Looking for a PHP Dev and game designer

Discussion in 'Help Wanted (UNPAID AND PROFIT SHARING)' started by Draven, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Draven

    Draven New Member

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    Hello,

    I run a text-based game called Land of Nevard (http://www.landofnevard.net). It was created in 2004, but was offline from 2012 until earlier this year while I worked on getting my life together.

    I would like another programmer to come in with fresh eyes and help me clean up the code, the design, and the game play. There's lot of content in the game but it's messy.

    I am looking for a creative programmer that has experience with PHP (Object Oriented), and Javascript.

    I am doing this purely as a hobby. The game makes a little money, and it just goes into server cost, advertisements, and other game related purchases.

    What I am looking for the Dev to do:
    For starters, I am looking for the developer to refine our administration tools (editing players, editing guilds, logging player actions, and so on).
    After that, I would like the developer to look for ways to make the game more user friendly for new players.
    The game has a lot of content, but it’s hard to find that out for new players.

    Until I get to know the developer, I will only give out the files necessary for them to get the site working on their machine, or I can give FTP access to a private folder on the server with the required files.

    I am looking for a long term developer that will help me eventually recode the entire game, piece by piece, to newer PHP standards.
     
    #1 Draven, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  2. Draven

    Draven New Member

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    Some more info:

    I'll tell you now... I'm opinionated. If I don't agree with something, I'll say it, and I would expect the same from you :)
    I'm sure we'll have lots of discussions on why we should, or shouldn't, do something.

    Q: Is this a paid position or partnership?
    A: It would be more of a partnership.

    Q: How much money does the game make?
    A: The game, in it's current state, does not make a lot of money ($40 in the last 30 days, $160 the month before). The game get's money purely on "donations". Whatever the player wants to give. They do get some incentives depending how much they donate overall.
    You can see the player donations if you go to Necropolis -> Palace -> Top Donators

    Q: How many players does the game have?
    A: Between 30-35 players log in every day. There is between 12-18 online at any point in the day.

    Q: How many hours/days would you expect me to work on the game?
    A: I have no expectations on the hours you spend coding. We all have lives, this is not a paid position. If I don't hear from you in more then 2 weeks, then that could be an issue, just stay in contact, open communication, and I will do the same.

    Q: Can I do whatever I want to the game?
    A: No. At first there will be a trial period where I would "manage" what you work on just because you don't know the game.
    I just don't want you coming in and adding a bunch of things to the game (had a programmer do that a few years ago). I ended up having to remove most of it just because it made no sense. It didn't fit the game at all.
     
  3. melight

    melight New Member

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    Hi man,
    I've tried your game. Have to say it's a not very intuitive, and lot of confusion could be remedied by simple altering font size, colors, high-lights etc. I work a lot with product people, so I have some understanding in that matter.

    I don't know if I would be able to spend time coding your game, but I definitely would like to go with you over the game and UI, if that something you find valuable of course :)
     
  4. Draven

    Draven New Member

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    Hm, interesting. That could be valuable. I'd actually like to pay somebody to redesign the layout completely when the game has the extra cash to pay for something like that.

    Not sure if that is something you can do or not.
     
  5. melight

    melight New Member

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    Well, for starters I don't expect any money ;)
    Second, you don't need a full blown redesign to considerably improve the UX of your game. That's a classic 80/20. You can attack some critical and repeating user misunderstandings first, and I'm pretty sure you'll see improvement.

    For example: I was doing the Maze, and at some point was killed by a grunt. It took me at least three moves/arrow clicks to see the writing "You can't move, because you're dead" :D Which makes sense, but before I noticed the tiny writing I was sure the game is broken. Things you can do in 10-20 minutes to address this issue:
    * Disable maze direction buttons when player is dead, maybe even put a tooltip - "You can't move, you're dead"
    * Emphasize the message "You can't move, because you're dead" with red letters and slightly larger font, maybe even add a short test animation with jQuery
    * Bonus UI points - add link to the healing fountain (don't remember if it's the name) directly from the death message

    Hope it gives you an idea of what I'm talking about :)
     
  6. Draven

    Draven New Member

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    Those are great suggestions, thank you.

    I'm thinking of removing the Maze and making a Dungeon feature instead (makes more sense in this game) but your points are still very valid.
    I'd love it if you could come in as some sort of "consultant" :)
     
  7. melight

    melight New Member

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    "Consultant" is a heavy word :D Anyway, I'd love to play your game and point out what I think are user pain-points. If you have ones you know of already, please tell me, and we can think together how to improve those :)

    Send me a note to: yuri at tactdot dot com
     
  8. Draven

    Draven New Member

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    Wow, just can't trust anyone.

    After lengthy interviews, trying to figure out if I can trust them, I gave two people (at different times) access to my game code, and they disappear afterwards. Removed me from Skype, won't respond to my emails, nothing! :(
     
  9. higgipoker

    higgipoker New Member

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    Name and shame?
     
  10. Draven

    Draven New Member

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    I did not get their user names :( They emailed me directly.
     

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