Programmer (And poss. Artist) Job(s) with Benefits

Project Title:
-Pool looP
Possibly others.

-Shadowland: A man becomes allergic to shadows, and must sneak around in the light while trying to figure out how to cure himself. *FOR CONSOLES, PC, POSSIBLY MAC & LINUX.
*-Pool looP: A puzzle game based around palindromes and mirrored levels in which the player must guide a character perfectly across a level to the center goal without messing up the opposite side. FOR CONSOLES, MOBILE AND PC, POSSIBLY MAC AND LINUX.
-Others: This all depends if we work well together and/or become a successful enterprise. We are most likely going to start with Pool looP.

-Stealth mechanics, much like Splinter Cell.
-No cutscenes, all in-engine and in-game. Also, not long-winded in-game scenes either. Solid, quick and to the point.
-Multiple story lines with multiple paths. The way a video game story should be: with choice affecting the game.
-The story is solid, and very good.
-Many, many, many levels because of the multiple paths in the story.
-A lot of flexibility with stealth, as well as with weapon choices.
-An intriguing take on stealth that works: how do you sneak around when you are forced to stay in the light? And how do you handle the darkness when it can kill you if you stay in it too long?
-Realistically, M for Mature. At best, T for Teen. Not for violence, mind you.
-I really do feel like people will be talking about this game for all the right reasons once it comes out, and for years afterward. I strongly believe it is that good.

Pool looP:
-Mechanics based on player control and avatar location. I know that sounds generic, but I promise it’ll make sense.
-There’s basically only 2 modes: Easy, and Hard. Easy has some flexibility, while Hard needs to be done perfectly. That is going to lead to serious bragging rights online.
-Level creator, cause it fits perfectly with this game.
-Rated E for Everyone. I think it’ll be a winner for both the casual and hardcore crowd.

Team Name:
Nicsho, “LLC.” (LLC status is pending in MA. We expect clearance from the state by November at the latest. Its expensive.)

Team Structure:
Nic Schweitzer, founder and head artist, Nicsho. I’ve been doing this on and off for many years now. I am currently trying to make this my full-time job.

Previous Work:
I had some YouTube videos in high school, but most have been deleted. I also worked at and, for a short time, ran a public access station in Boise, ID, TVCTV (Found here: In terms of video game development, I have been a fan since I was 9, but I have not created much outside of BASIC programs in the 5th grade. What I do know is story and design, and I think quality work can pay off in many, many ways. I intend to prove that point by making the best games out there, and making Nicsho a name synonymous with high quality games and other media.

Talent Required:
-Blueprint and/or C++ Programmer
-Possibly a second artist to handle extra character or environmental/level work.


Benefits Offered:
-Metlife Dental (Covered by me, minus copay both in and out of network)
-Metlife Vision (Same as above)
To qualify for benefits, you need to work 30 hours a week, minimum.

**Possible benefits offered going forward (Based on number of people hired):
-Short and/or Long term disability
-Life Insurance

E-mail (Preferred):
Twitter: @Nicsho
YouTube: Nicsho - YouTube

Job(s) begin in September at the latest, ASAP at the soonest. Hope to hear from you! Updated details can be found at . (Right now, there isn’t anything there, but I’ll write up more tomorrow. Thanks for reading this far.)

Just to be clear, you’re only afte rlocal talent or people that can relocate to become local?

To be 100% clear: I plan on paying online, so I can accept offers from anywhere, worldwide. But the benefits may be limited to the US based on Metlife’s policy.

Do you require a composer for the projects?

At this point, I’m looking for help on anything and everything. Send me your stuff at

Awesome, thanks for the clarification, I’ll fire off an email here shortly

Sent you an email

A brief note for you Nischo based on my own experiences:

This has no bearing on you, your project or your abilities. I just want to talk about my experiences because the environment you describe in your post is something I’ve lived through in the past 5 years.

I worked for someone who could fund the development of an entire game project - 10-15 people at any given time (mostly contractors, with a few full time employees, all competitively paid with benefits to full timers). I was the producer on the project. The owner (and funding source) fancied himself a great designer, but he had no development experience. He had never hired or managed artists, designers, engineers, QA teams, animators, concept artists, or any of the other key staff we needed to hire. He also never managed milestone tracking tools or web-based documentation or Perforce servers. He had never touched code nor could understand even the most basic, well-documented functions and avoided code reviews like the plague. He could design multiplayer levels really well, but he failed to understand that being a good designer has absolutely no bearing on being successful in other key areas of game development.

We ended up spending just over $3 million on the game he wanted to design, which was about $2 million over budget due to incorrect development paths, poor hiring choices and non-functional design choices that seemed good on paper (to the owner at least). It also took one full extra year of development than it should have. This is all entirely because his game design ideas could not be questioned under any circumstances, and he changed them frequently. He also hired key contractors that couldn’t understand the specific job he wanted to do because their experience didn’t completely match the requirements and his documentation was almost non-existent. This led to redoing most aspects of the game 2-3 times.

When the game shipped, it was not well received, and the investment was not recouped (an understatement on both counts).

I’m telling you this because I want to make sure you understand one key thing during your journey through game development: even if you’re the greatest game ***designer ***in the world (which you probably aren’t), you need to understand where your shortcomings are and hire people who can and will question your every design decision. Even if your design is amazing and novel, you need someone who you can trust that could tell you the viability of actually pulling that idea off in a video game. What’s the performance impact required to reach your quality goals? How many animations will it take? You want how many NPCs or creatures? Your story arcs and bends and twists 10 times and makes for a 20-hour long video game? Okay, expect this to be a 4-year project if you’re willing to hire a team of 15+ people (minimum). Expect to have your designs scaled back by at least 50% before the game is finished. Hire another game designer to help you bounce ideas around and work under constraints.

I know this is a little “doomsayer”, but please consider these thoughts before you go down a very expensive and stressful rabbit hole (and take other devs with you).

Good luck!

Thank you, I really do appreciate this. I am well aware of what I’m getting into, and I’ve budgeted accordingly. I kinda regret offering benefits, in retrospect, because the MetLife policy I have doesn’t cover people outside the US, where a lot of people are applying. That being said, its really my only regret going into this, and I’m still willing to do whatever to make this happen (Yes, including offering benefits if you require).

I think was got you here was when I said “I really do feel like people will be talking about this game for all the right reasons once it comes out, and for years afterward. I strongly believe it is that good.” I felt odd writing it, because its impolite to brag (I completely get this) and its really not like me to do so. By no means am I an amazing or excellent designer, since this is really my first game. What I meant above was I think the script is solid and the game play works, and I really do think its that good, to the point that I’m investing pretty much all I have to make this happen.

At the same time, I’m seeing a lot of forum posts that are like [UNPAID] “LETS MAKE THE NEXT SAINTS ROW!!! THE NEXT GTA!!!” and the description is like “Hi, I’m Mike, I’m 13 years old attending Woodsboro High in NJ, and I want to make a large scale open world game where you shoot people dead and do gang stuff like I do in my spare time cuz I’m a gangster too or whatever, I’m so cool, maaaaan I’m totes real legit, yo. Anyways, you do the work, and I’ll, like, write the story or whatever, based off my life experiences as a gang member or whatever. We’ll totally make this work, man, I promise. I KEEP ALL THE MONEY WHEN IT GETS RELEASED CUZ I MADE THE GAME STORYLINE AND THATS WHAT COUNTS!!!1!” It really does seem like its that anytime I see the [UNPAID] tag, and I read it and go “This game is never going to get made” and sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief and go “Thank God, cause that sounded generic/terrible/boring.” This project is not like those. I’m paying, I’ve budgeted for this, and I’ve planned for years. I’ve greyboxed many level designs and prototyped a lot of concepts from UE4.6-4.8.1 (I stupidly deleted a lot of these designs due to a compatibility error), and the game works.

The problem here is I cannot program, its just not my skillset. So I’m hiring someone to do that, and I’m offering the best I can offer as an incentive because this is an indie project that can’t afford a $3M budget. And along the way, environmental artists and other people have offered, and I’m considering it. I don’t have a large budget, but I really do think this can be done.

And, by the way, a big thank you to everyone who has applied so far, its been great to see all this support! This community has always seemed exemplary to me, especially considering how its an online community, and now that I’ve begun a professional relationship with some members, its really reinforced that point. Thank you, once again, to all of you.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the building’s fire alarm is going off and I need to leave work for a bit. Really. EDIT No fire, just a chemical accident a few floors up. All’s good.