler warnings are like "Bridge Out Ahead" warnings. DON'T just ignore them.
    - A compiler error is something SO stupid that the compiler genuinely can't carry on with its job. A compiler warning is the compiler saying "Well, that's bloody stupid but if you WANT to ignore me..." and carrying on.
    - The best debugging tool in the world is a bunch of printf()'s for everything important around the bits you think might be wrong.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledow View Post
    What, precisely, are you bringing to the table for someone who fits your requirements? If someone can do all that, what do you offer that they can't find elsewhere or couldn't do themselves?

    I've been through any number of game projects, since I was a teenager over 15 years ago, and without doubt the death of almost all of them was a lack of programming, not a lack of design, or artwork, or direction, or ideas. In fact, the projects that succeeded best used the art assets of existing games (e.g. game recreations of old classics) or didn't care about the artwork at all, followed designs of existing games or simple, obvious tweaks of such, and were pushed through by code, not by ideas. In fact, the abandonment of fantastical ideas was usually the key driver in actually getting the code out to the public.

    Every single programmer in the world has a bucket of ideas of games that they could write. Every single games-playing teenager has at least one. The trick is in the execution, not the concept (although, it has to be said, a good concept can go far coupled with the right people - but the right people will make it go far even without some flashy new concept anyway). As such, the programmer you seek - why would they work on your project in particular rather than start up on their own, or hire their own artists / designers?

    I'm in the middle of a personal game project now. It's been years of work. It's not approaching complete. The artwork is non-existent (despite hiring - with real cash - artists at various stages). The problem is not in the design, or the artwork, or the project management, or any of the other bits - it's in churning out code that works. All the pretty pictures and design documents in the world mean nothing until you have a working game, and when you have a working game you can basically just push out a content creator (level editor, mod API or whatever) and people will, in general, come.

    Assume for a second that I was interested in this mystery project of yours. Assume that I can do EVERYTHING you mentioned above (even the "bonus" items like "network stuff"). What do you give me that I can't do myself? What's the USP of your idea? If it's all wrapped up in private conversations then, in my experience, those conversations will be void of content once they arrive anyway ("Yeah, well, we're going to write an RPG, right, but with really good AI that'll do X, Y, Z...").

    The hardest thing in the world is knocking up a complete game of any substance. It can take years, whether for loners or a huge development team. The "superstars" of gaming tend to have got lucky, or have skills far beyond the average person you'd ever find with such a request and would be off making their millions elsewhere.

    I *DO* have a game with 200,000 lines of C code, two years of coding time on it, 20 years of "thinking" time on the concept, and it'll be a few more years before it's finished. How would I have got to that stage differently following your vision rather than my own?

    I think your request is a little naive and one I've heard thousands of times before. "I have a great game idea, I just need a programmer to do it." After years of being involved in similar projects (everything from a ZX Spectrum Chaos remake, to a Java RPG, to educational software), I just hear "I have a great science idea, I just need a scientist to make it work." It's like trying to say "If we could just have a ray-gun that we could fire through space, we could destroy other planets" and expecting someone else to work out the 'fine details' of exactly how we'd do that.

    The question is: What's in it for the person you seek?
    Thanks for the honest question(s). I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

    What I'm seeking for at it's core is someone who is:
    1.) Wanting to make a game.
    2.) Ready to take it seriously.

    Of course this request is naive. I'm well aware of my age and lack of experience compared to someone like yourself. What do I have that you can't find somewhere else? Nothing, of course. I have art and design skills, but so do a lot of people. That's what I have. That and my good word. Games need art, design, and programming and people to do them. I know you've heard things like this a million times. I have too. I'm not a rock star like some others. I can't do everything. I have a few skill sets and a degree of organization. I aim to make a game, so I have to comb over resources and see what I can make happen.

    I've been down the roads you're talking about. Not as far as you have, but I've been down a few of them. Each (failed) project has taught me many things and I'm back where I was before, but I'm not going to throw in the towel.

    As for what's in it for the other person. That's dependent on their stage in their career and what they want from the project. I know it's not for everyone. I have a game/design, assets, a plan and an initial milestone. If anyone is interested in see what it's all about, I'll talk to them on Skype and tell them how it's sectioned and what's in it for each of us. If there's interest, we discuss details and their own goals for the project as well.

    It may not be the golden laced answers you're looking for, but hopefully that gives some insight on this.

  4. #4
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    O_o

    I honestly can't tell if I'm genuinely impressed by the measure of your response or if my gauge is off thanks to seeing the responses of so many others.

    *shrug*

    For every level of skill, one may expect a level of merit to be shown; my question, do you have a portfolio to show your art and design?

    Soma

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    O_o

    I honestly can't tell if I'm genuinely impressed by the measure of your response or if my gauge is off thanks to seeing the responses of so many others.

    *shrug*

    For every level of skill, one may expect a level of merit to be shown; my question, do you have a portfolio to show your art and design?

    Soma
    Maybe you just haven't recently heard some good ol' fashioned honesty. : )

    Sure. Here's a link to some of my illustration work:
    Flopjack's deviantART Gallery

    And here's a link to some of my game work:
    Jw Game Design

  6. #6
    Registered User ledow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    O_o
    I honestly can't tell if I'm genuinely impressed by the measure of your response or if my gauge is off thanks to seeing the responses of so many others.
    Seconded. And if the OP has been through the same things, he'll know why my response was as "mean" as it was. As I've found out in many a (successful) job interview - if you would have to lie to make yourself sound "perfect", tell the truth instead and see how far that gets you anyway. Every time I've done that, it's worked out better ("Do you have qualification X?" "Do you have experience doing Y?" No. But I would be happy to study it. If you want to test me on it you can put me on a trial and see how well I do. And I can show that I learn fast. If that's a problem, at least I've stated it up-front).

    I'd already found the OP's website with the games on it, after I'd posted. There's a couple of half-decent working games on there, from the looks of things, but there was still a question of how much involvement happened at each stage. But now I think the "credentials" question is answered. Like the job interview questions - not the perfect answer in terms of ideal circumstances, but perfectly honest so you know what you're getting into. I'd rather have a dedicated person than lacklustre, skillsets aside.

    I am currently full-time and have a large pet project of my own, but otherwise I'd be interested... now. I hope someone comes along and takes you up on your offer.

    - Compiler warnings are like "Bridge Out Ahead" warnings. DON'T just ignore them.
    - A compiler error is something SO stupid that the compiler genuinely can't carry on with its job. A compiler warning is the compiler saying "Well, that's bloody stupid but if you WANT to ignore me..." and carrying on.
    - The best debugging tool in the world is a bunch of printf()'s for everything important around the bits you think might be wrong.

  7. #7
    Registered User ledow's Avatar
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    P.S. Don't suppose you're available/able to knock up isometric spritesets?

    - Compiler warnings are like "Bridge Out Ahead" warnings. DON'T just ignore them.
    - A compiler error is something SO stupid that the compiler genuinely can't carry on with its job. A compiler warning is the compiler saying "Well, that's bloody stupid but if you WANT to ignore me..." and carrying on.
    - The best debugging tool in the world is a bunch of printf()'s for everything important around the bits you think might be wrong.

  8. #8
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    ^_^

    I like the look of the cube game.

    Not that the cube game isn't familiar, but still, it looks like a job well-done.

    Anyway, I wasn't so much intending you to post here; I was just saying "If you have something to show your own skills, you are more likely to get legitimate contacts.".

    Soma

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