Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Twitter and the blog

That's one of my least imaginative titles ever, nice work.

Regular readers will know we've jumped onto the twitter bandwagon. Twitter, it's an odd thing. Totally pointless and quite self indulgent but very addictive for some reason I can't figure.

One major side effect I've noticed though is that it's given more weight to the blog. Twitter is like our side project, our experimental band with some friends, trite and simple and throwaway, whilst the lumbering beast that is the blog keeps floundering on, that things posted here now have to be justified a little more than before.

I wanted to write about how freelance forums bug me, more specifically freelance forums as part of more generic Flash boards ( Rather than things like elancers and all those nasty nasty ones ). I'm not going to single any out, as they're all pretty much the same level of dire.

I'm not sure what bugs me the most, posts like

"Hi, I'm really interested by your project, I've got 5 years experience in as1,as2,as3,php, ajax,ruby on rails,asp, dhtml ..."

That just rings alarm bells. Unless their Nan is really ill and needs an operation, so they're trying to raise money any way they can ( K, the Xbox is on eBay, I guess I should try and bring in as much extra work as possible inbetween shifts at McDonalds ), or they're shit. Or lying.
My personal preference is that they're shit. 5 years experience at anything ( Even McDonalds ) and you should be aiming higher than $100 jobs on a board.

or...

"Hi, pm me"

That to me reads as "Hi, I'm interested in your job, but not actually enough to contact you, as you specifically requested, but I'm so confident that you want to work with me, you can chase me up".
If you can't get the first part correct, ie contact the potential client, that's not really a flying start is it ? It doesn't bode too well for the rest of the project.
There's a little sub-system of this that burns me too,

"Hi, check out my portfolio ( But it needs updating, that's old stuff there, not my latest work )"

Quick translation, "Hi, I can't be fucked to pm you, you check me out. Oh, but when you do you'll find my work is pretty piss poor, but it's 'cause it's old, the new stuff is really good, it's just that I don't care enough to upload it anywhere. I don't care enough about my own public image to potential clients like yourself to spend an hour of my life to upload this new and fantastic latest work ( Which to be honest is as poor as the old stuff, I just learned how to use a new filter for the latest stuff ), but I'll do a first rate job for you."

...and finally...

"pm sent"

Yeah ? Really ? I'm glad you posted that, because email is prone to being lost isn't it. I'll double check my email every minute now I know I'm expecting something from you, thanks for the heads up, phew.
Is this some sort of pr thing ? Just another reason to post a post with a signuture with your link in ? Is it to ward off others ?
"Shit, I see DeathSlayer49 has gone for that job, I don't have a chance. If he hadn't posted about it I would have gone for it, but not now, now there's no point. His location says 'under your mom', he's bound to get the job, any client will find that a sign of professionalism"

But now of course we've got twitter, we can just go there and post these petty / I'd rather be doing anything than working right now observations and keep the blog free for the high brow things.

Squize.

Comments (12) -

  • Richard Davey

    2/25/2009 1:06:48 PM |

    Wow, who pissed in your morning cuppa? :)

  • Squize

    2/25/2009 1:23:31 PM |

    Ha, it's either scream at the petty things that bug me, or the big things will eat me away inside and the next thing you'll hear from me will be on the news with some neighbour saying "He always kept to himself. He'd say hello, but we never thought he was capable of something like this" :)

  • chrisError

    2/26/2009 9:43:08 AM |

    Witnesses reporting hearing several gun shots, explosions and expletive filled yells regarding something to do with the attacker just wanting to make games and how 'it was never like this in the Amiga days'.


    CLICK HERE TO PLAY 'SQUIZE GOES POSTAL'


  • Squize

    2/27/2009 5:51:49 PM |

    Here's another pet hate I've just re-discovered, people who give themselves bullshit job titles ( Yeah I've just been to linkedIn ).

    "Visionary"
    "Interactive Guru"

    Donna bumped into an old class mate on FaceBook the other day, and asked what he did, the reply was along the lines of
    "I create multi-media experiences to promote pan global brands using cutting edge technology".

    She actually asked me what that meant, and I couldn't say anything else but "It means he's a cock".

    Why the fuck are these people speaking like that outside the office ? Office bullshit to bullshit is part of the game, part of the charade, but chatting to an old friend on FB with that degree of bollocks ?

    I suppose my official job description is "interactive designer", or "joint creative director" due to GYW being a studio / job / proper thing, but if anyone asks I say "I make games for websites", anything more makes me feel sickly.

    I'm sorry, but to describe yourself as a "Visionary" or a "Interactive Guru", you've just got to be some sort of cunt.

    ( And yes, the Maths game isn't going well again today in case anyone was wondering, and I'm very tired, and I can see yet another weekend spent working, like all the others so far this year )

  • 8bitjeff

    2/28/2009 3:20:56 AM |

    "says 'under your mom', he's bound to get the job, any client will find that a sign of professionalism"

    Shit, that's the funniest thing I have read all day, and I need a good laugh today.
    So, are the freelance boards really that bad? I am seriously considering giving the middle finger (v sign) to my day job, but I have no actual clients to take up the slack, and the baby ain't gonna eat Mochi pennies.

    I wish there was a place to get real game coding freelance jobs for the big firms, but it seems that these freelance forums are NOT the place to do it.  I hope to never have to slink to a freelance forum and code whole game engines for the $100 they are offering.

    Jeff
    Interactive Multimedia Web 3.0 Visionary Knowledge Base Gaming Guru

  • Squize

    3/1/2009 3:42:21 PM |

    Hey mate. Yeah I'd avoid the freelance boards totally, eg

    www.elance.com/.../eolsearch.php

    Basically you're competing with overseas developers in developing countries where the wage expectations are a fraction of what they are in the western world.
    Also you're dealing with clients who want to pay lower than sponsorship prices.

    If you're hunting down contacts for freelance work I think you can do a lot worse than going to thefwa.com and checking out the design agencies who are local to you and contacting them asking for a "hi" meeting.
    Also joining linkedin may help, I see you've already got the title nailed :)

    ( To be honest though I've found the lists on linkedin are just pure pimping / newbie spam / obscure references. thefwa list the other day actually had someone come out as ask how much a site would cost, and this is a developer asking that ( I did like the design agency guy's reply about getting a good as3 coder in London is £300 a day, but to always ignore their first quote. Nice. That's what you want to read as a developer. Somethings should be said a bit more privately. I guess like calling people with pretentious job titles a very bad name )).

    We've been so lucky in that we've got most of our work by word of mouth. I remember reading a comment from someone recently ( Honestly can't remember where ) about how it's unfair that people get jobs 'cause of who they know rather than what.
    In this industry you're competing against so many others, some of which will be much better than you, some of which will be much cheaper. It's not exactly a hardship making contacts as you go. It's not like you have to do a full on assault to people trying to get yourself known, if you put yourself around a little then more people spot what you're up to ( Jeff you've got a huge head start with this, 8Bit Rocket is only about 4 places behind google in alexa rankings ;) ).

  • 8bitjeff

    3/1/2009 4:01:16 PM |

    I took a look at some of those freelance job postings for the first time, shit, what a fooking joke. People are posting $30 for game engines, it's outrageous. The guy who said it was unfair to get jobs based on who and not what is fooling himself. You have to have a good network of connections to get jobs. I have been growing frustrated with project management at work, and want to get back into actual programming full time, but most of the (good) projects are outsourced. I am sure I could call in my linked in friends and the agencies I have worked with in the past and kick up some dust pretty quickly, but there is this transition period where I literally only have time to write a 4K game while doing my day job, and I would need to get a pretty decent contract started and signed before I did anything drastic with it (my day job). Luckily, none of the people at my day job have any idea that internet or web exists and so they will never find this post =) sp,  I have some time to kick it around.

    I was thinking about just writing a post that said "Do you need a experieced AS3 Game Programmer" But I haven't sunk there yet.

    8JF

  • Squize

    3/1/2009 4:17:09 PM |

    It is a very difficult thing to do, to take that plunge ( More so for you with a young family ).
    I remember when I decided to leave preloaded, at first it was a huge weight off my mind, a feeling of real freedom, but even then I did have quite a few "what the hell have I done moments?", esp. when people where turning up for interviews for my job, that actually hurt a bit, and at that stage were getting an award for just waking up in the morning, and I was turning my back on all that.

    Also I didn't get even a full months wage when I left there, and I had the Polarity project to start on straight away, so I had about £1400 to last me for around 3 months or so ( Donna was paying the rent on her credit card ).
    You know you have tins of shit knows what in your cupboard that you never eat, they just sit there forever ? We went through all those tins, man we were so poor for months.

    I'm not trying to paint a dark picture of it, I'm just trying to show that freelancing isn't this instant rush of money that everyone seems to paint it out to be.
    When it's good and everything's going sweet, then yeah it's the best thing in the world, when it's not and you've got multiple projects all exploding in your face and you're waiting for an invoice to go through ( Like I have for the past couple of weeks now ) and you're working yet another weekend, it's pretty dog shit.

    We're either paying someone to burn money 'cause there's not enough room in the bank for it, or we're eating dust.

    Funnily enough Olli and I were chatting just the other day about advertising for someone via the blog, but in a junior project by project role, as we have a client that we love working with but we're getting to the stage that we can't afford to work with them, so we may look to farm some of that work out and try and help guide and develop a younger coder.
    So yeah there is work out there if even we're looking to get someone else on board.

  • 8bitjeff

    3/1/2009 6:50:19 PM |

    I get contacted via our site email address every once in a while about jobs, but they are always shite and pay crap.  I realized that it is not an easy route, so I am waiting until I can stash some cash for the the light periods. I have had a lot of great Flash coders work for me and then leave and thrive with their own studios. I just need to hit them up for some extra work to skim some extra cash for the transition. I am fully aware that if I don't do it right, I will be looking fora full time gig again and that is NOT what I want to do.

    Enough about the ugly American.  Didn't you have a half-way full time gig with Gimme5 last year. Did it end? It seems like you guys have a steady steam of pretty decent work even though the two jobs I wanted you to do fell through.

  • Squize

    3/2/2009 9:00:18 AM |

    I hope I didn't paint too bleak a picture with my last post, it's just that it's very easy to believe the freelance hype ( Even for me now I know freelancers who are more than happy to tell me they earn over a £100 a day more than me and don't have the same track record as me, and that can't help but make you start thinking ).

    Yeah I had a 6 month contract with g5, that ran to 7 months I think. I only took it 'cause Donna was ill at the time and had to revert to part time working, so I needed that monthly pay cheque to ensure bills were paid.
    It's not something I'm aiming to do again, ever.

    As to our work, we've had a really good year so far, nothing has fallen through yet, although aside from the Prodigy job none have them gone smoothly ( All are over budget and deadline ).

  • 8bitjeff

    3/3/2009 1:49:18 AM |

    I'm not discouraged by the reality of the situation. My goal right now is to get a new full time gig doing Flex and or Flash (hopefully games). There just are not too many local Los Angeles companies hiring, and even fewer that allow for some telecommuting.  

    Sorry about the jobs not going smoothly (aside he Fire Starter gig). Does Ollie do all of the visuals for the games or do you do some too? I know he can code really well, so it must be nice to have two people who have multiple skillz.

  • Squize

    3/4/2009 9:39:53 AM |

    But with the job we do, it doesn't matter too much if LA is quiet on the hiring front.
    I know it's nicer to be able to pop into the office for a proper chat, but I guess over 75% of our projects we can't do that 'cause they're not even UK / Germany based.

    Ollie does some of the visuals for some of the games, the recent Maths project ( Which came to an abrupt end yesterday, which is all I'm saying about it here or anywhere else ) was mainly his work, and it looked great.
    Marmotte ( at www.dot.invasion.com ) is our artist of choice, can't fault him.

    Yeah the spread of skills does help. Olli brings the rendering / design / backend scripts as well as the actual Flash stuff, and I can write a nice email. Perfect balance there :)

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