Urgent - Need Freelance Game Devs to Start Immediately to Supplement Existing Team

edited in Jobs
Hi everyone,

We are a machine learning company (DataProphet.com) with offices in SA and San Francisco that have won a pitch to a major international publisher to make their games more immersive. We have an emotion recognition engine that can recognize human facial emotions from video/webcam feed among other successful R&D projects, such as a wheelchair powered by thought using the ML classification of EEG signals. (An article about us: http://www.smesouthafrica.co.za/16784/How-this-startup-got-its-Silicon-Valley-based-customers/)

We need to build this into a product demo to showcase in San Francisco on the 26th of October so we need game dev(s) who have experience to help us build this out. Needs to be a short experience, couple minutes of speech where the player interacts with the NPC and the NPC reacts based on the user's facial emotions of happiness/surprise etc.

Please contact me at daniel@dataprophet.com or 021 300 3555 - applicants based in Cape Town preferred as you can work directly with the team at our offices in Green Point,

Kind regards,


  • Hi @DataProhet_SA

    Can you please provide a bit more info like, What game engine are you working in? What type of devs are you looking for, i.e artists or programmers? What languages are you developing in? Is this a permanent job or project based? Thanks.
  • That looks like a really cool opportunity Daniel :)

    However, such a short lead time (< 2 weeks!!!) sounds quite frankly, insane. I understand that it's "just a demo" and that you have tech in place, but man, if I had a Rand for every time I heard someone looking to get an interactive graphic product of quality delivered in a month or less, I'd likely be able to buy some scissors so I could use them to cut the topknots off of the "creatives" who think that these types of deadline are acceptable.

    They are not.

    It is common practice within the advertising industry in South Africa (and elsewhere) to be able to conceptualise, pitch, hire, create, and deliver in a matter of weeks. However, generating passive media is an order of magnitude easier than the interactive media that we, as game developers on these forums, develop. Even as it is, for those passive media projects, the artists working on them crunch and work unreasonable hours in order to meet unrealistic deadlines.

    Apologies for the rant, and it isn't directed at this post specifically.

    However, there is a *huge* issue with people outside of the game development industry (as well as many people inside of it!) with respect to what can be considered realistic and achievable project scheduling, and it just gets my goat every time I hear of someone expecting to produce something in a matter of weeks. All that ends up happening in those cases is that either a) nobody takes the job and then the people offering it think there is no interest for people to work on stuff like that and they never try to do it again, or b) someone inexperienced and/or desperate takes the job, delivers a terrible product, and then the people offering it think that it was a waste of time and money for them to try it in the first place, and never do so again.

    It's an unhealthy relationship that I have seen time and time again and people need to be made aware of what is and what isn't achievable with respect to timeframes when it comes to interactive graphic/game development.
  • @KleinM, Looking at Unity, looking for a programmer and artist. Coding in C#. We have a technical team - this would not fall to those hired alone, but more of a way to boost the ranks so that we can expedite this project. This would be project based work - potentially permanent should all go well in SF.

    @AngryMoose, I hear you. This is unfortunately the nature of Silicon Valley. We have won a pitch, this is the time we have. In my time in the US you get a team together and everyone pulls all nighters for a week or two to get a workable proof of concept out. This is not a corporate timeline. We have a team of 12 data scientists, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists here with something like 25 degrees between them - the reason we do well is because we CAN do amazing work on absolutely ridiculous timelines. We are not creatives. We can do it ourselves, just pulling in a bit of outside help with people who have experience in the game dev field to smooth the process and to build off of their experience :)
  • @AngryMoose, It's essentially a scripted choice-based conversation with an NPC where the NPC occasionally exhibits set responses according to the API trigger of our emotion recognition engine. Absolutely do-able in two weeks.
  • Good luck!
    In my time in the US you get a team together and everyone pulls all nighters for a week or two to get a workable proof of concept out.

    This quote right here; this is everything that is wrong with the game development industry.
  • edited
    Absolutely, but I'm not forcing this on permanent staff - that would be very wrong - everyone needs to work reasonable hours to be able to contribute in a meaningful fashion over time without burnout. This is a one-off project and remuneration will definitely be appropriate. It is a choice.
  • edited
    @DataProphet_SA Ok, so from what I gather you're not looking for someone to create a game at all. You simply want someone to create a graphical front end in Unity for your emotion recognition engine. Something that can show (and presumably animate between) different 3D models exhibiting different emotions (as instructed by your software).
    Is this correct?
  • @Pieter, Essentially, yes. Our software reads what YOUR emotions are through the webcam or Kinect/PS4 camera using deep learning algorithms. The NPC character might then say something like "Haha, I thought that was funny too!" after saying something humorous if you smile.
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