Indigenous is Recruiting!

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The Indigenous team has spent quite a bit of time planning and reflecting on how our game could be fun and enjoyable to play. We’ve gone through a few test phases and numerous planning revisions and are confident we’ve finally found our sweet spot. Now all we need to do is execute on our plans! That’s the easy part, right? …right guys?

Okay maybe that’s not an accurate assumption ;). But that’s why we need you! We’re expanding our team’s ranks to help push our vision through into demo, alpha and release stages.

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[CENTER]What is Indigenous?

Indigenous is a third-person survival game set in a tropical island environment. Unlike many typical survival games, players are surrounded by life. They control a tribal leader who is responsible for the prosperity of his or her tribe. The tribe does as the leader commands, whether that’s exploring, defending, attacking, trading, building, learning, gathering, or many other actions, and may live or die by their leader’s choices. While many survival games force the feeling of isolation, Indigenous is centered around community and growth, which players will experience as they command their tribe.

However, our islands are not without their perils. Surviving on a tropical island is not easy. In addition to the naturally harsh atmosphere of hot, muggy days and hurricane storms, the islands are filled with many natural predators big and small, as well as other leaders from foreign tribes. Yes, that means other players and their tribes. You may choose to get along with the other tribes and trade, make alliances and conquer the island elements together, or you may choose the path of war and strife.

As tribes grow and learn, they expand their population and their borders, and exploring other islands becomes commonplace. Islands will be streamed and will auto-populate based on the number of active players. There will be twelve to fifteen player-driven tribes on any given island, along with a handful of NPC-driven, completely autonomous tribes.

We are recruiting for the following positions:
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[1x] User Interface Artist
**We need someone who can incorporate our tribal themes in a clean and simple way into our interface elements and menu systems.
[li] Desire to create unique and non-traditional, diegetic and spatial interfaces[/li]
[li]** Previous design experience with interfaces for games is highly encouraged.[/li][li] Ability to create super-simple and clean interface concepts that also display the necessary information for the player.[/li][li] UE4 experience with UMG or other UI solutions is a plus, but not required.[/li]

[1x] SpeedTree Artist
**We are looking for a speedtree artist who can help to bring our island environments to life with plants of all kinds.
[li] Experience creating high-quality, high-detail trees, bushes, and vines is required.[/li]
[li]** The ability to understand performance constraints based on platform requirements (and work within those constraints) is required.[/li][li] The ability to create Wind, LODs, Collision Spheres, Leaf Cards & Meshes, and tiled textures in SpeedTree is required.[/li][li] A solid understanding (or desire to research) the biological composition of each asset needing to be created in SpeedTree for realistic recreation is required.[/li]

[1x] C++ Engineer - Gameplay Systems
**There are many features we’ve implemented and tweaked over the past 6 months, but we need help fleshing them out and adding polish. We have either begun or completed systems such as collecting items, inventories, skills and experience, and quests and dialogues, but all need polish and direction. We also have other features we haven’t completely explored but intend to work on.
[li] Experience implementing C++ functionality in UE4 is required[/li]
[li]** Experience implementing blueprint functionality in UE4 is required[/li][li] A desire to take existing systems and apply them to our actual game world in scenarios (you’ll get requests from our world builders)[/li][li] Big plusses for experience in any of the following categories: artificial intelligence, combat systems, persistent data / database systems, UMG[/li]]

If you have examples of your work, please be sure to show them upon first contact. If you do not show examples, you will be asked for them upon our response to your inquiry.

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**Why should I consider joining Indigenous?
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We understand that there are many great teams making incredible games right now, but here’s a short list of why we are proud to be part of the Indigenous tribe:

Talent: Many of our members are extremely talented in their respective fields and have a strong desire to continue improving on their talents. It’s motivating to see your team members succeed at their goals.

Experience: Many of our members are also very experienced in their fields, most having shipped one or more titles on PC and console for other companies.

Freedom: We expect a minimum of 10 hours per week on average. In addition, you are free to post any work you do for Indigenous online to showcase yourself (and our team), and if we don’t end up using your work in the game then you are free to use it as you see fit. If we aren’t making use of your hard work then we don’t see a reason to keep control over it.

Opportunity: We are in a very unique position - Indigenous leadership has access to showcase the game at nearly every game conference in the world and is well connected with many publishers. If the team’s work is good enough to showcase, it will be guaranteed to see the light. Not many people can claim that guarantee, and we are in a rare position to make it happen. We don’t want to squander the opportunity by not delivering a quality game!

If you’re interested in talking further, please email lehmanz [at] gmail [dot] com, or add me on Skype: gcc_zooch.

Went to update our older recruitment post since we have some new stuff coming down the line in the next month or so (and our recruitment needs have been updated), but it wouldn’t let me reply to my older post. I’m guessing it was sacrificed to the forum gods when posts got moved into new categories.


I came across this post and wanted to see if you’ve already found an audio studio for either music or sfx? Studio Daisho is a music composition and sound design company. We specialize in creating original audio productions across various media platforms. We are currently looking for projects for the upcoming new year. We feel 100% confident that we can deliver audio production for your specific needs. No project is too small or too big! We offer a FREE consultation to get to know you and your project. We also offer competitive rates to fit any project! Please feel free to reach out anytime to discuss this in further detail if you’re interested.

We appreciate your time,
Studio Daisho

I added you to Skype.

Thanks for your responses guys, as well as for all the responses I’m receiving via PM, email and Skype!

@Studio Daisho, we just filled our audio needs this past week and I have now updated the thread to reflect availability. If anything changes we will be sure to reach out. Thank you for your interest!

wow this looks really awesome mate great stuff. if you need any backup programmers or more help let me know . im in my second year of college learning c++ and have about 8 months experience in unity and c# and have been slowly learning unreal both blueprints and c++ scripting. i have some experience in php scripting and mysql database integration. I mainly just want to get involved and get some portfolio projects under my belt both for college and for future employment prospects. I believe the best way is to just throw myself into things and learn from my mistakes. I am hardworkin and a fast learner. anyway hope to hear from you soon thanks.

I’ve done a lot of interviews for team members since beginning this game, and almost all of them eventually land on the same interesting question. I realized that it would be smart to post that question here, along with my answer, to give people a better understanding of our goals for Indigenous.

So here’s the big question: "Indigenous is described as a survival game. What makes it different from all the other survival games in the genre?"

Side note: I love this question because I feel like the survival genre is full of trashy clones trying to grab quick money by recreating the same games, with no one trying to evolve the genre, and we’re attempting to fix that by doing something different.

There are 7 key features found in Indigenous that separate it from the rest. We have pushed technical vertical slices into each feature listed to make sure they’re actually doable and not just a compiled wishlist, however these features are not completed yet, so we’ll have to see how well we execute on our vision (and maybe that’s where you come in).

1. Players control a clan - not just a single character.

Players control a clan leader in third-person mode (similar to Dead Space). The camera is dynamic and adapts to different environments, but is meant to provide a visceral and primal experience. As a clan leader, you are able to command your villagers to do many things, such as explore, hunt, gather, craft, fight, build, or open a storefront for other players, just to name a few. There are many ways you can interact with your clansmen. The clan will also act as a passive support structure for the player; continuing to perform tasks even if the player logs off. This allows for progress to happen with the mundane, repetitive tasks while the player is doing more interesting stuff like fighting other players, exploring new territories, or struggling through our harder co-op experiences.

2. Progression is taken seriously - progress isn’t an illusion that vanishes when you die.

In most survival games, your only means of progression is to collect items. Some games allow you to store those items in persistent boxes or crates that can be looted by other players. If your character dies, you lose everything you’re holding. Developers assume the threat of complete loss creates an important aspect of tension which improves the user’s experience, but that scenario is only fun once or twice. The lack of progression in the survival genre is one of the main reasons players don’t stick to a single game. It’s also why survival clones are able to acquire traction - the turnover rate is huge because no one wants to hit the reset button every few hours.

Progress in Indigenous is gained through the building system, through the experience gained by the player, and through the experience gained by the clan. Dying doesn’t affect progress unless a player’s clan goes extinct (more on that below). Progress is also enforced by our co-op experiences, which requires a certain level of progress to succeed within (and each experience builds on the previous). Indigenous goes far beyond what a player is carrying at the time of his or her death. There is also a robust system in place for people who want to raid your village (more on that below as well).

3. The building system gets much more attention.

Most building systems allow for the player to have maximum control, which we think is great. However, this leads to huge square towers and big warehouse style boxes with low resolution tiled textures. The visual impact is horrible and everyone’s building looks the same. Sure there’s the option to create something pretty, but it takes work to create a building. Almost every player is playing the game to survive and build the most optimal structures they can. In current games, this leads to everyone having big box houses.

Indigenous has players control a clan, and it wouldn’t make much sense if they all lived in one big box. We also aren’t going to force players to build specific structures either, because as I mentioned above, freedom and control is a good thing. However, gameplay will lend itself to unique structures depending on village size and location as well as the primary goals of the player (there are many ways to thrive in Indigenous, whether its through military conquest, exploration, or trade).

The single biggest reason for making a box - defense against other players - is taken into consideration as well in our raiding system. Players are allowed to steal from your village by means of stealth (think Elder Scrolls) or open combat (raiding the village). Your clan members will react immediately to threats they find in their village, and will respawn based on a timer if they die to enemy players. Buildings can also be set on fire by enemies, so having one big box is generally a bad idea.

4. There are unique biomes that actually matter.

Many games claim unique biomes, but what they’re really referencing is that the art changes based on the player’s location. This doesn’t disqualify the use of the word ‘unique’, but it definitely stretches the use of the word. Indigenous biomes are harsh and unforgiving - no seriously, the jungle has been growing for centuries and doesn’t care at all about a player’s insignificant clan. The mountains don’t move simply because a clan demands it. Each biome will have specific, exclusive resources that can be used in crafting to help players navigate that specific environment. Each environment will also have unique, natural benefits to village compositions, which makes the building system even more unique with each biome. Our biome system allows for many benefits: for example, a player who is just starting will have an easier time defending himself against someone that has played for 10 hours and comes from a different biome, because the area is foreign to the more advanced player and his character will struggle until he invests time and resources into surviving in the new biome.

5. Dying is costly but not game-ending.

When the clan leader (the player) dies, another clan member is promoted to leader. All skills gained by the previous clan leader are passed onto the new leader, but are reset. This allows for changes in gameplay based on experiences that the players have as they learn more about the game and the environment. The clan’s population is decreased by one, which lowers the effectiveness of the clan. If a player dies repeatedly and there are no other clan members left, the clan becomes extinct and the player must completely restart on a new island. New clan members can be gained over time and through various means (we’re still working these details out, but ideas such as capturing, convincing, birthing, and buying clan members have been discussed). The more clan members a player has, the faster he can accomplish tasks like gathering, crafting and building, and the more effectively he can defend against raids and thieving. It will be difficult to acquire new clan members (on an exponential curve, which helps to soft cap population), so losing a member due to death is costly for the player.

6. Factions are meaningful.

Because players control AI characters in a village setting, factions are necessary. Factions are also a great feature if developer resources are properly invested in the system. Gone are the days where players are spammed guild invites at level one. Factions allow players to work together and gain reputation, allowing them to trade, buy, and sell goods, as well as gaining partnership bonuses in our co-op experiences. Factions raise and lower based on many different player actions (like World of Warcraft’s faction system). Eventually if players gain enough positive reputation, they can form an alliance (or be invited to an existing alliance). This allows for specific benefits, such as sharing faction status with people that attack one alliance member (all clans then move to attack on site if the offending player is nearby). There are many benefits to be explored within the faction system, both for players who want to form everlasting alliances and for players who want to cause massive chaos.

7. Quests.

Where did the quests go!? Why are there no quests in any survival game?! It doesn’t make sense to us - quests and surviving aren’t mutually exclusive. There will be clans on the island that are completely controlled by AI and they will hand out quests. Players can choose which types of quests they want to complete based on their play style (gathering, exploring, fighting, etc.). Once players invest a few key skill points into their clan, they can also provide quests for others which aid in faction increases. The quests aren’t one-sided either - players can tell their clan members to ask for specific resources or to explore specific areas, which other players can do for quest bonuses. Players become quest givers!

Like I said above, these features are still in the concept stages. We have pushed technical vertical slices into each feature listed to make sure they’re actually doable and not just a compiled wishlist. Some of these tasks will turn into stretch goals the more we flesh them out, but all of them will be included in Indigenous. If you have any interest in helping implement any of these tasks, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Our search has narrowed quite a bit - we currently have 3 open positions, mostly revolving around gameplay systems and interface systems (art and engineering)! Drop me a message if you’re interested!

Side note - positions for Indigenous are currently still voluntary, though we will be attending every major game conference (my company showcases games at each of these conferences, so when Indigenous is worthy of showcasing I will add it to our roster). We also have strong ties to most major game media and youtube personalities (again, due to my previous work experience), so we will have a lot of opportunities to showcase the game when we’re ready. The Indigenous team can’t wait to get to this point and take advantage of our opportunities, and we need YOU to help us make it happen!

So what is the status of the game, have you shown it at any of those major game converences as you said? what is the team right now? got any more progress to show?

Impressive ! This is looking incredibly good , I can see this selling millions of copies ( hopefully you plan on releasing a console version in the future , I really wanna play this with friends ) :slight_smile:

Wow sorry guys, normally the forums notifies me when someone posts on my thread but these two responses completely missed my inbox!

We haven’t shown at any major game conferences as the game isn’t far enough along yet. I hope you can understand the frustration I have when going to E3, PAX, DICE, GamesCom, GDC, etc. and not being able to show off Indigenous due to lack of gameplay! I actually just got back from PAX East last night where I was sponsoring one of the largest booths at the show, thinking I could just as easily sponsor any other game if it was worthy of the showcase. I’m sure we will get there at some point, but I can’t help but view each conference as a major success for whoever we’re showcasing (and a missed opportunity for Indigenous). /endrant

Right now our team is severely lacking engineers of all varieties (C++ and blueprint), so there isn’t much gameplay progress other than what I’m creating myself. We do have a couple kickass artists working on our island landscapes and making improvements on the current standards. Right now we have a 4KM island which supports 7 different biomes (jungle, beach, ocean, plains, mountain, river/lake, swamp) and is on par with LAM or Kite Demo for visual quality, but it’s only costing us a 1-2 FPS performance hit (from 120FPS to 119). We’re working on foliage shaders for each biome that will also meet our visual quality bar without costing more than a handful of frames. We won’t be able to stay at 120 FPS but our goal is to have final gameplay sitting around 90 FPS (all of this is tested with a couple different mid-range NVIDIA graphics cards - GTX 680 & 970). We’re also working on streaming the islands and we’ve pushed them into clusters so that a player may visit a string of 4-6 islands (either 4KM or 2KM in size) at any time which will be purely governed via LODs.

Our goal is to release on PC/Xbox/PS4 (or 4.5). Our team has some experience working on both console platforms, which is why we’re taking so much care to keep performance impacts minimal (going beyond FPS gains as we need to also ensure we don’t hit other limitations like VRAM capacity).

ARK is actually such a great resource for this because you can see all of the technical shortcomings (from the engine version itself and their implementation of some of these assets) and learn from their experiences.

With that said, we’re still looking for level designers (world builders) and engineers! We are also interested in anyone who likes messing with the post process chain to create interesting and believable atmospheres.

What means that exactly? What is happening, when game is sold and you make profit?

I’m just redefining the term royalty. The positions we’re offering are royalty positions - if you work on Indigenous and your work product makes it into the release of the game (even if someone else later modifies your work product), you will receive payment. The amount of payment is commiserate with the amount of work you have done and the amount of money we earn from the sale of the game. Pretty standard royalty agreement.

I’ve been part of several different indie teams that successfully shipped games and earned revenue from those shipped games (from $1500 to $2M in revenue) - I have an amazingly lucky track record. I’ve also been part of a handful of failed projects, which is more common. The reason I exchange the term ‘royalty’ with the term ‘volunteer’ is because I want team members to keep in mind that this game takes revenue cuts like any other game - 30% goes to Valve (similar for consoles), 5% goes to Epic, and more %'s go to any potential investors we may need to bring on to cover expenses. This means that while I’m very confident we will ship Indigenous, I have no idea how successful it will be without at least knowing a release date and marketing plan. Combine this with the fact that at least 50% of our revenue must be paid to other companies before we touch it (standard with all games), it’s hard to confidently sell people on the idea that they’ll make a respectable royalty check once the game releases. You should expect to earn royalty checks from a successfully shipped game, but you shouldn’t put your future into hoping any game project on these forums “makes it big” so you can cash in and buy that Ferrari you’ve always wanted. The odds are not in our favor.

I know mentioning this probably hurts my recruitment, but I’d rather not bring on team members if they’re going to be disappointed at some point during (or after) the development of Indigenous. This is also why I try to describe the other opportunities such as leveraging my publisher/developer relationships and taking advantage of my marketing opportunities - I didn’t have any of that when I released my previous games and I’m really excited to see how far we can push this project.

Just to reiterate - do I want us to make millions of dollars in royalties? Sure that’d be nice, but I already have a job I love and I’m comfortable. Indigenous is a passion project for myself and my team, and I want to see everyone get rewarded for their hard work.

I hope that clarifies things enough for you.

Edit: After re-reading, I felt like I said a lot of words that meant something to me, but ultimately still left your question unanswered. These positions are all standard royalty-based positions. If we sell the game and make a profit, you will be paid royalties for your contributions. I just wanted to remind people looking for teams that royalty positions aren’t guaranteed funding, and are most often quite the opposite. It’s hard to ship a game, and it’s harder to ship a game that makes enough money to feed your entire dev team. This is why we also offer to let our team members freely post anything they work on (we have no NDA) to help boost their portfolio, and I’ve also used my connections to place worthy team members into full-time jobs once previous projects finished (Bethesda, Blizzard, Sony, Activision, Gearbox, to name a few). Royalties are nice for everyone, but they aren’t realistic. If you’re looking for a project, make sure it also has realistic rewards for your personal success.

Have to applaud the honesty ^here^… Kudos!

You may lose the quantity of applicants but I’d like to think your going to get an increase in the quality. The honesty and open dialogue go a long way in a passion project and I’d like to think the more seasoned users recognize that.

I think you’re exactly right James, and the recent applications have proved it. We’re still ultimately looking to fill the same engineering and level design positions, but we’ve had some quality interviews since clarifying our thoughts on royalties.

EDIT: here’s a little preview of the island we were talking about in the above post:

Default engine lighting, some odd fog post process, and some placeholder textures to help define colors and regions while we work on the heightmap. We still have a small amount of cleanup to do on the transitions and the shorelines before updating the textures, but we’re nearing completion on the final heightmap. This shows about 50% of the island (and surrounding smaller islands). We’re currently also working on a custom dynamic grass shader that allows us to define wind regions so not all grass is blowing in the same direction with the same power (or pattern). We’ll combine that with 10-15 different grass meshes and types to create a natural looking landscape across all of our various biomes, from the shore to the mountains.

Keep in mind we’re still getting 119-120 FPS at all times.

Hi all, we’re still looking for the following stars:

[1x] Lighting / Post Process Artist
[1x] User Interface Artist (UMG)
[1x] Environment Artist (SpeedTree experience would be great)
[1x] C++ Engineer - Gameplay Systems

Descriptions on each position can be found in the first post of the thread.

Hey guys, updating our recruitment:

[1x] User Interface Artist (we can implement the art)
[1x] SpeedTree Artist
[1x] C++ Engineer - Gameplay Systems

Descriptions on each position can be found in the first post of the thread.