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Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by overture, Aug 4, 2005.
Knock it off.
Do you really need to flame every post made by people who haven't yet released games? I know you feel they shouldn't give advice because they haven't yet released anything, but that doesn't mean they can't give valuable information. Either way, sonicron's advice was good, one that many people would agree with:
Try your best not to expect anyone to work for free. If they do you will have to realise that working on your game won't be their priority. They may be slow, or not finish their work at all. This will put you in a tough situation, do you wait for them to finish the work (assuming they actually want to), or do you scrap most of what they've done and pay someone else, and push the release date further away? Being left in a situation such as that is not a good thing. You simply can't rely on anyone, not matter how close they are to you, to work for free.
That's a good point, duely noted.
Well put, I agree with that. Imagine how nice it would be if all people took care in how they wrote their posts. And you didn't even have to assure someone that their friends WILL let them down.
ERoberts, since your very first post on this thread you've acted like a forum nazi policing what others say. I suggest you either come forward with a good reason why you're acting like this or say your piece and butt out because you've offered no personal insights so far.
Why not take your own advice?
This is very good advice. I was lucky enough to have one team member working for free this time, but I made it very clear to him what my expectations were, and that I would need him to sign a contract that would hold him accountable for... well... basically nothing in return.
It's worked out well for me. I've gotten amazing background music and pretty decent sound effects. He's now got good portfolio material and credits, and I will be able to afford to pay him on the next project.
All I can really say is that if someone is willing to work for free, make them sign a contract holding them accountable. Yes, it can be kind of a raw deal for them, but so is working for free in the first place. Don't be surprised if they decline to sign -- in fact, that's probably the sensible thing for them to do if they're working for free, but that means you should probably explore other options in that case. =)
Curious: What happens if they breach the contract?
And if somebody does want to do something for you for free, make sure to treat them like crap. They are working for free, so they must be crap, right? Now, if you pay somebody on the other hand, you will have success. But if somebody wants to do something for you for free, you should ignore them and patronize them. Never, ever, expect anything good for free. After all, if somebody asks to do something for you for free, then it surely means that they are also doing 1,000 other things in their life for free, so there is no way that they will actually do a good job, right?
I think what Nexic meant to say is that BOTH PARTIES take paid work more seriously. Take two artists of the same skill level. One is getting paid, the other is volunteering to do it for free. The developer who is paying the artist will actually care, and reply to questions from the artist right away, etc, and give the artist good suggestions. On the other hand, when working with an artist who wants to create something for you for free, the developer will not take his time seriously and will not put up an effort to communicate his views to the artist as well, since he probably thinks the end is gonna be crap anyway because, why else would somebody do something for free.
I think the deal is that developers are insecure when they worry about paying $0 or $1,000,000 for graphics, instead of how good the actual graphics will be. Instead, developers should give 100% effort to communicate what he actually wants to see better, and give advice on what to change and improve so the artist can get an idea of what the developer wants, whether he is paying $0 or $1,000,000 to the artist.
It doesn't matter how good the graphics are if they don't get finished. Working for free is not much incentive to complete the work. Low Motivation ~= Low Productivity. That is what Nexic was saying.
Sorry, but "a contract for someone who works for free to make him accountable"? What is that? Slavery coming back and nobody told me?
You know when it's worth it to switch.
Overture, follwing your questions, it seems to me that game development is not what should concern you. You should more think about whether being self-employed is right for you. When you have to make a living by what you do, a lot of things change.
I certainly didn't treat people who offered to do things for free/almost-free like crap - I wrote them tons of times with all sorts of suggestions, information, updates about how the game development was going... after all, they weren't paid contractors, they were *valued contributors*. I was willing to give their opinions much MORE importance than someone I was just paying to do a job and get it finished. They were friends, partners!
... Yes, they let me down anyway.
Either by finally writing me the "I give up, I can't do this, sorry" letter and disappearing forever (this generally if they were inexperienced novices who had offered to do work to "learn about the industry" or "build a portfolio") or by taking well outside of the amount of time they had promised before half-heartedly completing the work (this generally from people who DID have experience and were being "friendly" by helping me out - but were usually then overwhelmed by actual paying work so had trouble getting around to me.)
So no, I don't tend to trust anyone who offers to work for free. Luckily, most of them can be easily gotten rid of by asking them to do *anything at all* - leading to the aforementioned "I give up!" letter.
Way back, when this board (using the term loosely, as I include the board that this originated from) counted for something, people took care about what they wrote, and usually didn't post JUST because they had an opinion on a subject. It would usually be that they had some actual experience to share, or some facts (backed up) to post.
Over time, this board have changed because most of the old people have left and new people have joined. The new people are set on having this be a "community", and now it is considered quite alright to post your opinion, without giving any though to whether they are actually useful to anyone else besides the poster.
So, I'm playing along. I post my opinions, and I'm trying to post more frequently (because as you can see, my post count is so low, and that make me feel inferior, see), even though I could only dream to be able to post as fequently as some of the more dedicated members.
But I'm trying, and I'm sorry if you don't like my opinions, but they ARE mine, and I feel that I have as much right voicing them as anyone else on this forum have to voice theirs... surely noone can disagree about that?
I fail to see why this has anything to do with you being a complete asshole?
There's a big difference between voicing your opinions and being an arrogant prick every single time you post (or every single time you see soniCron post).
And if you don't like the way the forum is now: well, too bad. (Not sure why you came to a message board expecting a reference instead of a community, though...)
That's not fair! No need to get personal and call me names!
I've thought the same thing about you many times when you've posted your opinions, but I don't go calling you names in public, do I?
Anyway, are you saying that people that you don't agree with shouldn't be allowed to post?
Perhaps I'm wrong, but what I think soniCron is saying is that:
- Posting something soniCron disagrees with: OK.
- Randomly being an ass towards others: Not OK.
EDIT: Normally, I would consider your post of "You know his friends, do you?" to be a reasonable, albiet dangerously blunt, statement of disagreement. However, you have really been getting on his case lately, directly attacking nearly everything he posts. And in that light I'd have to say that soniCron's pre-emptive "Knock it off" was completely called for.
I didn't. I said you were behaving like an ass. Your posts have been less-than helpful and provocative.
I don't remember saying that. I'd simply appreciate it if you'd stop attacking posts without offering anything yourself. It's not constructive and only serves to irritate people.
I'm not going to pollute this thread anymore. If you'd seriously like to debate this, start a new thread with this topic.
You hold them accountable, just like if you had paid them for their work. That includes taking them to court to recoup any damages you can show they infliected on your project.
No, it's not pretty, and it's kind of messed up that it would come to that for free work. But if you're going to rely on them, they have to be reliable.
If you're running a totally casual/hobbiest project, it shouldn't be a big deal. But some of us are working on bigger projects with real money and careers on the line. =)
No, it's not slavery. Nobody's forcing them to sign anything. I'm saying, in general, if you're working on a serious project, it's best not to work with people working for free. 95% of the time, it turns out poorly. I managed to have it turn out well, and it's because we had this accountability in place. Everyone on my team is happy, including the guy that worked for free.
However, if you're just working on a hobbiest project and you don't really care if it gets done or not, a contract is overkill. But like I said in an earlier post, if it's an important project, *everyone* on the project needs to be held accountable.
Not sure how that equates to slavery. =)
Any chance of cutting the off-topic arguments out or move them to PM's please? Now you've made me post off topic.