How many demos should I make before recruitment?

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lets_try_it
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How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#1 Post by lets_try_it » Sat May 30, 2015 1:38 am

Hello , guys and gals (and other)! I am trying to make game with Ren'py along the lines of a life sim with the intent of it being one of those games on patreon that updates a lot (but hopefully it will be updated very often). But since I do not want to add others to my project until it seems good, I will not add an art partner for a long time (I might commission some art with the very low amount of money I have to keep me motivated, but that's all) until I have a couple demos/updates already. So, if you were an artist (and if you are an artist, then your imput will be three times as appreciated), how many updates would you like to see before joining the project.

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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#2 Post by Jate » Sat May 30, 2015 3:32 am

What matters to me more is how long the project's been going on than the number of updates. I'd rather see five updates over a month than ten over a week, as the former shows longer-term dedication and I'd be less worried about early enthusiasm fizzling out. That said I do want to see word from the creator/staff at least once a week, though that word can just be an affirmation that work is being done. \

There's the matter of the update content. An update can be anything from "fixed a typo" to "completely reworked the combat system," so giving a number of updates is kind of hard.

Personally, if you were looking for someone to commission, I would only want enough information to decide if I liked the project. I'd be getting paid regardless of whether you get to release point, so it wouldn't be a big loss for me if you didn't. Of course I'd prefer for it to, both for the personal exposure benefit and because if I work on something I'll inevitably get attached to it, but it wouldn't be a necessity for me.

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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#3 Post by wendybirdx » Sat May 30, 2015 8:04 am

I would personally not need a number of demos, just one. Various demos would just tell me a lack of planning, since a demo should be the "we're practically done, we just need to see if it's buggy or uninteresting for a shorter section" kind of thing. For updates, you could just constantly edit a WIP post or an Ideas post and put dates along with a short phrase on the work you've done. Like Jate said, a weekly update might work well. If it was every couple of weeks, I wouldn't mind either.

But really, even if I saw no updates, my interest would be in the project itself. And, if there is a demo to show and work to be presented, that's enough proof of dedication for me to join a project.

If you really do want to show that you're constantly updating, you could put up a normal WIP/Ideas post (depending on how much work you have done) and put up a link to a blog where you post updates on your work in case people are interested. I think it's even very likely a lot of people won't care much about updates as long as you have work to show (I personally wouldn't), so maybe keeping that much content in a separate blog where you can expand on your work and progress is a good option.

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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#4 Post by Tyrantauranox » Sat May 30, 2015 11:05 am

One impressive demo is enough to get my attention. I need to get the strong impression that the game will be made, no matter what.

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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#5 Post by morg » Sat May 30, 2015 11:21 am

What attracts writers, programmers and others is a catchy art style. So for that, I think you'll need to recruit an artist first. What I think would attract an artist would be the story plot itself and how dedicated the author is. I think that a high percentage of artists look up the producer first, for example, they would open a link to your Tumblr. And i think dedication is extremely important, if you always post about your project rather than your daily life, then the person reading your blog would take interest in working with this project, because showing large interest and constant updates would give off an idea that the project is successful. It would also reassure the artist that you won't abandon the project after the demo. Reassurance is very important for someone expecting payment after the game is released, so make sure to give them that.
since at some point the artist will be working for free, then they'd have to volunteer. And personally, I wouldn't volunteer for a project that sounds boring. The artist needs to be as excited as the customer for the release. So don't keep the gameplay a mystery, the artist would like to see exciting features and since you have a sim, then I'm pretty sure you'll have plenty to offer in terms of programming. I recommend that dating sims focus on gameplay whereas kinetic novels should concentrate more an explaining the story. Ofcourse make sure to give the artist more info than the player.
Something i hate in daily life is keeping people on hang. For example saying stuff like "The game is almost ready, expect the release for tomorrow! is annoying if you repeat it everyday. Set a certain release date that is afew days after the deadline

And finally, be your artist's friend. That way they'll enjoy working with you and you won't see the need to add more than one demo, and your recruitment will be smooth
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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#6 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sat May 30, 2015 1:20 pm

Tyrantauranox wrote:One impressive demo is enough to get my attention. I need to get the strong impression that the game will be made, no matter what.
That's not necessarily an indication of definite success. I've seen many impressive demos whose projects have become vaporware.
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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#7 Post by lets_try_it » Sat May 30, 2015 4:27 pm

OK! Thank you everyone for the advice! My current plan will be to :

-Finish my first demo

-Make a blogspot and lemma-page

-And then release two more before I look for someone.

Also, since I now understand that the content of the demos are extremely important for an artist, I would like to ask what you would consider a good amount of work for a first demo of a constantly updating game?

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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#8 Post by Jate » Sat May 30, 2015 11:59 pm

What I'd want to see in a demo for your game is hard to say when I know so little about it. But, uh, I'd want there to be enough for me to get a feel for your writing style. Mechanics wise I'd like to be able to see how the sim will be played, even if it's barebones and not actually functional yet. I would want to know, although this could come across some or entirely from your project page, the overall tone and (if there is one) plot, and be introduced to some of the central characters. As far as an amount of work, I can't give a number, but I would like to see that it's evident several hours has been put into it.

A big thing I, and I think any artist, would want to know is the scope of the project. Specifically when it comes to the art - how many backgrounds, characters - how many poses/expressions/outfits, CGs, gui elements, etc, you're going to need. This is something you definitely want to have planned out before you start looking for an artist - both so you can tell them, and so you don't end up underestimating the total cost or getting more/less than you need. The tone and themes of the game also come into play for the art, as that would let us know how suited our style(s) are for your game. If it were a dramatic piece with mature themes, for example, someone who specializes in chibi art probably wouldn't be the best fit.

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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#9 Post by HiddenCreature » Sun May 31, 2015 12:42 am

I second what Jate is saying. Anticipate all the questions an artist would have, and make sure you can answer them. It will increase their confidence in your ability to finish the game.

You can start out small, and just have a detailed outline for the demo, with some rough concepts for the entirety of the game.

What's important for a demo is not exactly how fancy it is, but if you can introduce all the important features of your game. If your resources are spread too thin, then pick a handful features you can realistically handle, and polish it to the best of our ability.

From experience, I can tell you you'll want to start with the blog page (or twitter, or whatever outlet you choose) now instead of later. I assumed I should wait until I had a demo and everything to show off, but it wouldn't make a huge difference. It will still take time for people to notice what you're doing, and to get the momentum of followers going.

So it's better to start that process as soon as you can. However, that's not to stay you can start with just nothing. Have at least some kind of art to show off, and a place where people can learn more details about the game.

But again, I stress what I and Jate were saying. Anticipate all the questions people will have, and have their answers. It's important to you know what you'll want done out of this game.

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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#10 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sun May 31, 2015 9:27 pm

Jate wrote:A big thing I, and I think any artist, would want to know is the scope of the project. Specifically when it comes to the art - how many backgrounds, characters - how many poses/expressions/outfits, CGs, gui elements, etc, you're going to need. This is something you definitely want to have planned out before you start looking for an artist - both so you can tell them, and so you don't end up underestimating the total cost or getting more/less than you need.
This is why i'm iffy about recruiting artists and composers and so on before a full script has been written, though it seems to be common here. I honestly wouldn't have the guts to do something like that when I know that the script itself, and therefore the number of assets required, can change---sometimes drastically---between drafts.
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Re: How many demos should I make before recruitment?

#11 Post by Rossfellow » Sun May 31, 2015 11:07 pm

Mad Harlequin wrote:
Jate wrote:A big thing I, and I think any artist, would want to know is the scope of the project. Specifically when it comes to the art - how many backgrounds, characters - how many poses/expressions/outfits, CGs, gui elements, etc, you're going to need. This is something you definitely want to have planned out before you start looking for an artist - both so you can tell them, and so you don't end up underestimating the total cost or getting more/less than you need.
This is why i'm iffy about recruiting artists and composers and so on before a full script has been written, though it seems to be common here. I honestly wouldn't have the guts to do something like that when I know that the script itself, and therefore the number of assets required, can change---sometimes drastically---between drafts.
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