Guide on How to Find a Dedicated Team?

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

  1. SiriusAnkh

    SiriusAnkh New Member

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    So I signed up to this forum because this is a conundrum with which I'm also currently facing.... I don't actually know any game developers personally (Hoping to change that now of course) so going out there to get a team seemed like a near impossible task. I do know a fair few programmers, mainly of the Delphi and C++ flavours, and their suggestion was to start making programs in C# as its becoming more widespread, and is part of the Unity gaming engine, because I've had a vision for a game since 2002 and I've not seen the plot in ANY games at all, even up until now, no game comes close to it.

    Where I received the most feedback of optimism, was talking to people whom already liked the genre/plot that the game entails - yet they lacked the creative skills and/or programming skills and with a pat on the back, that was the end of that.

    Then as mentioned before, there are the programmers who are very versed in their applied languages, but they either work (too busy), or not into the gaming scene.

    So OP, to me, you've at least achieved a lot further than me, and thats to get an actual team together. Why I said what I have in this post, is because if people are not going to work for money, there HAS to be a payoff somewhere..... and you may find that they may stick around if they are as passionate about the project as you are, and a partnership rather than you being their boss is the key. Hope that helps

    :D
     
    DaAwsumPiderman likes this.
  2. Gearbear

    Gearbear New Member

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    Hey I am actually currently writing a game. I have chosen to keep it a small side scrolling rpg like the game ( this war of mine ) but my goal is to move onto FPS/RPGs. If you'd be interested in hearing about plz msg. Me back or email me at gearbear1111@gmail.com
     
  3. mercadier

    mercadier New Member

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    Yeah, this all sounds horribly familiar. Do these guys actually tell you they're quitting or do they just sort of creep off and stop answering your emails? They remind me of spent batteries the kind you keep in a drawer even though you should just burn them! :p
    Did you have any further luck making a team?
     
  4. DaAwsumPiderman

    DaAwsumPiderman New Member

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    Well, I've only had two guys (that I remember) who told me ahead of time that they were going to have to back out. They were the decent fellows and sent me emails explaining why they had to go (both were, unfortunately, due to financial issues). Every other person that I had gathered and backed out, left abruptly and without warning, even those who seemed passionate and excited. I sent them emails and some replied, but usually only once and still never explained their departure.

    While I have had a bit of luck finding a team in the recent months, I had to postpone the game I'm currently developing. Now that I have income, I want to spend several months putting aside amounts of my money into one large bundle that I will use strictly for paying devs to help out. Hopefully, this will draw in larger amounts of (and talented) people. It seems that it's next to impossible to gather a team without having some kind of payoff, as SiriusAnkh said in his post (unless you have a group of friends who all enjoy programming or some sort of development hobby).

    I'm very appreciative of the posts in this thread so far! Thanks to all who decided to give out advice. What I intend to do now, alongside my plans to set aside a budget, is spend the next few weeks finishing up the story I have started writing and get more organized. For those who are unaware, there's a very handy app called Discord which I recommend using to create organized servers for communicating with and managing a team. It's free and a great tool for the job, far better than Skype (in my opinion). I'll be using that to organize myself.
     
    #24 DaAwsumPiderman, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  5. mercadier

    mercadier New Member

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    Sounds good. I'll check that out. What is the project you're working on?
     
  6. DaAwsumPiderman

    DaAwsumPiderman New Member

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    Well, currently it's a small Halo-based FPS called "Installation 01". I'm not the leader of the team, but I'm assisting with the UI development within the Unity engine. My own game, however, is a very similar concept, but it's mainly focused on single player rather than multiplayer.
     
  7. Phuzz

    Phuzz New Member

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    Hello,

    Based on personal experience, when I wanted to make games I could not program, and I still don't but felt like I had to start somewhere, I use Unity3D to make games targeting the Android platform. I never intended to have people helping me, but once one of my ideas became a prototype, I got some people that jumped in the boat without me asking. I use Playmaker to make and prototype my games on Unity, it is a visual scripting program, I still use some very basic C# to tweak some things that are premade, but this is the way it is working for me, make a prototype and you might get some people to help you. There are many free assets out there to get a basic prototype up and running. Seeing is believing :) Good Luck
     
  8. Rog

    Rog New Member

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    A few months ago I finished a project on a budget of about a thousand dollars. I learned a lot about team dedication and I feel I have an honest, although somewhat harsh answer to your question.

    Asking for a "dedicated team" of workers who aren't being paid is the same as asking for a pro athletic team to perform without being fed. It's just not realistic and anyone who has any self respect wouldn't give two seconds of their time for someone else's project if they weren't being compensated.

    Having said that, one of my guys was an extremely talented artist and his workload was so large that we agreed up front that I wouldn't be able to afford his time so we agreed to an even split of the profits. That's pretty much as close as I could get to the win/win scenario. He got it done and now he gets half of everything forever and I have to pay him.

    Other people had small tasks that I needed done so I paid them up front, which gives me the power in the dynamic and makes sure that they know they have the money in their pocket. I picked reputable collaborators who value that reputation and would not allow themselves to have an unhappy commissioner floating their good name on the web.

    So yeah I really don't think you're going to find yourself with a crack-team of awesome game designers committed to the cause without SOME kind of pay.

    You might find nubs who don't know what they're doing but their work will be shoddy at best or they might just disappear without notice, and frankly they will be justified and you won't have a leg to stand on.
     
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  9. Butters

    Butters New Member

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    I also came to try and join a team, but I'm not really sure how to go about it. All I really want to do is make music for a game. I've tried asking my friends, but all of us being in high school, I'm very concerned that they won't take it seriously and I'll be left with nothing to do. Long story short, how and where do you find a dedicated team of people?
     
  10. Butters

    Butters New Member

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    Oops, never mind. Totally missed the "help wanted" section of this website :)
     
  11. sanhueza

    sanhueza New Member

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    I think this is a big crux of the issue of assembling dedicated partners / co-founders / teams for game development, when you are not paying them (even the popular "Revenue Share" style agreement ends up being work-for-free most of the time, to be honest, since so many game projects never get released, and so many released games never make a profit.) The big crux IMO is "time for someone else's project."

    So many of us will dedicate YEARS to our own ideas/projects. Games that we are so passionate about, because they are our brain children, that we spend so much of our time and even life savings on. How many of us are willing to put the same amount of time, money, and steadfast dedication into something that belongs to someone else? Something that isn't born from our own passion and egos?

    Even when you offer to share (eventual / theoretical) revenue, percentage of ownership in the game / company, levels of creative and technical control, etc... they're still missing that spark and passion and love for the game idea, which came from you, and is what really keeps you dedicated to your own project.

    So, to overcome this one major hurdle (among the several other big challenges in assembling indie teams), I think you need to find solutions that will instill real passion in your teammates. How can you make your project THEIR PROJECT too? Not just a pep-talk or a compelling game pitch, but how can you get your teammates so invested in the game that it becomes just as much a part of them and their lives that it has become for you?
     
  12. Rog

    Rog New Member

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    I agree with everything that you said and I have my own experiential answer. Like I said earlier I worked with 7 or so people. 6 of which only did a fixed amount of work that was easy to quantify. 9 songs... 7 portraits... 25 doodads... ect. They were paid a fixed price, up front, and given a deadline. Everyone wins. With my main artist, because the workload was 1. WAY too much for me to afford some hourly or quantified price and 2. We had no idea how far we would go with it, but he DID want to work with me on it, we agreed to an even split of the net profits. Then and only then did we both feel good about it.

    To answer the question about "making it THEIR PROJECT" it was actually quite simple. Every idea that I had for the game, there were ideas that I was married to, and everything else was up for discussion. There were many things where we had to have long extensive and ongoing conversations about what he wanted, what would ACTUALLY WORK and to make sure that it didn't technically clash with anything else in the project. After all of those elements are satisfied he could, in many areas, use his own creativity and find solutions. Both of us won... Aaand we made a nice buck and are still making some bucks...

    I knew that if I had dictated to him exactly what to make and nothing else it would have killed his creative spark and the whole thing would have gone up in smoke, which was more important to me than any idea about "what pose the bear made" or "humanoids having soft edges with black outlines" (actual discussions). Its better to have a product that isn't your perfect work of your majestic ego over no product at all.
     
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  13. Jason Conger-Kallas

    Jason Conger-Kallas New Member

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    I've worked on a number of unpaid team projects that gradually sort of fell apart. I've also unsuccessfully pitched a few projects of my own. It's pretty demoralizing and makes you never want to work on a team again. You just have to keep trying and develop your idea with whatever resources and skills you have available. Developing any kind of project is an uphill battle that takes a lot of time and dedication.

    Volunteers always say they are interested in a concept at first, but when it comes time to actually meet deadlines and deliver work, they tend to regret ever getting involved and want out. Monetary investment is realistically the only way to get projects started in the initial phase. Savings disappear very fast, but if you invest in the right people it can make things a little easier to attract new members to your project.

    Setting up a prioritized list of assets or goals helps, as does breaking the workload down into smaller more manageable components. The most important thing is to make sure the team members each feel like they are getting to have input and contribute equally to the project. Project leaders tend to have the greatest stakes in the project, to the point where they often overlook making the project fun and interesting for their team members
     
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  14. erandros

    erandros New Member

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    I understand that this is a sticky thread, but I can't avoid feelings like this.
    I never even came close to assembling a team, because most of the time I don't feel like I've shared any kind of vision regarding games with other people.

    And it sucks because I've come to realise that programming alone is a really dreadful task. The feelings you get from knowing that, even if you do a demo, there's no one to share the joys or pains of doing it, it's just painful. Programming alone for a long time is pretty painful. And even if you're like 2 guys working on something, you can see that the successful super meat boy was really stressful to program, and it was done by two guys.

    Or sometimes they ditch on me, or they expect me to do everything. Or sometimes I ditch on them.

    Or because we are just two programmers who have no experience in graphical art, so you can do all the demos you want, but if they looks like crap, then it's like a downer.

    The whole process of doing a game is like unnatural to me, at least currently.

    Finding the right people is like a really tough task.
     
  15. balthatrix

    balthatrix New Member

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    Hey! Here's my two cents on this matter. I feel somewhat qualified as I've managed to make contact and retain people on my current project in the first try; I've gotten 4 profit sharing agreements signed in that time. Here's a few in-order tips, but I'm sure I'm missing some detail. Also, keep in mind, you didn't go into too much detail about your process, so I don't know what you may be doing wrong. This is my general advice though.

    1) Come to the table with your game already mostly designed, and if possible you should already have a prototype before asking people to work for profit share. Having the prototype also shows you have the chops to lead the build of your game. If they can't very well imagine the finished product, they can't get behind it. You have to give the impression you are thinking about or researching all aspects of the project, including marketing, art, programming/implementation, everything.

    2) Show that you mean business pt 1. You are essentially asking people to front you thousands, if not 10's or 100's of thousands of dollars. Before you ask them to create that gigantic 3d model, or code that really smart AI, you need to show them a realistic timeline that leads to funding (although it's obviously okay to ask them to create a sample asset for you).

    3) Show that you mean business pt 2. Another thing to do before you ask people to work for profit share, is to negotiate an offer with them and then get it in writing; you should prefer an agreement structure such that more work = more profit credit or percentage. What I've seen in a few groups I've been associated with, is they start asking me to do stuff, meet, or in other ways take my time without talking about this. This drew my attention to the exit very quickly. Some people might not care too much about their time, but those aren't really the people you want on your team.

    4) If you get this far, show that you are the hardest working person in the team. Make a discord server or similar and post all the things you are doing to fulfill the project's timeline. Get everyone to post their work on the project here as well, as you get a cross-inspiration effect.

    5) Keep ongoing accountability. In your agreements, you should mention that everyone has to keep timesheets so everyone knows that everyone else is working on the project. As the project manager/owner, you also need to keep a timesheet. If people start to feel others are skating by and you do/say nothing about it, they will lose their faith in you.

    Hope this helps!

    P.S. If anyone wants to see my profit share template, let me know. I can share it with you, but it shouldn't be taken as legal advice.
     
    #35 balthatrix, Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017

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