Suggestions for recruiters

For recruitment of team members to help create visual novels and story-based games, and for people who want to offer their services to create the same.
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Sharm
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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#31 Post by Sharm » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:48 pm

I have a suggestion for anyone who doesn't want a project to fail.

Working with someone else won't help you make a game that you couldn't otherwise, but it will help you make a better game. Collaborations are attractive because everyone believes on some level that doing so will make you have less work. Anyone who's been in a successful collaboration will tell you it's not true. If you can't make a game on your own (even a silly and stupid one) it won't matter how many other people help or how amazing they are at that job, they won't be able to carry the project to the end. So, if you want your project to succeed, realize that you and every person you ask to join you will have to put in as much effort as if you were creating a game alone. As a result you'll make a higher quality game in a shorter amount of time and hopefully make some new friends on the way.
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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#32 Post by Gear » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:33 pm

Very true. I would also add that beware of personal differences. Don't let your project be torn apart because of different ideals. If you start to see fighting, resolve it quickly, and start encouraging members to distance themselves from each other to a professional level. Believe me, I've been there.
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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#33 Post by Viobli » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:54 am

So I've been lurking the Recruitment forums a lot to see what others miss out and add on to my own reference which I can use when I want to recruit other people for my future games. I decided to make this small little guide(?) in hope that this can be useful to anyone ^^.
Starting off
Starting off is really important because this forms the first impression of you. You can start off with a simple greeting (as mentioned in the first post) like: "Hello everyone!" or something like that. Greeting shows how respectful you are because you acknowledge the reader's presence. Therefore, this also builds a good impression.
After greeting, you can then start introducing the game you are working on. If you want, you can introduce yourself beforehand (but the introduction shouldn't be too long, after all the point of your thread is about your game and recruiting people to join you.) You can mention what type of game it is - (Non-commercial? Commercial? KN? VN), followed by the genre (BxG? GxB? Mystery? Sci-fi?) and then the age rating.
Summary
So you've managed to start off well enough. Now, it's time for you to type the summary. Starting off for the summary is also very important as that also builds the first impression of the story. Therefore, it's not advised that you start off like this: "There was a boy named Jake and he had a normal life until..."
Start off interesting. There are many ways to start a summary, and here are some ways:
1. Quote from the story (Something interesting of course.)
2. Sounds (Sounds that happen at the climax of the story, e.g. "Bang! Bang!")
3. Climax.
After starting off, you can further elaborate on the story. Don't make it too long-winded though, keep it short and sweet. Then, you can end off mysteriously to make people wonder what will happen next. (e.g. Never did he know what will await him in the cold, stone house...)
Characters
Now that you've finished the summary, one important thing is the characters. You can include the main characters of the story and give short descriptions for them. The characters are really important if you recruit artists which I will further elaborate on later.
Recruitment
Now you're done with the summary and all those, you can state who you want to recruit -- artist, composer, editor, whoever. Don't just state who you want to recruit and just end the thread. This makes the reader think that you have no idea what you want the people you want to recruit to do except that you need them to draw/compose whatever. Therefore, state how much work you want done CLEARLY. For sprite artists for an example:
"I need the sprite artist to be able to do 5 sprites, 4 expressions each. More expressions might be added on but definitely not more than two." (Note that even if you do not know the exact number of expressions you want, you can give an estimate.)
If you're paying them, do give an estimate for the rates you are willing to pay CLEARLY as well, and what payment method you accept.

~A few notes:
1) Don't mention that you don't think you are going to do well in writing or anything like that. This shows that you lack confidence and there's a higher chance people won't join you.
2) Try the best of your ability to help the people you want to recruit by giving them references. For me, I'm honestly awful at drawing, but I do try my best to draw concepts for the artists to refer to so they can grasp a better idea of the characters. This way works better than just using words and there's a lower chance that your artists will make mistakes.
3) Create a short demo for people to view what you've done so far.
4) Include screenshots of the game in your post. This also establishes the first impression of your game.
5) Lastly, do include the progress of your game (Best if you classify them nicely.)
6) Proofread your post & the demo (if you will include any) a few times to ensure that they are in the best condition.
7) Do not be afraid to reveal information of your game! You don't need to reveal everything -- just part of the game which is interesting enough to captivate the readers.

So, I guess that's it for my longg post. I might be missing info here and there, but I'll edit the post whenever something comes into my mind (This is also for my own reference anyway since I figured my brain couldn't contain all these information xD) Hope this guide (?) is of some help to anyone!
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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#34 Post by Golden.Fleece » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:39 am

Fantastic suggestions for the contract and statement of working conditions. Well done!

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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#35 Post by ViRiX Dreamcore » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:14 am

I came here expecting just to read through the first post and skim through the rest... I've read nearly every post in this thread. Wow there is a LOT of useful information here! I am normally the recruitee rather than the recruiter, but there are still some good things to look for.

Thanks so much for all the great tips guys!
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Re: Suggestions for recruiters?

#36 Post by Chasing Summer » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:28 pm

redeyesblackpanda wrote:When you're recruiting people and you call yourself a writer for the project, writing "i need help plz k? my project is verry cool I looking fer peepol!" is not going to make you look good. :lol:
If you don't take the time to write as properly as you can recruiting, you're showing that you won't take the time needed to successfully execute a project. Being unfamiliar with a language is understandable, but being lazy is not.
Well said. ^^

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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#37 Post by hiko27 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:59 am

I don't think I have the VN experience to even suggest some things here but let's give it a try.

Be short and direct with your titles.
-It counts as your first impression and first impressions are everything when you're recruiting and in dire need of help. Be straight to the point, say you're recruiting for a game, what positions are you recruiting and if it has a title, write it. Sometimes the titles attract people to your thread because "Hey, this game sounds amazing, why don't we take a look at it *clicks*." You can't really write the whole game summary as the title, can you? Also proper grammar, punctuation and capitalization would be amazing.

Be nice, don't act all high and mighty just because you're the team leader.
-Some think that just because they're the team or project leader, that they're all that, but all in all, we're all human -- we're all equal. Be nice to the people who are applying for those positions. In a way, you're in their debt because they're going out of their way to help you out. Unless it's paid, then that's another story. But even then, act like a human being and treat them like one. Just because you pay them doesn't mean you can step all over and order them around. That way, they'll have a fun time working with you and will be more willing to work with you more in the future. Work towards that VN army you were planning on making lol.

Show what you can bring and have brought to the table.
-I actually didn't start recruiting until I had at least a good foundation of the game finished -- summary, features, characters, route outlines, sketches -- done. Show all of these, the more stuff you show, the better looking your thread is. For writing, I think it's best if you don't show your whole plot away, that just takes the fun from it. Show bits of passages or excerpts from the game that will definitely attract recruitees to want to join your project. Don't know if it sounds good enough? Ask a friend. Show them that excerpt and ask, "What do you think? Does it sound interesting enough for you?"

Be specific with the positions you're looking for.
-People have mentioned words like director or design or whatever in the previous posts, but to be honest, those titles are really vague. So you're a director, what are you going to do? Boss your team around? No, use specific terms. If you want a writer, jot down writer. If you want an artist, write artist. Want a graphic designer to make your graphics? Write down graphic designer. Nothing pisses me off more than terms like these. This one definitely goes along with the 'acting high and mighty' one above.

Be confident in your idea and post.
-Nothing scares prospective team members away more than people who aren't confident (and wrong grammar and spelling). Don't downplay your idea or your game, that's not the point of your thread. The point is that you're recruiting people to work with you on your game and not to have you sulk over how your idea is trash. If you already have a team gathered and you still think your idea is trash, well, stop thinking that and start improving it. Ask your teammates, these people have imaginations, learn something from it. Most of my ideas are actually from other peoples' opinions that are just mashed up together. But be careful, don't just put so much into a game, it'll just come out like a ransom note of some kind.

Goals and/or job descriptions.
-Okay, you've said hi, mentioned who you want to recruit, showed what you've got, but now what? Write down what you want each position to do. So okay, you want a writer, but is there a specific type of writer do you want? Someone who's written tons of angsty works or probably a rom-com? Do you want an artist who will draw you a specific amount of sprites or draws in cartoon-style? Don't be afraid to tell them this, it actually helps them see if they're eligible for the position you're looking for and/or if they'll be enjoying this job (some people do enjoy drawing, writing, composing or programming specific things).

Don't be afraid to set standards for works, even if it's volunteer.
-I know people before have said that if it's volunteer, don't expect to have professionals or professional-level people ask to work for your game for free (unless it's an amazing idea), but it's also nice to set some standards for your games. It shouldn't be too high, just enough so that people know that you're serious about this.

Don't promise unless you're sure.
-Something I never do unless that team member of mine is close to me on a personal level. So you're asking for recruitees, don't ever mention that you plan on selling this game and paying them later on. That's just rude and unprofessional. What if the game doesn't sell well and you can't pay them? But wait, you told them you'll give them n% of the game's profits, so at least you get to pay them? No. Empty promises are just that, empty. Don't ever promise somebody that you'll pay them when you get the money, they don't know you yet so they definitely won't trust you to keep your word.

Proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization.
-Proofread your work before you post it. As I said in one of the above points, proper grammar and spelling can scare your potential team members away. You're on the internet, the only way you'll be able to get across to somebody, along with your game's in-progress works, is with your words. English isn't your native language or you're not good at it? Have a friend help you out. Don't have one who's good at English? Shorten your words. Be direct and straight to the point. When you're bad at words and you just keep on blabbing and piling on one error after another, it makes you look bad and unprofessional.

When it comes to details, more is better.
-In regards to showing off your game to recruitees, don't be afraid to add more. Game logo? Add that in. A permanent title? Put that in as well of course. Summary? Yes please. Features? Oh, that would be awesome (also to excite future customers of your game). Characters? A profile/bio of each would be amazing. Have sketches to go along with each character? Omg, yes please (I'm very biased to art since I'm mainly an artist and most people are visually-biased so sketches or drawings help a lot in seeing how your game will unfold). Other in-progress sketches? Go put that thing in there! Have some music already? Yo, that would be awesome, slap in a 30 second sample of it in there as well. The more material you show for your game, the higher chances of people PMing the hell out of you. Why? Because they see that this game could be done, plus when people get excited over something and see that they can actually contribute to it and that it's fun, they'll definitely join you. Well, that's how I am.

And something for team leaders and recruiters once they've gotten their team together:

I've always been the group leader when it came to projects ever since elementary, I'm not knowledgeable about how teams work but I learned a thing or two... Or ten.

Communication is the key to any team project.
-From various years of always being the group leader, please be on top of things. The only one who should be doing that is the team leader, you're the person who brought all of these people and will keep this team together. Have a schedule laid out for the game, have a backup plan ready, tell them you expect this much work on a weekly basis or something, tell your team members to tell you if they will be gone for an emergency so you're ahead of things. If you told them they should have one scene every week finished and you haven't seen anything, send them a message every goddamn day. I've been discouraged to send team members messages because I would always think I'm a bother but to be honest, if you don't do it, then your whole project is going to fall apart. And nothing's much worse than having to work on a game, getting things done only to have to give up on it because somebody went MIA. If you don't want the game to fail, communicate with everybody every week or if possible, everyday.

Don't be afraid to act like a boss, not bossy. Even then, don't bash them or their work, be honest.
-So you don't like how this one scene was written, you want it changed. Don't go berserk on the writer; criticize it, don't bash it. Honest critique is the most wonderful thing you can do to your team members. Not only will it improve your game's quality but it'll also help them improve their talent. Isn't that one of the points of working on games, to improve your talents/skills?

Let your team members know first thing to try not to go MIA.
-Seen this happened before here and in group settings, some people go MIA and just go poof. Let your team members know that if they can't do a project or if they think they'll disappear for a month because of things, to let you know. Don't be angry at them if they say they'll go on a vacation, they have personal lives, they're not going to be working on this game all day can they? They need to rest. Or probably an emergency and they want to back out. Some people go MIA because they're scared of you because they told you they're going to see this thing through but then something pops up. They're scared or embarrassed to approach you that they're going to back out. If someone does back out, look for another person instead if you think you can't or someone else on the team can't handle that person was supposed to do.

If you're on a schedule or a deadline, don't ever procrastinate.
-Being Chief Editor for my high school's Yearbook taught me a lot of things and this one stuck out the most. If you're on a deadline and say you have to finish the game in 3 months, let's say. What should you do? Do it early. Don't procrastinate, procrastination never did me, or anybody, any good. That way, if you finish the game early and have like a week or so left, you have enough of leeway to improve your work. One thing that my Yearbook adviser says is "Get it done right, then make it better." Though it would be nice if you also make it as best as you can when you get it done right. Saves you less hassle when you're done with everything.

Act like a team.
-Last year, I actually started a translation team for a Japanese light novel and one thing that stuck to me when my fellow translator talked to me was that 'he's never been in a team where they acted like one because everybody did their own thing.' This guy has been in the fansub gig for years now and told me how this is the first time wherein all of us actually worked on the translations (translating, editing and proofreading) together. In every team I've been in, especially the first few times in elementary, our first instinct is to work on it alone and that if everybody does their research, it'll all work out. No, never did work and never will. So the best advice I can give you when you work in any team setting is to act like one. Don't isolate yourself, talk to your members, cooperate, do some goddamn work. You all have one goal and that is to finish the game, why shouldn't you work together when you're all working for one thing? Plus you can make some awesome friends along the way.

That's all the advice I can think of at the top of my head.
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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#38 Post by Anne » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:53 pm

hiko27 wrote:Don't be afraid to set standards for works, even if it's volunteer.
How do you actually do that in a recruitment thread? If you have another writer / artist you can post their work and ask for something similar (that's more about consistency though). But otherwise? You can't just write "don't apply if you're bad", can you? that'd be rude
hiko27 wrote:If you told them they should have one scene every week finished and you haven't seen anything, send them a message every goddamn day.
Did that work for you? For me people just grew upset and eventually snapped at me (I wasn't rude or offensive), then we parted ways. So I kind of assumed that people either want to do something or there's no way to force them (why they applied in the first place is another question).

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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#39 Post by Omniknight » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:45 pm

Anne wrote:
hiko27 wrote:Don't be afraid to set standards for works, even if it's volunteer.
How do you actually do that in a recruitment thread? If you have another writer / artist you can post their work and ask for something similar (that's more about consistency though). But otherwise? You can't just write "don't apply if you're bad", can you? that'd be rude

Um, yes. If you can't meet certain standards (For example, here: http://bit.ly/19sVPVi, then save the recruiter and the recruitee some time and don't apply. It might sound harsh, but it's annoying when people don't meet the criteria you posted but apply anyway.

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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#40 Post by Anne » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:28 pm

Somehow I feel that telling people "don't waste your time with me" is a bad idea for a recruitment thread...

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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#41 Post by papillon » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:36 pm

It is obviously not a good idea to write "don't apply if you're bad." It makes you look like a jerk, and people who are truly unhelpful tend not to be aware of just how unhelpful and annoying they are being. :)

If you have a desired standard you're trying to hit, post examples and explain what you're looking for. If someone applies who is obviously unsuitable for whatever reason, simply don't take them into your team.

In a real recruitment situation, there are usually floods of people who apply who haven't even read the job description, much less met all its criteria. For that matter there's a regular handful of people asking about jobs even when there ISN'T a position.

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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#42 Post by hiko27 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:09 pm

Anne wrote:How do you actually do that in a recruitment thread? If you have another writer / artist you can post their work and ask for something similar (that's more about consistency though). But otherwise? You can't just write "don't apply if you're bad", can you? that'd be rude

Did that work for you? For me people just grew upset and eventually snapped at me (I wasn't rude or offensive), then we parted ways. So I kind of assumed that people either want to do something or there's no way to force them (why they applied in the first place is another question).
For example, if there's a specific style you're looking for for art, then you can mention that. Like let's say, you're looking for a cartoon-style instead of anime, then put that in. And no, of course that's very rude. You should just put what things you expect each position to do, kind of like job descriptions. They help a lot as well when recruitees look for a project to work on (sometimes when I'm bored, I look at other recruitment threads for artists). Yes, there will be people who will apply still even if they don't fit ALL of your standards but they're just there as a guide for people to see if they can do the job for you. It's not a definite thing, it's to help filter which people will be applying and to help you save time.

And well, they went MIA and never replied honestly. I'm very conscious when it comes to other people, I tend to assume I'm going to be bothering them so I send them a message every other day or every third day or when I feel like it. If people snapped at you, try to lessen the number of days you send them messages. Well, only two people have backed out for me in the first place; one went MIA and one was feeling too much pressure with just everything. I didn't force them or anything, they do have personal lives and that gets in the way of their want to actually help out with your project so I understand them and let them go. I'll just make do with what I have and move along, nothing I can do except move forward can I? What I do whenever it concerns my team members is that I try to think "Hmm, if I was a team member, how would I want a team leader to act towards me?" if you're stumped on how to act towards your team.
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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#43 Post by Anne » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:00 pm

Art style and skill level are two different things and you were specifically talking about the latter.
hiko27 wrote:try to lessen the number of days you send them messages.
No, I was wondering whether more often (every day as you suggest) would work, my idea (and what I did) was once a week / on agreed deadlines. So still no way to force encourage people who don't want to do anything :|

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Re: Suggestions for recruiters

#44 Post by hiko27 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:37 am

Anne wrote:Art style and skill level are two different things and you were specifically talking about the latter.
hiko27 wrote:try to lessen the number of days you send them messages.
No, I was wondering whether more often (every day as you suggest) would work, my idea (and what I did) was once a week / on agreed deadlines. So still no way to force encourage people who don't want to do anything :|
Not really. Can any artist just do a realistic style of CG? No, that takes some skill. But it totally depends on if you have a specific style you're looking for. You don't need to have standards, just that it helps you and possible recruitees to see if they're fit for the job. It doesn't have to be "You need to be good to apply" because 'good' is very subjective, like my standards on what is good can be different from your opinion of it. But standards help filter through the tons of thousands of people who look at your thread in hopes of trying to apply. Or you can think of standards, in this case, as requirements instead. Requirements seems more like a better term than standards.

Not really. I suggest you message them everyday only if you're nearing deadline or the cutoff date. I probably wouldn't do once a week tbh, because if they see just one message from you one week and they're busy atm, then they'll forget it until you remind them again next week. Every other day would be okay, like every two to three days if you both agreed on a weekly schedule. It's not best if you ask them on the deadline itself because idk, from experience, it just never works out and if they do reply, the deadline gets pushed or they procrastinate on it and it comes out shitty. So asking from time to time, checking up on it, is what most people do. Lets you be on top of things as well.

That's one of the things you'll want to put as a 'requirement/standard' for when you recruit. Some people apply because it sounds cool now when they read the game's summary but then after working for a bit, they immediately get discouraged at the tons of work they have to do and they'll want to back out. Whenever I finally see somebody who I want to work for me, before I accept them into the team, I first let them know that I wouldn't want them backing out but if needed then they can, that they need to let me know if they're ever going to disappear because of circumstances, and to also reassure myself and them that they really want to work on this game. There IS no way to encourage people who has fully decided that they don't want to work on something, but there's still a way to encourage somebody if they're partial about it. Just depends on both of you but it's best if you assure at the beginning, before accepting them, that they're as encouraged and determined as you are to see this thing through. Nothing sucks more than having people back out and go MIA on you sigh.
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