Looking for a 2D MMORPG programmer

KirkS
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Post: #1
iDevGames,

My name is Kirk Sigmon and I am a project manager of an up-and-coming 2D Massively Multiplayer Onlne Game. With about 20 people in our staff already, this is an absolutely huge project, and we're constantly looking for green or existing talent to take on the team.

Right now, my team is looking for a programmer for the game itself. While we have many people offering to take the job, the job position is open to anyone who can impress my critique team and I. This job would involve the actual programming of the entire engine, which would include the following features:
* An action-RPG battle engine
* A MMORPG backbone allowing hundreds of players to play on one game server
* Support for open source formats such as OGG Vorbis, Speex, PNG, and the like
* Support for OSX and XP and Greater (eg: No DirectX)
* A level engine, including a level editor
* An internal scripting engine for level developers

All of this is to be done in a format that is both low footprint and expandable. My team would prefer "basic" coding languages (C++, C, et al) rather than any kind of language that requires external downloads (such as JAVA). This project will be incredibly detailed, but because we have laid things out for you (as well as consulted with other programmers), I can assure you that everything is not only simple work, but also very straightforward and structured work.

More details can be given in a documentation file we have that outlines virtually every single detail and feature the game should contain.

This project will be paid in a unique way. Instead of a lump-sum payment before or after the project, you will be contractually obligated to a percentage of future profits capped at a reasonable level. For example, you could get 3% of all net profits capped at $40,000 or more for your work- a large amount of money for even the most advanced coder.

If you are interested, you can contact me on here or at Kirk@Gametrash.com. All potential clients will be asked to sign a Non-disclosure agreement that will ensure you do not share any information with our competitors. As well, you can contact me with any kinds of questions or concerns you may have, or just give me an opinion of what you think in general.

Thanks,
Kirk Sigmon
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Post: #2
In an attempt not to be cynical, I would like to ask a few questions.

1. Will the programmers be payed at all before the job is complete (based on work preformed, hours logged, etc.) I know you touched on this issue, but it is unlikely that you will find anyone willing to work for promises alone.
2. How many programmers will be employed? (this job would likely take 2-3 very skilled programmers or 5 average programmers a year or two to complete)
3. Does the existing team have anything for this project completed to date? A website, perhaps some concept art, or an example piece of music?
4. Do you, or your other team members have any previous experience in this area that could be taken into account when this project is being considered by the community here?

I don't mean to sound negative or pretentious on behalf of this community, but unless most of these questions can be addressed satisfactorily, you're dreaming on the wrong message board. Those willing to work for what I could make of your terms would likely be too inexperienced to handle any one of the features that you mentioned, and those experienced enough to handle it quickly enough to make the pay worthwhile are already working on their own projects for far more than min(3%,40k) future cash.

For more information, you may wish to read a thread that used to be stickied on this forum:
http://www.idevgames.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9560
(although your words are strung together with more skill than the average MMORPG "designer" that posts here)
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Post: #3
Joseph Duchesne Wrote:(although your words are strung together with more skill than the average MMORPG "designer" that posts here)

Definitely true. I can't believe how many MMORPG hopefuls there are here who know absolutely nothing about programming (sure I don't know much more than them but I'm not about to write an MMORPG) Wink

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Post: #4
KirkS Wrote:Right now, my team is looking for a programmer for the game itself...This job would involve the actual programming of the entire engine...
Sounds to me like you want a single programmer to write an entire MMORPG. All the MMORPGs on the market worth playing were made by teams of programmers.
Quote:...the following features:* An action-RPG battle engine
Tough enough in itself. Anyone else care to jump in with how long it took David to write Lugaru and its battle system?
Quote:* A MMORPG backbone allowing hundreds of players to play on one game server
This is a job for a team, not one person.
Quote:* Support for open source formats such as OGG Vorbis, Speex, PNG, and the like
Finally, something doable. You can basically get these for free in libraries. That's a design decision, not a programming decision.
Quote:* Support for OSX and XP and Greater (eg: No DirectX)
Ah, the kicker. A single programmer simultaneously supporting two platforms. While possible, it could get ugly.
Quote:* A level engine, including a level editor
Trivial once the backend is finished.
Quote:* An internal scripting engine for level developers
That goes in with backend, and you can get it basically for free with a library like Lua.
Quote:All of this is to be done in a format that is both low footprint and expandable. My team would prefer "basic" coding languages (C++, C, et al) rather than any kind of language that requires external downloads (such as JAVA).
You probably should have realized before now that no one uses Java for things that need to run fast, like games. It's common knowledge. And C++ is far from "basic." (Oh, and an MMORPG backend that's "low footprint"? o_O)
Quote:This project will be incredibly detailed, but because we have laid things out for you (as well as consulted with other programmers), I can assure you that everything is not only simple work, but also very straightforward and structured work.
Considering the rest of your post, this makes me wary. If you don't know the differences between the major languages, then how can potential employees be confident that your plan makes sense?
Quote:This project will be paid in a unique way. Instead of a lump-sum payment before or after the project, you will be contractually obligated to a percentage of future profits capped at a reasonable level. For example, you could get 3% of all net profits capped at $40,000 or more for your work- a large amount of money for even the most advanced coder.
This part sets off alarm bells in my head. The phrase "a large amount of money for even the most advanced coder" makes you sound very cocky about your knowledge of "programmers," but your technical details make it look to me like you're really not experienced. Good coders are regularly paid a good deal more than that, and since you're looking for one supercoder, that's not even close to reasonable if this is the kind of game where 100+ people play at the same time. In fact, that phrase reminds me of a quote by one of the later managers at Atari just before it self-destructed. It's a particularly telling quote by a terrible manager. Here it is: "I know creative people. I worked with towel designers."

You do sound a lot more organized and intelligent than most prospective MMORPG makers, but you still seem inexperienced. This really will take a team of 4-10 programmers to do right, and you're asking for a single genius.

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Post: #5
diordna Wrote:You probably should have realized before now that no one uses Java for things that need to run fast, like games. It's common knowledge.

It's nonsense.
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Post: #6
Also, runescape is done in Java and it's a 3D MMORPG... and it's not slow at all Rasp
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Post: #7
Joseph Duchesne Wrote:Also, runescape is done in Java and it's a 3D MMORPG... and it's not slow at all Rasp

Is the backend done in Java too?
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Post: #8
A mmorpg is a project that can be done by 1-2 very determinate, very passionate, very experienced people (runescape was coded almost single-handedly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RuneScape , also Eternal Lands ( http://www.eternal-lands.com/ )).

Unfortunately this does not mean 100 noobs can do it.

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Post: #9
PowerMacX Wrote:Is the backend done in Java too?

Almost certainly not. I tried making a MMORPG backend with Java. It only got 20fps with 4 players. And that's a dead simple one that keeps track of only player position, player model id and what each player is saying. I switched to C and never had any speed problems. (Possibly due to my inexperience: the way I was doing threads, and the poor networking (I think I should have used UDP or something)) The frontend is what I was referring to.
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Post: #10
Why wouldn't Java work for the backend? Eve Online's server and client is programmed largely in Stackless Python. That's a commercial game with a single universe, and a ton of players.

It's not necessary to write everything in C for something to be "fast enough". Not not all tasks take a ton of processor time to run.

edit: In a grumpy mood when first written, made less harsh.

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Post: #11
Now that you mention it, you're right. There isn't any reason why Java couldn't be used as a server. Granted, there are better choices, but it would work quite well (as I suspected, the slowness was my bad code, I checked it just now). Sorry for forgetting that it isn't the 90's any more Rasp
(Python, however? I'm rather impressed Smile)
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Post: #12
3% sounds like good pay, but I would like to know what the other 20 people on the team would be doing?

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Post: #13
Joseph Duchesne Wrote:Almost certainly not. I tried making a MMORPG backend with Java. It only got 20fps with 4 players. And that's a dead simple one that keeps track of only player position, player model id and what each player is saying. I switched to C and never had any speed problems. (Possibly due to my inexperience: the way I was doing threads, and the poor networking (I think I should have used UDP or something)) The frontend is what I was referring to.

You were doing something totally wrong.
Java on the server side is a major platform for highspeed realtime server backends.
I have written plenty of java based servers that easily handle hundreds of clients at a time.

runescape could very easily be java on the back end... and puzzel pirates probably is run all on java.

Also MOST MMOs and real time network games use UDP.
But some AAA level MMOs are actually managing to use TCP
example http://www.anarchy-online.com/
I read years back managed to work with TCP packets.

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KirkS
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Post: #14
Sorry for the late response. Looks like you guys are quite confused- so let me answer the questions. A lot of these things seem to be mainly revolving around me not being clear, so I'll try to clear things up.

diordna Wrote:Sounds to me like you want a single programmer to write an entire MMORPG. All the MMORPGs on the market worth playing were made by teams of programmers.
Nah, that was my fault. I'm looking for multiple people. However, like I'll say below, without getting into too much running-of-the-mouth about it, the engine is incredibly basic compared to most MMOs. Comparatively, it's not too far removed from first player games with multiplayer additions- especially if we use RakNet for the Networking.

diordna Wrote:Finally, something doable. You can basically get these for free in libraries.
And I picked them because they are all open source and easy to use. This even extends to compression, where I'd like to use 7z. It's not a design decision because obviously someone needs to put them into place. It's easy, but I'm just trying to show the kind of formats I'd expect.

diordna Wrote:Ah, the kicker. A single programmer simultaneously supporting two platforms. While possible, it could get ugly.
I'm fully aware, unfortunately. This may require we look for a graphics engine that could handle it (as well as plugins and whatnot), but the whole concept is obviously geared toward multiplatform compliance. I'm not dropping either because both userbases deserve a version (choosing one would be stupid), so it's just one of those little pain-in-the-ass things I'm asking for.

diordna Wrote:You probably should have realized before now that no one uses Java for things that need to run fast, like games. It's common knowledge. And C++ is far from "basic." (Oh, and an MMORPG backend that's "low footprint"? o_O)
Considering the rest of your post, this makes me wary. If you don't know the differences between the major languages, then how can potential employees be confident that your plan makes sense?
I have about 10 e-mails in my inbox from wannabe programmers who have told me that Java is the code to use. Lots of people use it for stuff like that. I'm fully aware it's stupid, but not many other people seem to be. Some guy actually went so far as to trying to do a little engine in Java and sent it to me, which lagged my computer so badly that I had a hard time shutting the damned game off.

diordna Wrote:This part sets off alarm bells in my head. The phrase "a large amount of money for even the most advanced coder" makes you sound very cocky about your knowledge of "programmers," but your technical details make it look to me like you're really not experienced. Good coders are regularly paid a good deal more than that, and since you're looking for one supercoder, that's not even close to reasonable if this is the kind of game where 100+ people play at the same time. In fact, that phrase reminds me of a quote by one of the later managers at Atari just before it self-destructed. It's a particularly telling quote by a terrible manager. Here it is: "I know creative people. I worked with towel designers."
I'm sorry, but you really come off as having a chip on your shoulder about this. $30k for a job of this nature is big for anyone- a designer, an artist, even ME. I don't mean to be an *******, but I sincerely doubt that you are actually such a great programming genius that you would be worth much more money than that- I doubt I would hire anyone who demanded as such on principle.

I understand the supercoder problem, and like I said, it's a misconception that that's what I'm looking for. However, again, let me stress that this game is VERY simple compared to usual MMO titles, and that I'm trying to keep the amount of the programmers on the project down to about a handful because I don't think it would be worth it to split he money up so much for no visible benefit.

Joseph Duchesne Wrote:1. Will the programmers be payed at all before the job is complete (based on work preformed, hours logged, etc.) I know you touched on this issue, but it is unlikely that you will find anyone willing to work for promises alone.
I've already got people willing to work like this, including programmers. I know it's not your typical work environment or payment method- but I'm not looking for "professional" programmers, I'm looking for people willing to take a chance to get their name out and the like. Most people working on this project would be willing to do it without pay, though I'm obviously still going to do the percentage thing.
Joseph Duchesne Wrote:2. How many programmers will be employed? (this job would likely take 2-3 very skilled programmers or 5 average programmers a year or two to complete)
Like I mentioned, I have other programmers, but not many. Without touching too deeply into the system, this engine is VERY simple- so unlike your average MMO, this is going to be a breeze to program (comparatively, anyway). I do know it's going to take a while, which is why there is no required completion date.
Joseph Duchesne Wrote:3. Does the existing team have anything for this project completed to date? A website, perhaps some concept art, or an example piece of music?
Concept art and music? Yes, but I'm still holding them on terms of the NDA I'm having people sign. Website? Not yet- I'm holding off on that until I actually have something to show. Opening one at this stage would be like bragging about a goal I never reached, and I'm not stupid enough to open up a page detailing all sorts of things that haven't happened yet.
Joseph Duchesne Wrote:4. Do you, or your other team members have any previous experience in this area that could be taken into account when this project is being considered by the community here?
The area, as in MMOs?

Actually, again, let me say that I'm looking for green talent. I'm not looking for industry hard hitters, I'm looking for people with talent to take to the top. I'm intentionally finding people without any proven talent, really. Now, that being said, a lot of our people (such as our musicians) have big educational and experience backgrounds nonetheless. However, absolutely none of us have worked on an MMORPG before, obviously.




Anyway, thanks for all your critique. I don't mean to be a jerk, but please understand that unless you're actually interested in the project, I would prefer not fielding any major questions from you- while I want to get the info on the project out, it's obviously a big time consuming task. Trust me- while I may have come off as inexperienced, you have to realize that a lot of what I'm putting forth is not geared toward finding professional "god like" coders of some major stature, but finding people with talent and no proven ability- as well as people who are willing to take a risk.

With that being said, you can still contact me via the mentioned methods.
KirkS
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Post: #15
unknown Wrote:3% sounds like good pay, but I would like to know what the other 20 people on the team would be doing?

Crap, sorry about forgetting your post.

Just running off of my head- there's me and my marketing team (I'm the only one who gets paid in the team, the rest are volunteers), the 2D sprite team, the concept art team, the music team, and a variety of other positions. Level designers and people who will actually deal with in-game content aren't even considered to be "hired" yet, and will probably not actually be paid (as it's not hard work that requires much talent- I know, I've done work for other MMORPGs in that realm).

Basically, the whole goal is to let you just program, and have everything else come to you without you having to worry too much about it.
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