Guide on How to Find a Dedicated Team?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by DaAwsumPiderman, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. DaAwsumPiderman

    DaAwsumPiderman New Member

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    Hello! I am new here, just logged in about five minutes before posting this. I have been very interested in game development since around late 2009. And I have been messing around in Unity3D on my own since then, improving (or at least I think improving) my skills at C# programming. I desire to make a first person shooter combining my own code with that of the UFPS prefab and adopt some other assets into the project as well, but here's the thing... No matter how hard I try, no matter where I look, I cannot find anyone who is dedicated. Now, I am 99% sure this is due to my inability to pay them. But the thing is... they all acknowledge this. And besides, I also tell them that when I do get money I will pay them.

    They usually stick around for about two weeks or so before ditching. Why is this? Why do they suddenly leave me, even though they understand its not for payment? Now, I DO have the ability to pay, but still extremely low (as this money is needed for my education. Grants and all).

    So, my question for you guys is this: How does one go about finding members of a team that are dedicated, and willing to work for free? Notice I said, willing. I will most likely pay them, but I want them to be at least willing to work without it, that way if I run out of cash they can continue work while I bring home some more.

    I also searched for this topic but was unable to find one, so please forgive me if this is a duplicate. If it is, then please point me to the correct one and perhaps lock this one.

    Thank you everyone!
     
  2. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    The more dedicated are those who have a lot of free time and know that the outcome of there work will actually be rewarded not with money but showing off that there talents were fully exposed, this exposure is something that is simple for granted I understand the limitations that some will leave your project if you no longer show interest or vanish.

    1 - Show that you have there back, show you care, show that they are more than just employees, make them your friends. The more heart you show them and their efforts, the more they will be on your side and the more you can consider yourself a lovely messenger for a team of dedication.

    2 - Don't show doubt, don't show off fear, don't be afraid to take chances. There is also the negative effect that if you take to many risks, they will only find a way to completely ruin you. Since this builds up paranoia within your team, once it builds to an extreme degree consider there days numbered.

    3 - Free workers are a trouble to come by, reassure them promises and show off your loyalty, only this will solidify there beliefs in you. Not only that but if you promise them pay, this typically means you've got 2 weeks to make profit or show them progress, after those 2 weeks are passed. Consider them more or less on the edge of loss.

    4 - Make simple projects to assure they will stay, I.E mobile games as well as small games where it'll be easy to meet the needs of others then you can grow and expand onto bigger projects. This gives you a background of getting things done and you'll gain more dedicated developers that way.

    Though this is just my thoughts...

    I was part of a team for a while and it turned out terribly, we trusted our leader in fact we finished our game until one of the members of our group stole it for himself and the team fell apart, we all had faith in one another, got to bond, understand, not to mention respect one another to a degree of friendship. It ended with the team falling apart because the leader lost faith in his own abilities, not in us. It was heart breaking personally.
     
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  3. DaAwsumPiderman

    DaAwsumPiderman New Member

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    Thanks! That is some helpful advice, I will take these into account when I search for more people. I think the two major problems I had before was that I never really got to know my colleagues last time. Also, hardly anyone was willing to work for free, and the ones that were vanished.

    How would you go about finding dedicated and yet free workers?
     
  4. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Oh boy that's rather difficult the dedicated ones used to be commonly seen as the free ones (that or who feel there talent is under exposed) though it's shifted entirely to the basic ideal of money = dedication.

    It's heart dropping really but all things considered that is true to the point though what I'd do to find dedicated and free workers is this:

    - set up a time of when we expect the game to be finished and to show moral and emotional support.

    - get to know a few before your project they will ultimately give up the pursuit of wealth for a friendly cause. This provides a sense of trust between you and them, touches between one and the other proves to work in the long run.


    - Never show them you're losing faith, this is important a single piece of it dropping is more than enough for them to lose dedication and the ultimatum will be a drop of life.

    This is just my guide book though and how I'd handle it, others possibly the sane or radically different.
     
  5. mythro

    mythro New Member

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    I'll be honest with you finding people to work for free is virtually impossible, now having said that there are people that will work for royalty payment which is technically free for the moment but they at least understand that they will get money out of it when they finish the game, calling motivation to finish the game. The other thing is to talk and get to know the people that are helping you that way you'll find out if they have problems here or there and you can work around it at least that will you understand if they have to leave. I know because I also have this problem at first I had a team of 50 people but eventually people started leaving.
     
  6. Contrarian

    Contrarian New Member

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    I've been on both sides of this tbh still looking for people to work with, actually posted about that earlier today. I've done a lot of free/low pay work outside of the game industry and it was almost always a bad experience unless I was working with people I knew. Working for free creates a couple of fundamental dynamic problems: When you work for free your almost always overworked and under appreciated people expect you to be on call and drop everything to help them realize their dream which you probably don't care about because you're not invested in them or their vision so your work ethic is going to be poor, even if you don't go in with bad intentions. It's a misunderstanding of expectations from the start. On the other hand when you're paid to do a job there is a mutual respect that is built into your interactions with the person paying you and an expected behavior from both parties (for example: I Pay you to do X and only X, when X is delivered you get paid). It sounds oversimplified but in my experience this is how it has played out. Having a vision for a game or project is great I have at least 10 ideas for games, websites, apps that I'm always thinking about and doing work on, but now that I'm looking to bring people in and find others to work with me I know from my experiences that I don't want anyone to work for free on my games or projects. I want to find people I get along with and build projects together. Shared vision = shared investment and commitment from everyone involved. Hope this helps!
     
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  7. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    It's like my guide from above, communication is key for a healthy partnership!
     
  8. SkylerSefic

    SkylerSefic New Member

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    Thats a good point. I think dedication is there from the beginning or not depending on ones passion for the job. If I was you, I would try and avoid discussing paying anyone with your own money. A "pro bono" (i call it) or profit sharing approach is the best way to get your teams 110%. Unless of course you need someone to do a very specific job a very specific way.That you pay for. People who enjoy what they do vs doing it for money produce the best products. In music you can hear the difference. When an artist is having fun with a song. Playing with it like a cat with a mouse. I think it is the most enjoyable thing to listen to.
     
    #8 SkylerSefic, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
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  9. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    This is actually my very first none serious post, so I'm warning you all, to drop the serious tone right now with this one...

    What, skylersefic described when it came to composing reminded me of this:

     
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  10. SkylerSefic

    SkylerSefic New Member

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    See what Im saying? Isnt that the best thing youve ever heard? LOL
    Interesting side note. I thought I was well versed in all things interwebs but thats the first time Ive seen the second half of that video
     
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  11. DukeofRealms

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    I've worked and managed open source teams and video games where team members weren't being paid. I've worked on projects where this situation miserably failed and I've also experienced spectacular success with it.

    So, what was the difference between them?

    I've found when working on a project where team members aren't receiving pay, it's vital that the whole team has passion for what they do and have passion for the project they are working on. If you can find like minded individuals who believe in your project and who believe in you, you're half way there. These are the people who don't mind taking the risk that the project might fail. These people do it for themselves, because they find enjoyment in contributing to your project.

    Finding these people is tricky, especially if you have nothing or very little to show them. My advice, is get something that you can show off, have a good foundation. How are people supposed to have trust in you or your project if you don't have anything substantial to show that you are committed? How can they believe in your project if they don't even know what it is and where it's heading? More importantly, how can they believe in you?

    Once you have something physical to show, and have a thorough plan and ending goal set out, it's going to be easier for people to know what they will be working towards and they'll get a better idea of who they are working with.

    The game I currently work on was a one man team before I joined. I joined the team (not being paid for a long period of time), and the reason why I joined was because I loved what the game already had, I believed in the project and as a result I believed in the project creator. The team members who came after me were exactly the same, we already had something to see and believe in and so it was worth our time to get involved.

    Getting people to stick around is an issue everyone faces, paid roles or not. Of course, it's a little harder to keep people around if they're not being paid. A good method for getting people to stick around is creating a team environment where everyone knows each other really well, casually and professionally. Forge friendships within your team, play some video games every so often, communicate to your team and get to know them better.

    Others have already given some good advice here, good luck with your game!
     
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  12. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    May I request this thread be labeled as a sticky?

    the reason is that we're getting more and more users wanting to form an indie team, so it'll be good to have this as a note of resource for the new comers to come in and read it'll be welcomed extremely.
     
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  13. DaAwsumPiderman

    DaAwsumPiderman New Member

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    I second that. It'd be quite useful.
     
  14. yinto

    yinto New Member

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    sorry to hear that. what was the project's name?
     
  15. metateen

    Moderator Indie Author

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    lol this was about almost more than a year ago that I was with them.

    It was this gingerbread running game. I was spriter basically.
     
  16. Kouros Prime

    Kouros Prime New Member

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    Well first off, are you sure that /you/ are meant to be in charge of a team? If not you're going to have to find someone else to do the leading. Basically join a group like you're talking about, rather than trying to be the boss yourself. I'd work with you, for free.

    I think the best way about going about forming a team, depends on your plans. Are they already figured out and need to be put into motion? Then project the core goal and focus on confidence to achieve that goal. If you're just looking for a team unto itself, with everything else being largely loose-ended. Then you should be going into this as if the whole point is the team itself, rather than whatever the team produces or what you want the team to produce.

    You're asking a pretty universal question. How does one gain loyalty period? In any instance. It doesn't magically change just because you're trying to gain that loyalty for a specific cause. In other words you have to be selfless, and focus on forming friendships and group flow.
     
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  17. Darkscript

    Darkscript New Member

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    This was helpful. Thanks for the info :D
     
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  18. MountainGuardian

    MountainGuardian New Member

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    I actually came to this forum to try and join a team, not to make money or even gain any attention, but to simply gain some experience working with a group of people to create even a simple game. I am pretty amazing at teaching myself things, but I do even better if I am working within a group.
    .
    My team is currently 3 teenage boys and a preteen girl that all have an interest in learning about programming, my kids. But someone is going to have to learn at least the basics of scripting and putting things together, that would be me....
    .
    I have been working programming for an entire 6 days now, much of that time was spent downloading software and installing it up to this point. My understanding of Python 3.5 scripting, Panda3d, .xml scripting and some playing with Java scripting has come a fair ways in those 6 days. I have created a couple simple stand alone .exe installable games with the Panda3d/ Python 3.5 in the past few days. The more I studied though the more I realized that one guy is not going to produce anything of any real note on his own, well not his own teaching of himself and not being Einstein anyways.
    .
    The same as the poster, I am interested in teaming up with people to do some game programming, though as I point out I know little to nothing as yet, though I do have immediate skills I suppose...
    .
    I have quite an ability to create images... sound clips.... I live on a large farm in the middle of the wilderness in north Idaho, I have access to just about anything nature has in it.
    .
    I am also a Navy vet, I worked on guided missile systems/radar systems/communications system in the Navy. My last duty station was the Battleship Wisconsin BB-64, I was aboard the Whisky for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
    .
    No idea exactly what all use I would be to any group as yet, but if anyone is interested, let me know...
     
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  19. John Hagley

    John Hagley New Member

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    I just write music, but I'll give my two cents: I think the key is just to be a very good leader. You have to be passionate, extremely organized, and know how to manage your team. But also, a good leader needs to be realistic. I've seen great leaders fail simply by being too ambitious. I imagine that the people coming in to work for free don't have that many games under their belt. So just design a game that's simple and fun. I've written soundtracks for too many games that just got abandoned cause the concept was too complicated, and team members just eventually dropped off one by one.
     
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  20. Syntaxx

    Syntaxx New Member

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    This discussion caught my eye, i'm generally a browser of dev forums but this collaboration thing is something that has both intrigued and irritated me for all the years I've been online. First of I'm always glad to see users like MountainGuardian jumping in, someone who, like me is in their slightly older part of their life (subtlety is a quality in these discussions!).
    I was there at the start of the arcade generation, through the 8 bits and onwards and I've never felt so bored with the games industry as I do now. I still love the creative side of games dev, but watching the various app stores flood with average-to-poor-to-downright garbage apps daily has taken the shine away.
    Too many apps, too many developers and too many app stores. That's where the problem lies for me, too many people can now release games; put a team together, cobble something together, release said app of often dubious quality and it's accepted. This is seen as success these days.
    Don't want to be too harsh, to be fair, there are lots of genuine creative types out there but, just like the TV and music scene and entertainment in general, everything's dumbed down these days and the bulk of the people involved don't want to go down the proper route, they want instant success and they'll jump from one group or project to another, lacking any sort of commitment. I'm convinced this is what people come up against when looking into collaborative team-ups and over time they just don't have the will to keep trying, leaving the whole area open to the masses of lazy, non-commited 'let's-build-a-massively-unfeasible-online-rpg!' sorts.

    Hope that doesn't come over as a rant, more frustration at seeing this happen time and again and a bunch of would-be collaborators left swimming against the tide, so to speak.
    I propose a dedicated website to overcome this, named 'wheat-from-the-chaff'.
    Who's in?? :):)
     
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