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Help Wanted: Additional Programmer for Dicey Dungeons

Applications are now closed. Thank you!

Hello all! I’m looking for a programmer for a new videogame I’ve been working on, Dicey Dungeons. It’s a full or part time position for at least two months, and possibly longer. Ideally, you’d be available to start as soon as possible!

Dicey Dungeons is currently available in early alpha on itch.io, and it’s coming to Steam and Mobile in the next few months – i.e. we’re into the last few months of development. You can get the latest version here, or play some earlier free builds here. (Here’s a great youtube video of the most recent version!)

Dicey Dungeons is a three person project right now – a musician, and artist, and me, on design and programming. For the last six weeks, I’ve spent almost all of my time on programming work, and it’s meant design work has come to a halt. I think that’s been bad for the project, and I want to do something about it!

What I’m looking for

Dicey Dungeons is created with Haxe, using my own framework, which is an extension on top of OpenFL and HaxeStarling. I’m looking for someone who’s familiar with at least some of that!

  • Experience with Haxe is a prerequisite.
  • Experience with OpenFL and Starling would help a lot, but isn’t mandatory.
  • Experience with Haxegon isn’t expected.

What kind of work would you be doing?

I’m basically looking for someone to tackle the more technically focused programming jobs, so that I can concentrate on the design focused ones. These jobs include:

  • Optimisation: reduce draw calls, reduce cpu use, and skip unchanged frames where possible to reduce the system requirements of the game and make it run better across all devices.
  • Create a system to automatically create 1080p assets from our 4K assets as needed, and restructure the code so that it can automatically handle different asset resolutions as an in-game setting.
  • Expand the audio tech in the game to increase the range of cool things we can do – we’re really interested in exploring dynamic audio – particularly syncing sounds to music, using real-time filters like reverb, and layering tracks.
  • Figure out a workflow for getting our After Effect animations working in starling fast and efficiently. Potential solutions range from building our own animation tech, to converting the animations to starling friendly file formats.
  • Restructure and simplify the game’s “action” system so that we can implement a minimax AI for the enemies.
  • Do the tech side of getting the game working well on mobile devices (which is mostly about reducing texture memory use – carefully unloading and reloading assets as needed). (I’ll be doing the design side – i.e. resolution independence, UI changes)
  • Work towards making the game more moddable – this mostly means making it possible to load and unload different mods at runtime and creating a system to support that, refactoring existing systems in the game to make it easier for people to create radically different enemies, equipment and characters, and working with the existing modding community to add stuff they might want!
  • Implement platform specific features like cloud saving and achievements for steam, iOS and google play. In particular, I’d really like to add Steam Workshop support.
  • Help out with the more technically focused bugs on this public github issues list.

Money

Payment stuff is negotiable! I can probably afford a rate of £25/hour GBP for two months, but I’m up for discussing more for less time depending on your qualifications and experience!

This job is for someone working remotely online – I’m based in London, but it doesn’t matter where you’re based.

Applications

If you’re interested, you can apply via this google form! Please fill it in by Monday the 3rd of September.

[Applications closed]

Thank you!

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Help Wanted: Art Director for Dicey Dungeons

Applications are now closed. Thank you!

Hello blog readers! Apologies for the boring job post! (If you are not interested in being the new Art Director for Dicey Dungeons, you can stop reading now!)

I am looking for an Art Director for a new videogame I’m working on, Dicey Dungeons. It’s a full time position for 10 weeks, with some part time work requirements afterwards. Ideally, you’d be available to start within the next 3 or 4 weeks!

You can play an early work in progress version of Dicey Dungeons RIGHT NOW – I’ve been releasing early versions of the game as I go. Check it out at http://diceydungeons.com/. (The current version of the game is using my own placeholder art, and is not indicative of how I want the game to eventually look.)

The game’s Art Director would be responsible for every part of how the game looks, from top to bottom, to make the whole thing come together. You’d be working with two other people – me (Design/Programming) and the game’s musician.

What I’m looking for

For this game, I’m really interested stepping away from the 8-bit styles I’m mostly known for, and I would love to work with an animator. I think Dicey Dungeons would look great with animated cartoon characters!

The majority of the work will be animating enemy characters – however, there is also a lot of world design, UI work and also a small amount of cutscene work!

Things I’m into for this game: Colourful. Cute. Newgrounds. Adventure Time. Cartoon Network. Vectory. Animated. Expressive. Simple. Readable.

Things I’m not into for this game: Detailed. 8-bit. Retro. Pixel Art. Videogame. Noisy.

This might be a good match for you if: your style fits some of the things I’m into above. You’ve got some experience with both character design and animation. You’re happy working remotely. (If you’re around the UK it’d be great to have team meetings in person occasionally, but I don’t have a good space for you to work out of!). You don’t need to have been involved in making a game before, and your standard working hours don’t have to be UK hours, but you do need to be able to work on the game more-or-less full-time.

A Challenge

Here’s the biggest art puzzle in Dicey Dungeons:

The game is really UI heavy. One of the big things the game’s art director is going to need to figure out is how to make this screen look and feel great, because it’s what the game will look like 90% of the time!

Time

I estimate that this job is about 10 weeks of full time work, and then a couple of weeks of part time work. Here’s the actual list of work involved:

– Monster designs and animations (there’s a LOT of this, dozens and dozens. It’s mostly this, tbh)
– Player character designs and animations (there are six of these)
– Overall design, concept work, figuring things out
– Art for equipment
– Art for UI
– Art for combat stage layout
– Art for exploration stage
– Some cutscene stuff
– Meta stuff – icons, store page art, etc

Money Stuff

Alright! So, I have a budget of around £10,000 – £12,000 for this project. Over ten weeks and including some part time work after, that works out as a day rate of £200 per day. I would strongly prefer to make this game without the help of a publisher, if I can, so I can’t really go very far outside that budget.

Also: I am very open to having a conversation about revenue shares, and about finding a balance between revenue share and day rate. (I actually really like the idea of revenue sharing, as a way to, you know, stake your claim in the thing, make it something you OWN a bit of, rather than something you’re working on.)

Finally, I’m happy to talk about paying some amount of this upfront, as a way to secure your time and commitment to the project.

(My expectation would be that all work done under these terms would be exclusively for Dicey Dungeons, and not for any other projects or video games.)

Applications

If you’re interested, you can apply via this google form! Please fill it in by Monday the 4th of June.

[Applications closed]

Thank you!

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Wanted: iOS Coder for Super Hexagon update

(thanks for the pic, theverge.com!)

EDIT: No longer looking for help with this. Thank you!

Hey hey – sorry for the boring help wanted post!

Since I got back from Berlin, I’ve been taking a little time out to fix up and finish small things before I dive back into my big roguelike. In particular, that’s meant fixing up copycat, making Elizascript, and a few other tiny things I’m working on at the moment. I’ll have more to say about that soon. Right now? One thing I’ve needed to do for some time is a Super Hexagon update on iPhone.

Every other version of Super Hexagon – desktop, android, blackberry – is based on the OpenFramework C++ port I made after the iPhone version came out. I consider that the definitive, final version of the game. The iPhone version is the original flash version – which is pretty solid, but has some problems.

In particular, it doesn’t have retina graphics, which is something that’s looking more and more dated with each new iPhone.

I’d really love to port the OpenFrameworks version of the game back to iPhones – it would leave the game running smoothly and perfectly on the latest versions of iOS, and would finally upgrade the game to a retina resolution. But I’ve been terrified to touch it – I had a scare with the iPhone 5 update where people briefly lost thier save games, and I’m really worried that an engine change could mean that happening again.

So, I’m looking for help! I’m looking for someone to port the OpenFrameworks version of Super Hexagon to iPhone, and I’m particularly concerned that it picks up the flash SharedObject save file.

If you’re interested, here’s what you’d need to be able to do:
– Have some experience building and releasing games on iOS.
– Be familar with OpenFrameworks on iOS, and port over the current OpenFrameworks version of the game.
– Be *somewhat* familar with Adobe AIR, and dealing with flash SharedObjects on mobile.
– Convince me the the save files will be safe when the update goes live!
– Ideally, have access to several iOS devices for testing.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, get in touch, and we can discuss it further! Cheers!

EDIT: No longer looking for help with this. Thank you!

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Wanted: Coder for VVVVVV maintenance

Edit 26th March 2014: I’ve now found somebody for this job. Thank you!

Embedded that video mostly because I just wanted another reason to tell people about that medley. OMG, have you seen it? I know, right?

Heads up, this is a job offer post. If you’re not a coder looking for work, it’s probably going to be very boring oh no

I’m just back from GDC, and made a decision to take some time out of my projects to finish up a couple of small jobs that have been hanging around for way too long. One of those jobs is to finally update VVVVVV, which is currently in need of a patch.

The current steam and humble store version of the game is 2.0, which is the first version of Simon Roth’s C++ port. It’s mostly pretty stable, but it does have some issues – time trial scores aren’t saved, for example, a bunch of other small things like that.

There is a version 2.1, but it’s not live on steam – Simon did some work on the rendering code to make it hardware accelerated, which improves the games performance, but caused it to break for other people. I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to make that version live and potentially break the game for people who’d not have problems with it before. 2.1 fixes most of the 2.0 bugs, and adds some nice new features (like maps in player levels, coloured text in player levels, and some cool new player levels included by default like Dimension 333333). The 3DS version is essentially 2.1.

There’s also an unreleased version 2.2, which adds joypad support and a few other small things.

I’d like to hire someone for a week or two to finish version 2.2 of the game. If you’re an experienced C++ coder familar with Windows, Mac and Linux, available to start now and interested in working on this, I’d like to hear from you!

A broad overview of what’s involved:
– Get familiar with VVVVVV’s terribly messy code, and clean it up where possible.
– Update the rendering code to make it safe and stable on all platforms.
– Finish implementing the 2.2 patch, which includes a couple of half implemented features and a couple of features still to be implemented that we can talk more about.
Mac Specific: Ensure that the game works correctly on the latest versions of OSX, and get the game ready to re-submit to the Mac App Store.
Linux Specific: Ensure that the game runs nicely on the latest multitude of confusing linux systems.
Steam Specific: Implement steamworks support in the game.
– A few other secret things I don’t want to list here.

An ideal candidate for the job is someone who can be on call from here on out to fix issues that crop up. For example, should a mac update cause the game to suddenly stop working (these things happen, especially on mac), then you should be available to sort it out at your usual hourly rate without too much of a delay.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, get in touch, and we can discuss rates, deadlines, and more about what’s involved. Thanks!

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Wanted: Artist, maybe, I dunno, aghh

For the last month or so, I’ve been working on a couple of different small projects. Here’s another one I started recently!

vanda

I went to a jam at London’s V&A museum about a week ago. The theme: make a game inspired by the exhibits.

One of my favourite recent games is Dark Souls, and this seemed like a good opportunity to make a small Dark Souls inspired thing. One of the many things I love about that game is how it tells you about its world – letting you slowly piece things together for yourself as you discover useful game items containing parts of its history, fragments of stories with crucial details omitted.

I thought I’d try making a sort of dungeon crawler that had the same approach to item lore, only, based on real life museum exhibits from the V&A. Items that implied details of history lost in time, mysteries never solved. Pretty straightforward for a two day jam, I figured! Anyway, I got sidetracked and made a cool combat engine thing instead.

Here’s a vine!

I’ve basically got this really simple Dark Souls meets JRPG meets Street Fighter inspired system going on. It’s all about blocking at the right time, attacking at the right time, while managing your health, stamina and status effects. Nothing too complex, but it’s frantic and fun! I ripped the cutscene code out of my Experiment 12 game to make the battle animations, which are just clunky single frames that pan and shake.

So, here’s the thing. After the jam, I sat down and had another look at the game, and figured out some kind of bigger plan for what I want to make out of it. I wanna finish this up as a small, completely non-commercial thing and I’m just going to throw up online – and I’d like to do it soon, before the end of the year, preferably before Christmas.

It seems like it’s going to require a LOT of art assets, though. That one battle in the vine has three idle frames, three attack frames, a blocking frame, and it’s not even complete at that. And that’s just one enemy. I’m planning to have about eight of them! I’ll probably end up just doing palette swaps, but still.

So that’s a lot of work, and it’s not really work I’m that into doing – I’d much rather spend my time focused on the design, which itself has a bunch of scary time consuming challenges. So, I figured, why not team up with someone who actually enjoys drawing! You know, an artist!

I’m usually super reluctant to team up with artists, but I think it makes sense here, and it could be fun – I kinda love the idea of finding someone who brings something unexpected and cool to this universe.

So! If this sounds like something you’d be into and you’ve got some free time this month, drop me a mail, and we’ll talk more about it. (if you’re based in London, even better!)

Edit: I’ve found somebody! Thanks for the offers 🙂

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Wanted: Coder

EDIT 21st Nov 2012: This position is now filled! Thank you.

Hey all! I’m looking for another coder for a contract job. Here’s the deal:

I recently ported Super Hexagon from Flash to C++, using the cross platform openFrameworks library. That port is now finished, and the game should hopefully be launching on PC and Mac very soon.

I’m looking for a programmer to port this new version of the game to Android, and then later to iOS (as an update to the existing version there). The library I’ve used is supposed to be cross platform, so I don’t expect it to be a huge job – but there are enough complications with it to make it a job for a more experienced coder than myself.

Part of the job will be to implement Scoreloop on Android, and Gamecenter on iOS. (On iOS, you’ll also need to write some code to pick up the old flash save files.) You may also need to optimise the code to make it run at 60fps at retina resolutions.

You don’t necessarily have to use openFrameworks if you’re more familiar with a different C++ framework on Android/iOS (it should be relatively straightforward to swap oF for something else).

If you’re interested, please get in touch, and we can discuss rates, deadlines, and more about what’s involved. Thanks!

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Wanted: Coder

UPDATE 12th October: I’m no longer looking for help with this. Thank you!

I’ve got a small contract job available for a coder – I’m looking for someone to write an AIR Native Extension for the Android leaderboard service Scoreloop. The scoreloop SDK is written in java.

I’m not entirely sure how much work is involved in this, but if you have experience writing ANEs and you’re interested, please get in touch and we can discuss it more! My email address is here. Thank you!

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Wanted: Coder

I’m no longer looking for any applications – thank you! [13th April 2011]

Hey all! Time for another wanted ad – I’ll keep this one short.

I’m looking for a contract coder to port a new flash game of mine to C++. The job will probably take a couple of weeks. If you’re interested and would like to know more, please send me an email, and we can discuss rates, deadlines, and more about what’s involved.

Ideally, you should:
– Be very familiar with C++ and SDL (or a similar cross platform library)
– Be at least somewhat familiar with ActionScript 3
– Have some experience building binaries in Windows, Mac and Linux.

Thanks!

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Wanted: Musician


I’m no longer looking for any applications. Thank you!

I’m currently working on a game for an unannounced event this summer, and I’m looking for a musician! Ideally, I’m looking for someone who’s really good at writing melodic, ambient music. Here are a few pieces that I’ve been using in the game as temporary placeholders:

B.L. Underwood: Fraenum

I’ve looked into creative commons music, and I’m open to using existing music in the game if it fits, but ideally I’d like to find one person to create a new soundtrack to help me get the feel of the game right. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the placeholders above either; I’m just looking for someone with a style that suits the world I’m trying to create.

If you’re interested in helping out, please get in touch, and we can talk a bit more about the project, your rates, deadlines, and so on. My email can be found here – when emailing, it would be really helpful if you could include a link to your portfolio, and maybe point out a couple of tracks in it that you think might suit the mood I’m going for.

I’m sorry for being so cryptic about this project – hopefully next week I’ll be able to talk about it a bit more, once the event’s been announced.

By the way, if anyone else reading knows of anyone who might be suited for this, feel free to point them to this post – and I’d love some recommendations for people to look into in the comments!

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