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New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

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Anonymous

Howdy, folks;

Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I run a small game publishing company (yes, I'll admit it; "Time Control" was _my_ idea...) and was recently posting job opportunities for game designers. I expect to do the same in the future. I'd be great if the bgdf had a forum just for that.

On the flip side, I can see that maybe a "seeking employment" forum might be big enough to crash the server!

Thompson
www.thompsonindustry.com

phpbbadmin
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Re: New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

Thompson wrote:
Howdy, folks;

Long-time lurker, first-time poster. I run a small game publishing company (yes, I'll admit it; "Time Control" was _my_ idea...) and was recently posting job opportunities for game designers. I expect to do the same in the future. I'd be great if the bgdf had a forum just for that.

On the flip side, I can see that maybe a "seeking employment" forum might be big enough to crash the server!

Thompson
www.thompsonindustry.com

Thompson,

First let me say welcome to the site! I've read some of the bad hype about Time Control, and let me say I'm sorry that you are getting bad press. To me it *looks* like a great game. Perhaps it hasn't reached it's intended audience yet. I know player elimination games and games where you are highly likely to lose (I.E. you play against the game system itself) really don't fair well with the typical german game fan. The fact that your game has both of these traits maybe caused it to have a harsher rating than it should have actually gotten. I've seem similar reactions from fellow gamers after they played games like Arkham Horror and Dungeonquest.

After having seen the demo for the game on your website, I have to say it looks like a great idea! I'm not sure why the mechanics don't work, but I wouldn't scrap the idea. It really is neat and original. Also let me say that I personally think any game that gets published is a success.

Now as for a forum for employment opportunites; it happens so infrequently (in fact this is the first time) that I don't see the need for a *seperate* forum. Such requests would be perfectly suited for placement in the General subforum.

Good luck and again, welcome aboard!
-Michael

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

I agree with Darke, welcome to the site! I admit that I haven't played Time Control, but have read a lot of the bad press it's gotten. It definitely has made me wary of putting a game out there in the public -- people can be pretty harsh!

I'd be very interested in hearing more from you about the development process that the game underwent, and how you've reacted/responded to the criticism the game has received. Have there been any steps along the way that you consider, in hindsight, to have been mistakes? Are the criticisms of the game legitimate or do they reflect a broad misunderstanding of the way the game is "supposed" to work? Do you have any other projects in development currently?

Perhaps a separate thread would be more appropriate for such a discussion. And of course, you're not obligated to participate in one at all! It just seems to me that a lot of folks here lately have talked about self-publishing, and hearing from an experienced voice might be very helpful to them as they consider moving ahead. If you're interested, of course...

Either way, thanks again for the post and welcome to the group!

Best,

Jeff

SVan
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Joined: 10/02/2008
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

I just saw the demo for the game and was very impressed. It has a lot of cool mechanics in it. I can see some of the reasons that people may have reviewed it a little negative, but I cannot understand the harsh reviews. I know that people hate player elimination but in this case it didn't seem so bad, since there's only 2 to 4 players. In fact I think this would make a great 2 player game. The only thing that I had trouble seeing if a goal for the game. I figure it's taking out the other players, but it doesn't really state it too well. Other than that, the flash presentation is very nice and well done, I wish that more game sites did that.

When you were posting for game designers, were you looking for a full time employee, someone who would look over submissions or come up with themselves or were you looking for designers to submit game ideas to you. Most of us here, including myself, are part time designers and/or publishers, although there are a few full timers on here as well.

Again welcome to the site and hope to hear more about your company and it's games.

-Steve

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

I suspect Thompson can address this more adequately than me, but from what I understand, the bigger complaint about the game than the elimination factor was the real-time nature of the game, specifically with respect to actions being interuptable. I recall someone saying something to the effect that "I can say 'I'm going back in time to rob this bank'. But then someone else can say, 'no, before you do that, I'm going back in time 5s earlier than you and robbing the bank' and this can go on infinitely until someone takes advantage of an explicit mechanic that stops this endless loop (but has some cost associated with it". The other complaint I heard was that after losing a battle, you could ask for a "do-over". Neither of these are necessarily fatal flaws, but I think I can see from a design perspective where they could present problems, though not having played the game I don't know whether they actually do present problems or if people are just misunderstanding the way the game is supposed to be played...

-Jeff

SVan
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Joined: 10/02/2008
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

Those were some of the things I saw as well. The only way I can see using actions that all players take at the same time is by only giving actions that does not affect another player. An example of that I can pull from my own game, Nova, where all the phases are Simultaneous except during the movement phase, when the moves can affect another player. I wanted the game to be mostly simultaneous to reduce AP and so far it's worked fine.

In theory, it would be awesome to allow the players all to move at the same time and let them sort it out. Most of the time, it's nearly impossible, although the rules for Time Control had some way of making it almost work. I think a couple of rules to limit the amount of times a player can "change time" would have helped a lot in this case.

I still think the idea is awesome and one of a kind. I hope to have the chance to try it someday.

-Steve

Anonymous
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

Hello and welcome, Thompson!

I have read quite a bit about your game and have visited your website and watched the cool flash demo (more games need Flash demos!!). I think it is a great idea that enjoys a great deal of interest. Every review at BGG mentioned a fondness for a game that is truly about time travel (as opposed to having the theme tacked on as an afterthought). I like the concepts and and am impressed with many of the mechanics of your game.

I did notice that there are some suggestions at BGG for rules tweaking and game refinement. Is that a course that interests you? As you know, the enthusiasm and energy for helping designers refine their games (even after release for a second edition) runs VERY deep at this site.

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack your thread... I am very interested to know more about the type and extent of opportunities that your company offers for both employment and for submission of games.

Anonymous
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

Hey folks;

Thanks for all of the input and feedback re: Tiem Control. Not actually what I wanted from this thread, but I'll take it!

You all have touched on many topics and so let me thumbnail some general replies to all of you:

re: Encouragement. Thanks for the encouragement! It really does feel nourishing.

re: Bad Press. One of the main reasons you may have seen so much "bad press" abut Time Control is not due to the vehenemnce people feel towards the game, but due to a marketing experiment of mine. It's customary to send free demo copies of a new game to industry reviewers to generate reviews. To expand on that, I tried to tagret "internet influencers"; people who had well-attended blogs about games/gaming, well-read reviewers on bgg.com, gaming groups that post sessions, &c. This worked; Time Control got a lot of exposure. Sadly, the underlying message was almost wholly negative. But the marketing did work, so I can take pleasure in that.

re: Problems with Time Control. I see that some of you have floated some theories; unpopularity of elimination games, confusion/distaste about the interrupt mechanic, &c. These may have been factors to one degree or another. But the main culprit; I screwed up playtesting. Just didn't work the game all the way through. Just too excited with my new game, and getting a company up and running, and doing marketing, advertsing, design, &c., just dropped the fundamentals. Let this be a lesson to us all! It's true; people don't lime elimination games, and the prospect of unlimited interruptions left people with a sour taste, and some were put off by the apparnet "fastest player wins" slant. But a well-tested, well-designed game that included all of thsoe elements would still have found acceptance. At least more acceptance than Time Control got.

re: flash demo. I know! I paid a web guy $50 for that demo, and it rocks! I blatantly stole the idea from Mayfair games. I was able to give the demo away on CDs at conventions; people would take them back to their rooms and run the demo on their laptops, and come back to the booth and buy the next day! Let's face it, there are a LOT of game sout there. Try-before-you-buy makes a HUGE difference.

re: Fixing Time Control. Time Control is salvagable. However, I'm on to the next project right now. Maybe next year, or in 06, I'll revist it. In fact, it's my current project that prompted my post; I was trying to hire a team of designers and was surprised that a focal point such as bgdf did not have an employment board. Anyway, I hate to walk away from a "failure" like Time Control. There is something there, I just need to take the time to unlock it and be thorough.

Thanks for the feedback.

Thompson

DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

Thompson,

I appreciate you taking the time to give us some background on your game.

Quote:
But the main culprit; I screwed up playtesting. Just didn't work the game all the way through. Just too excited with my new game, and getting a company up and running, and doing marketing, advertsing, design, &c., just dropped the fundamentals.

I can empathize with you not playtesting too much and falling into the trap of shooting ahead of things. I recently created a chariot racing game and play tested it around four times with two different groups with a lot of in-house testing with my family, girlfriend and so on. One group was with a family and their kids, the other group was with a game shop owner and some kids that were in the shop at the time. Needless to say, they loved my game and I kept improving it. I thought I had a winner on my hands and came so close to begin getting it professionally produced which would have cost me at a minimum around $10,000.

I work near Microsoft in Redmond, and found out that some of the Microsoft people played board games. I went along to have them give it a whirl. Amongst these individuals were some real hard core gamers, a game shop owner, and even a published designer. Anyway, my baby was torn to pieces. Here I was with my ego so inflated and my enthusiasm for my game so boundless, I could not see straight.

The comments I got were honest and unrelenting but extremely insightful and right on the money. I could not argue against what they were saying. Essentially, my game had one glaring optimal strategy that really cut down on all decision making. It really was just a roll and move game, where the better roller won by going as fast as they could.

That is not to say my game was a total failure. The amount of research I did and the essential ideas in the game are sound. I have learned an awful lot from my first attempt at my game. It has also forced me to look at the most successful and popular racing games out there and forced me to discover patterns in them that make the games successful.

I consider myself a very rational guy, who is prudent with money and not subject to wild emotions of fancy. But being inexperienced, my emotions ran riot and almost forced me to throw more than $10,000 down the drain.

The moral of the story is play test, play test and play test some more! Never jump the gun with a game, it could cost you big.

I thank God those guys in Microsoft killed my baby. Let me tell you it hurt big to get ripped apart, but this unfortunately is the only way to learn.

Thompson, I wish you the best of luck on you new endeavors. My contract with my company is ending soon (I only work 4 days a week, anyway, and the days I work I do nothing 80% of the time except go on this forum and work on my game) where I am going to be going to school full time in the fall (I've saved up). If you need help with a game, feel free to contact me.

--DarkDream

IngredientX
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Joined: 07/26/2008
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

Hi Thompson...

I was one of the people who got a chance to try the game out. I actually thought the bits and theme were solid, but I didn't enjoy the game. Fair warning: I did make a post that was critical of the game (available here). I doubt you want go there and read it, but I'd feel dishonest if I didn't at least pipe up and welcome you to the board. I tried to be as respectful as I could when I started the thread, so I hope you don't see me as someone just out to flame and insult.

I could tell that you had put a lot of time, money, and work into Time Control, and I always wondered if you would be up for releasing a second game. Many people, myself included, would have probably been too weak to face the barrage of criticism and given up game design. I'm very heartened to see that you're sticking with it.

Perhaps Time Control got a harsh response because people liked the theme and unusual mechaincs so much, they wanted it to succeed. I think there's a demand for a game like that, and I'm genuinely sorry that the game you released didn't fill it. I hope the next game you release does.

Welcome aboard, and best of luck!

OldScratch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
New forum suggestion; employment opportunities

If you need an artist for your game, I'm available. I mostly do pencils and inks, but I'm also skilled in coloring using Photoshop. You can check out my site, www.smackwell.com for a (admitedly very small) portfolio, and if you're interested, I can show you various other pictures and styles I can do, and possibly some mockups. Contact me (through my website) if you're interested.

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