Looking for Coder

tumblr_lwicj2g5B21qe04rwSomeone on TMS has been getting stick for their ad offering to pay $100 for a coder for their new MUD, so as a public service I’ve put together this handy list of dos and don’ts when looking for a coder.

Do have a design written out. It doesn’t have to be a formal design document, but you need a clear written plan of the features you want to have.

Do be willing to compromise. Anyone coding will want to work with you to make a game, not simply implement everything exactly your way.

Do create as much content as you can. Even if you’re waiting for a coder before choosing a codebase you can still write out descriptions, help files, ability and spell messages etc.

Don’t use words like “hire” and “work” in your advert unless you are actually hiring someone for a job of work and offering to pay the market rate.

Don’t be secretive or talk about people stealing your ideas. This is a big red flag that you don’t know what you’re doing.

The single biggest factor for me in deciding if I want to get involved in a project is whether I think the other person is capable of delivering their end. If you’ve got a solid design and plenty of content already put together then that shows me that you’re serious and that we have a good chance of launching a game.

Too often you see people hawking their ideas around MUD forums months or even years apart and still they have nothing to show for it. You don’t need to wait until you have a coder to plan out your design and build your content, and if you do that you will greatly increase your chances of finding someone to work with.

2 comments on “Looking for Coder

  • Typsy Shah  says:

    Off and on for years, I’ve glanced at freelance sites,game selling sites and ad rev outlets, to try and get an idea of common rates and splits. Anything involving ‘hiring’ and ‘work’ is well out of my budget. I’m also kinda strange though..

    Most of my design is done, at least for the first draft, on pen-and-paper. This is mostly because I like to try new RPG stuff out with a live group first, so I try and just come up with original content with some kind of system or source and tweak it as I feel I need to. Then it usually gets to the point that it takes way to long to find a paper, index card or map that I need. At that point, it needs to be edited and entered..then probrably edited again. XD

    What’s strange is I always felt that media compliments other forms of media. A template for a game would be a project, in and of itself. Yet, I’d probrably have other seperate projects in mind for the IP as well. I think that confuses alot of people but I can’t help visualizing it that way.

    One way I see it, is if there’s no budget for a coder, then there is no budget for promo either. So I feel that using the IP for flashfic’, comics, short vid’s or any other little productions and side projects, could be a helpful (and fun) way to draw people in, as long as the content is original and doesn’t infringe any IP rights.

    Keeping that in mind,let me say that I love text games as a medium, as I believe it’s all gotta start with some decent writing anyway. I can’t help but feel that MUDs are probrably an ideal waypoint to crossing over to other forms of media. I do tend to find them to be rather large and static, if that makes sense. I like the idea of something smaller(with room to grow), with some idea of timelines, events and change, even if it’s merely cosmetic.

    I like some IF and some other stuff too. I found the interactive story format to be simple and refreshing but I usually stay pretty scattered out in left field. thanks for the link in the other post btw, I’ll check it out.

    I can’t help but wonder what modern MUDs could be like. I guess I don’t have any reason not to make a template and some doc’s for something small eventually,try and organize some thoughts, if nothing else. I have some strange ideas tho’..and there’s always the possibility that I could wake up tommorow and realize everything I was thinking the day before, is just wrong. XD

  • X24  says:

    As a programmer, I tend to avoid people who are looking for someone to help them with their game. 90% of such ads make me laugh until I cry at the utter absurdity of their ad. Usually they are too immature, don’t understand what a programmer does, doesn’t understand project management, don’t know what they want, or just aren’t committed enough to their own idea. And, of course, certainly can’t fork out the going rate.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but no qualified programmer is going to work for very little money on your idea. It’s the same way with the job market.

    If I were to take up your project, it would be because: I think I can take advantage of you, or because I really enjoy your project. And sadly, the second rarely happens because people looking for a programmer don’t do everything they can to progress their idea, and instead, they sit on their “awesome idea” egg, do nothing, and blame it on the fact they haven’t gotten any interest. And if someone is doing that, just how dedicated to their idea are they? Certainly not enough to be worth a programmer’s time.


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