Thinking about doing a Broforce sequel. (And needing a senior gameplay programmer to achieve that)

edited in Jobs
Broforce was obviously a big success for Free Lives, both commercially and creatively. For most of us at Free Lives it was our first commercial game project, and although it took a long time and wasn't easy, by the end of it we were really good at making Broforce.

So there's a good argument for making a sequel. There's definitely an audience out there that want it. Our publishing partner Devolver would like to publish it. And we're the best team to do it.

But, Free Lives has other games on the horizon which it is committed to, which pose new opportunities and new creative avenues to explore. If it is a choice between a sequel to Broforce and starting a new project, Free Lives is going to choose the new project (and this is largely because this will be more rewarding creatively).

But it may be possible to do both: Starting a new project as well as pursuing a sequel to Broforce.

The obstacle at the moment is that this means splitting the team, and Free Lives doesn't have senior programmers who can lead the programming on a Broforce sequel if this happens. (As the programmers we do employ would be busy with the new project).

It seems to me that there really aren't that many senior gameplay programmers in South Africa. And we'd need a really good one to build all the systems for a game like Broforce in a way that doesn't cause poor performance and refactoring headaches down the line (the original Broforce was an unwieldy mess by the end of it, and we'd want to do much better if we were developing a sequel). Of course this senior programmer wouldn't be doing all the coding themselves, what we need is someone to design the codebase and lead its development.

So that's why I'm writing this on these forums. We're not exactly hiring, as we don't know if it's even possible to hire a senior gameplay programmer in South Africa who can pull this off. It's a large project, at least as complex as the original Broforce, and the game-feel we'd be trying to achieve needs to be better than that of the original Broforce, and we'd need the person in Cape Town and willing to work in the kind of environment Free Lives provides as well as on a game like Broforce.

This is only really a concern for later in this year. Possibly July - August.

If anyone has any thoughts please let me know. PM's are welcome.

Comments

  • Hey Evan,

    Have you considered importing the talent on a year or two year visa?
    When I ran our 3D company we did this and I can tell you that it was worth every penny. I brought in a guy from Holland who worked with us for two years. He himself had been working at a large studio and the techniques and processes made us much more efficient and competitive. Even though we had been doing it for 8 years at that point (and thought we knew it all) he taught us a ton.

    I don't consider this as 'selling out' the local community because the processes that we learnt from him in turn filtered down to the studio and each and every employee took that massive knowledge gain forward. Most of the studios in SA have been impacted by that decision we took.

    Nic
  • I also think that the culture at your company would be quite appealing to an international person - not having to worry about where you're gonna live and what you're gonna eat is a big concern for anyone who is looking at moving overseas.
  • Hey @EvanGreenwood, I sent you a PM.
  • Good luck to everyone! My gamedev friends (wannabees) in Cape Town all said they cant be a team member but they will contact you when they are comfortable and correct developers. Hope they contact you correctly (not that you have to wait for them, don't worry).
  • @ChristopherM Thanks! I sent you back a PM. Sorry about the late reply (I was out of the country for two weeks).
  • Hi Evan!

    I am still a bit of a noob when it comes to programming, so this question is purely out of curiosity. What language/engine do you guys use for your games? I read somewhere that Broforce was made in Unity. Is that correct?

    Kind regards
    Wynand
  • @stofStorm: Yep, Unity and C#.
  • It's also worth mentioning networking interest/experience would definitely sweeten the deal.

    Although it's definitely not a requirement, we have networking skills in-house, but it would put less stress on our network programmers if whomever we work with is self-sufficient, or even just cognisant, in terms of network programming.
  • Pease hire me. I am a game developer. I currently have 6 months experience in the game industry.
    6 months backend and front end Web App development.

    I have been coding since 2013 in Java and then learned other languages like C# which I use for Unity3D. I also know javascript, node.js, some php and C.

    I learn fast and I'm not afraid of "being thrown in the deep end". Therefore I am now responsible for an entire 3rd of the simulation game.

    I am a multi skilled employee. I studied electrical engineering in the computer systems field. I know how to do networking and worked as a junior network technician and pc support, repair and maintenance for a year. I even did admin work. I can also build robotic electronics and code driver functionality into memory.

    Please give me a chance. Travelling would be so much better if I worked for you. I watched some of your videos and immediately became interested in your company.

    My number is:

    083 287 9656

    Email:

    zaahirameer@gmail.com
  • So I have a total of a year industry experience. Which makes me a Junior not a senior but I would rely love the opportunity to grow into a senior developer
  • edited
    Hey
    I have been making games for more that 3 years.
    I live in Cape Town. Age: 17 ,
    I can code, design and develop anything in a very little amount of time.
    I provide top quality work and have fun while doing it.

    I can work with:
    >Unreal Engine 4
    >Unity
    >Game Maker
    >pretty much anything...

    My Skills:
    >Graphic Design
    >SFX Design
    >OST Composer
    >Level Design
    >UI/UX design
    >Coder

    I can code:
    >Python
    >Pascal
    >HTML 5
    >PHP, JavaScript (a while back)
    >c++ (its been a while)
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  • edited
    @TRENDX you are only 17, and say you can do all of those things? Well let me give you a background of myself. I am 30, I have been programming for 12 years, started reading game programming books two years after I learned c++. I program in 3 languages, c++, JavaScript, and python. Maybe even one language or I do not know how to program at all. I can use unity effectively with c# because I have used xna but I do not program in c#, I just know how to program and I can figure it out.

    Now where am I going with this?

    @EvanGreenwood, said he is looking for a senior gameplay programmer.
    Now from my understanding is that someone of this nature is not just a code monkey, but someone who understands game architecture, design patterns, solid CS algorithms, autonomous movement and many AI algorithms.

    So for you to say that you are a unicorn at 17 is little bit scary because I myself thought I that way. And I also have a little brother who is an A student who started learning to code when he was 12 and he is now 16. And I am trying by all means to guide him not to make the same mistakes that I made. Goodluck
  • I was working as a professional 3D artist at 14 - people can be skilled at a young age. :)

    That said I do agree that a lead programmer needs a lot more than to just be able to program.

    Thanked by 3FanieG dammit mattbenic
  • Just an update on this:

    We're still keen to do this, but at the same time we've realized that we won't be able to simply hand this off to a person (or a team), we'll need to be closely involved ourselves, at the very least in giving the project a lot of close attention.

    As such, it's only going to start after we've finished some of our ongoing projects, which is looking like November/December rather than "July/August" as I originally wrote.
  • SkinnyBoy said:
    @TRENDX you are only 17, and say you can do all of those things? Well let me give you a background of myself. I am 30, I have been programming for 12 years, started reading game programming books two years after I learned c++. I
    program in 3 languages, c++, JavaScript, and python. Maybe even one language or I do not know how to program at all. I can use unity effectively with c# because I have used xna but I do not program in c#, I just know how to program and I can figure it out.

    Now where am I going with this?

    @EvanGreenwood, said he is looking for a senior gameplay programmer.
    Now from my understanding is that someone of this nature is not just a code monkey, but someone who understands game architecture, design patterns, solid CS algorithms, autonomous movement and many AI algorithms.

    So for you to say that you are a unicorn at 17 is little bit scary because I myself thought I that way. And I also have a little brother who is an A student who started learning to code when he was 12 and he is now 16. And I am trying by all means to guide him not to make the same mistakes that I made. Goodluck
    Thank you @SkinnyBoy but i find it irrelevant.
  • That said I do agree that a lead programmer needs a lot more than to just be able to program.
    Yeah, for this position(s) it would be an absolute minimum that the person(s) have completed a Unity based video game with a team that took more than six months to develop. We're looking for someone(s) who have solved the kinds of problems that arise in those conditions before, as well as being technically skilled enough.

  • Hi Evan, I myself do not intend to apply but I can recommend someone. I want to recommend "Sebastian Lague". When I was first starting out in Unity I learnt off his tutorials. He's a great game-play programmer. He has built multiple games including games for game jams but now mostly builds games as tutorials in which he teaches Unity. As an added bonus I believe he lives in Cape Town. I highly recommend you at least take a look at the games he's made. The projects are mostly made by him alone so I cannot account for his experience. Here's a link to his Itch page: <a href = "https://sebastian.itch.io/">Sebastian's Itch page/</a> also a link to his Youtube channel (on which he has 80 000 subscribers) he's doing a lot of great work there. I personally think he's more than up to the challenge: <a href = "https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmtyQOKKmrMVaKuRXz02jbQ">Sebastian's Youtube Channel</a> If you really want to check out his skills watch his tutorials on pathfinding and procedural landmass generation. He goes super in depth with the AI Pathfinding stuff.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • That said I do agree that a lead programmer needs a lot more than to just be able to program.
    Yeah, for this position(s) it would be an absolute minimum that the person(s) have completed a Unity based video game with a team that took more than six months to develop. We're looking for someone(s) who have solved the kinds of problems that arise in those conditions before, as well as being technically skilled enough.

    I have started a team and worked on projects before and has been through the whole (Team-Building) process. I have learned a couple of valuable lessons and I have had my teams that failed and teams that worked. I know now how team work works and how to handle people.

    Also, I would like to ask if I can help you with this project without pay (unless I prove I can work and help) but to me this is a extremely valuable opportunity to just be a part and learn from you. I do not ask for money nor do I asked to be given anything except the opportunity to help you with the game and gain knowledge and experience from this. With that said I do have skills and the ability to create beautiful games with good code, amazing graphics and a interesting lively story to it. I have people from previous studios you can call or email and they all will verify that I was helpful and a "good sport".

    I am only asking to help where I can on this game without being payed or something, money cant buy the chance for me to help Evan Greenwood make a game. Ill be honored to help you and work with you. I also have good friends that work in Sound Studios and Graphic Designers and I even know people that work at AAA studios if it is needed, so im well connected and geared up.

    Thank you for your time!
  • TREDX said:
    [quote="EvanGreenwood;47958"]With that said I do have skills and the ability to create beautiful games with good code, amazing graphics and a interesting lively story to it. I have people from previous studios you can call or email and they all will verify that I was helpful and a "good sport".
    Not to come across as an asshole here, but you are too young to say you have the ability to create "beautiful games" with "good code, amazing graphics and a interesting lively story to it" as you have yet to experience the pitfalls of being a game developer. Have you actually released a title with your name on it? How do you know your code is good? Have you had a veteran programmer pull that absolute sh** out of your code and make you do it again and again until it is perfect? I highly doubt it at your age. You are too young to claim "experience" and too naive to really understand how harsh this industry is.

    I have substantially more experience in a great many things than you, yet even I am not so arrogant to apply for a job like this. I believe in my skills, but knowing the actual intricacies of being a "Senior Gameplay Programmer", I reckon i have a little more to learn before filling those shoes. I'm part of a gamedev team (with members spread across the world), so I have some weight behind my words.

    All said and done, offering your services for free is a good way to go. Shows you are willing to learn, just be humble about it. You have many, MANY knocks coming, learn to take them without throwing a tantrum and you will be well on your way to greatness. If I were in the position of @EvanGreenwood I'd throw you a task to test your competency (if he has the time).

    Good luck on the hunt Evan, there is no game better than Broforce.... well, Broforce 2 maybe, but we will have to wait and see!
    Thanked by 1critic
  • Easy @FlashPaperGrind :) This industry beats down on us enough without us having to do it to each other. For some its easy to comprehend the weight that certain positions carry because they've been fortunate enough to work with or as these individuals. However, often people don't know what they don't know, not from a place of arrogance or vanity, they simply currently lack the knowledge or insight.

    If you want to apply for a certain job, I say go for it. What's the worst that could happen? They say no. What might often happens is they tell you which areas you are lacking in, which is great because it gives you an idea what companies look for in candidates, and what skills you should sharpen next. This is actually a strategy that @Elyaradine followed, and he now works at Epic.

    Rather try and fail, than not try because you assume there is some requirement that you're not fulfilling ;)
  • pieter said:
    Easy @FlashPaperGrind :) This industry beats down on us enough without us having to do it to each other.
    There is a benefit to a bit of straight-talk and a reality check every once in a while, remembering myself at 17, someone should have slapped me into reality.

    @TREDX best thing you can probably do for your future is get good marks for your Matric and get into varsity, that's arguably better than getting this job.
    Thanked by 1mattbenic
  • edited
    @pieter Everything I said comes from experience and its simply my honest opinion on both the person applying and the position available. I do see why you think I was "beating down" on him, however, it seems he has an attitude towards criticism so I angled my stance based on that. If he wants to work in this industry, he is going to need to learn to accept all kinds of crit, good bad and harsh. That said, it was not my intention to "beat down" on him.

    @critic same here. Had someone painted an honest reality for me at 17, well, I would probably still be where I am, but the journey may have been smoother! :D

    I do agree that @TREDX should ace Matric and then hit Varsity as hard as possible. Get yourself a BCompSc and then do the gamedev degree at WITS or wherever.... THEN start with jobs where they require the degree and will allow you to gain experience. Smack that fish around for 5 years and then start looking at jobs with "Senior" or "Lead" in the title. Your future will be set. Until you get fired from a game studio only to be hired by another. Rinse, repeat, and you have a window into the next 20 years of your life :). Start with where you are today, build from there.
  • edited
    I think it'd be better if this thread was kept for questions about the position, rather than criticising other peoples' enthusiasm. Whether an application is successful is up to Free Lives, not on anyone else here (even if it's blatantly obvious to everyone else what the result would be). I think there's some good advice in here, but I think that's best moved elsewhere, and keep jobs-postings a bit more professional.

    I no longer work there, but I see Free Lives looking for someone they could really place some trust in when it comes to something as close to our hearts as a Broforce sequel. By far the most powerful way of doing that is with a portfolio of shipped titles and prototypes that demonstrate an ability to tackle the challenges that a game like Broforce is likely to have -- and, bonus, over and above that displays skills that would have made the original Broforce a better game without ridiculous scope creep (because we do that part great already thanks).
  • edited
    +1 to Elyaradine statement.

    @EvanGreenwood you probably have no shortage of applicants but I would like to put recommend Saehoon Lee @Pixellore (http://www.pixellore.com/) He has done some work for us in the past and is pretty great. He lives in South Korea at the moment though...
  • edited
    Thanks @shanemarks and @Keagan for the suggestions. When the team is back in Cape Town (we're mostly in Berlin at the moment for Amaze) we're going to look at this again and send out some mails.

    @Tredx I think @Elyaradine's comment applies well here, in that a portfolio of games is what is going to convince us. I looked through your threads on the forums and I don't see a lot there, I don't know if you've been working in secret though?

    That said, this is a very specific skillset we're looking for, ideally we'd want to be working with someone more skilled than ourselves (or at even just more skilled on some axis). There's no reason why you can't work your way towards that position though, Broforce 2 is likely to be a long project and it might require hiring extra programmers/designers/artists later in the project (and maybe there'll even be a Broforce 3 if Broforce 2 isn't shitty).

    In any case, it sounds like you're heading in the right direction, and you've started off on the path towards making games early in your life (which is a big advantage). The way to get the experience is to make more games.. Broforce was the fifth platform game I had tried to make, let alone games in other genres, and I wouldn't say I was well prepared for the engineering feat of developing Broforce (and that's part of why we're trying to get some senior help this time around).

    (I know like @Elyaradine pointed out, this isn't really the place to be responding to proposals, but at the same time I'd like to be clear about what we're looking for in terms of help on this project)
    Thanked by 1AngryMoose
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