Gauging Interest for a Volunteer Auxiliary Dev Team

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Brontus, Nov 7, 2022.

  1. Kaenneth [You require Gold access to view this title]

    Make as much as possible work like Maps and UI skins.

    I want a 3rd party lore tab for items, spells, recipes, Consider messages, etc. where I can download files with lines like:

    1395: Used in quests for Eldritch Collective Initiate Cap, Silent Fist Cap, Arcane Order Cap, Arcane Scientist Cap, Stonehand Cap

    so when I loot a "Cloth Cap" I can see what other players have learned without having to tab out to google, or asking in OOC/General.
  2. Coagagin Guild house cat

    Was waiting to pipe in on this thread because of the legal quirks with California HR law in general. Yeah, CA HR law is a tangled mess. You can have it.
  3. Coagagin Guild house cat

    There called unpaid interns here in the big city.
  4. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    Eternal pessmism is your hallmark, Waring. And you rarely disappoint in delivering it.
    Brontus and Stymie like this.
  5. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    Saying I disagree with a practice and call it bad is pessimism? Knowing that I would walk away from any job that required me to do tech support at any time in my career is pessimism? Saying an idea that doesn't appear to be common in the tech industry is bad is pessimism? I have only heard of a few companies that require new employees to do tech support instead of development work at the start.
    code-zero and Nennius like this.
  6. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

  7. Brontus EQ Player Activist

    I was the person that proposed the GoFundMe idea. I was also the one that posted the Patreon idea as well. I've been brainstorming various ideas to help Darkpaw get appropriate staffing for EverQuest. I honestly have no idea if the person in charge of the EverQuest franchise even reads these forums but I decided to give it a shot and post them anyways.

    The world is changing. Monetization models are changing. Payment models are changing. Everything is in flux.

    From my experience in the video game industry, the homebrew programming enthusiasts are a significant pipeline of talent into the industry. People who make mods for games, people who make D & D campaigns, game writers, and people who make small indie games more often than not landed jobs in the previous gaming company that I worked for.

    I recall Rob Pardo former VP of Creative at Blizzard, once related a story about a fan who sent in a 20 page analysis of everything that was wrong with WoW. He was so impressed by his passionate analysis that he hired him on the spot.

    Look at the backgrounds of most of the EQ design devs and you'll see much the same. Most of them had unconventional backgrounds and grew into their current roles. Back in the day, there were few if any, colleges that had game design courses. The field of game design was and is still the least credentialed of all the video game industry disciplines.

    That said, it's not about hiring people off the street with no experience. My proposal would be open to any applicants: retired devs, former devs, anyone that has demonstrable skills, experience, and aptitude for the position as an auxiliary dev.

    Competitor Blizzard Entertainment has an initiative where they are hiring military veterans to become WoW developers because veterans generally have certain skill sets and character traits that employers find desirable. I commend them for this kind of out of the box thinking.

    The EQ franchise that we all know and love is chronically undercapitalized and understaffed. If nothing changes, we'll be having the same conversations in the foreseeable future.

    Nothing in life is easy. Running a business is not easy. Running a video game studio is not easy. That doesn't mean we should give up and not even bother to try and fix things. Anything worth achieving requires work. The future belongs to the dreamers and those that believe in the art of the possible.

    "We Do These Things Not Because They Are Easy But Because They Are Hard" - John F. Kennedy
  8. Loup Garou De loop de loop

    I don't understand why people think because a company does not have what they feel is "adequate" staffing that they are impoverished and need go fund me and volunteer labor.

    The employees they have seldom leave and many have been there looooong time. I would not stay at the burger joint if I was overworked and underpaid. And to top that any of these employees have such vast experience behind them now that if they were looking to go elsewhere then they could pretty much write their own ticket. Yet they are still here. I think you can rest easy that the employees are pretty happy with the compensation packages they have.

    No company is going to bloat their workforce and waste money on extra staff when their financial backers have reports showing exactly how much return they get per employee hour and that it is making them money.

    If they do bloat their workforce then you would see an entire office shut down like last Friday or 11k jobs cut like today. I have never heard of any company that in the eyes of the customer, has enough employees to suit that customers needs.
  9. Rijacki Just a rare RPer on FV and Oakwynd

    Working from home is significantly different than working for free though it does cost the company less to have employees working from home than in an office.

    Also the idea of offering to run a GOFUNDME to pay devs to work on their off hours is pretty disrespectful of the fact the developers have lives away from the job, no matter that is is working on a game. Many of them already do work long hours, especially in the last weeks before a release. They need to be able to take their downtime, to watch their dogs rampage around the house (though that might give some of them ideas for animations), kanoodle with their partners, take care of their kids (some from the aforementioned kanoodling), spend time cooking and real life crafting. How would you feel if customers for your job complained you don't work enough hours but that they would like to do a GOFUNDME to push you to work more?
    Treiln, Stymie and Waring_McMarrin like this.
  10. Stymie Pendragon

    /em Points Up.
  11. Treiln Augur

    But you guys already do :( my job in my area helps provide over 35% of the nations energy :(

    This mentality is just of a selfish entitled person. Once it has devolved into "everyone needs to do things to satisfy me" argument, then it's time to /thread.
    Nennius and Rijacki like this.
  12. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    Having people working for free, and planning around tight deadlines sounds risky to me.
    My impression is, that when people get stressed they tend to lower prioritizations of their free-time projects and focus on what pays their next meal and their mental health.
    Throwing crunchtime schedules at free labor seems unreliably risky.
    What if someone responsible for something important to the game, suddenly decides that he wants to spend more x-mas time with the family, rather than work for free?

    Free open-source projects based on volunteer work, often have "flexible" deadlines for a reason.
    On the other hand, the final result is sometimes VERY polished...Much more than commercial products...
    Rijacki likes this.
  13. code-zero Augur

    I have only ever been associated with one crowd funded project with volunteer developers. It fell apart in tragically spectacular fashion over "creative differences"
  14. Brontus EQ Player Activist

    You are rehashing fallacious complaints made during that thread. I never said that the devs are not working enough hours.

    The GoFundMe proposal was directed at developers who wanted to earn extra money in their spare time. I clearly stated that participation was VOLUNTARY and not mandatory.

    To their credit, Daybreak is one of the few video game studios that does not abuse their employees with regular crunch time.

    My intention was that devs that voluntarily CHOOSE to participate in a the GoFundMe proposal would be able to earn EXTRA money that would help them pay the bills, pay for their kids college, etc. Developers are from all stations in life and represent all ages with different financial needs. Some devs are starting out and not married, they may want to earn more money. Some devs are older and may not need the extra money.

    Are you against devs that might want to earn extra money while working on EQ in their spare time and have the extra time to so?
  15. Brontus EQ Player Activist

    I'm truly sorry that this happened to your project and team, but how is this anecdotal account relevant to the topic being discussed?

    As I stated in previous replies, the volunteer/intern/contractor auxiliary devs would be under the strict supervision of the official EQ dev team. All of their tasks would be delegated by the devs. So the question of them leaving for creative differences is irrelevant. They either do as their told or quit. Period.

    Besides, the vetting process would ensure that all of the members of this auxiliary team are creatively compatible and onboard with the creative vision of the current EQ dev team.
  16. Brontus EQ Player Activist

    Thank you for being reasonable and making some great points here. In an earlier post/reply, I stipulated that the tasks given to the auxiliary dev team would be non-critical tasks like long-standing bug fixes etc. Of course, the supervisory devs would never give time critical tasks to non-paid devs.

    The auxiliary team could be paid like independent contractors which then would subject them to NDAs and contractual agreements. Daybreak uses all kind of independent contractors from around the world right now for the creation of art assets. But I don't see anyone on the forums complaining about this.

    Exactly. People who volunteer are motivated by passion not money. Studies have shown that the level of art created by artists for their own uses is far superior to commissioned art.
  17. Nennius Curmudgeon

    Can you link some of those studies?
  18. Windance Augur


    I think you would get more traction talking directly EQ management team, because nothing said here on the forums matters with out their blessing. Even if you had 100 people come forward and they were all qualified developers, artists, QA, support staff it wouldn't matter with out management buy in.

    As someone who seems passionate about working with / for the studio, maybe , start with a letter to them with your resume, job skills, and expected salary range.
    Rijacki, Maedhros and Stymie like this.
  19. Mossaa Augur

    Yes, against it. Full week is enough
    Rijacki and Kaenneth like this.
  20. Kaenneth [You require Gold access to view this title]

    People need time off work to be fully effective during their on hours.

    "robbing peter to pay paul"
    Rijacki likes this.