Questions about hiring someone for a personal, non-commercial project (compensation, timeline)

I am an artist looking to create an art project (NOT a full fledged game) inside of a game engine, probably UE4 as it seems more artist friendly. The “gameplay” I am hoping for is super basic but I have no coding experience and was hoping to hire someone to help set up something really basic I can plug assets into (I am an undergrad art student looking to do this for my senior thesis and as such have very rigid time constraints). I have a couple of questions about this:

  1. How much would be a fair payment (project details below)?
  2. How long would this take (again, project details below)?

I know very little about the coding side of game development other than the fact that seemingly simple things from the gamer’s perspective can be incredibly complex and a pain to build on the code side of things.

What I need:

-first person player character that is able to freely move about map

-a book object that can be activated and thus opened (think Skyrim) and pages turned, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, the functionality for players to type things into this book and have whatever was written saved (so that it will still be there the next time the game is played). The system by which this is implemented should allow for many discreet instances of the book to exist so that if the player writes something in one book they will not see that if they open another book.

This is not a commercial project and will not be distributed. It will only be played on one computer so there is no need for options menus (other than the option to quit game).

Firstly I have a question: Does your assignment allow for a 3rd party to be involved (hiring someone to do part of your assignment for you)?

Secondly, when you first open Unreal Engine and create a project, you can choose from a bunch of templates including a “First Person Starter”, which I believe is essentially what you’re looking for with the first point you needed.

I’m unsure about the book object part, so no comment there.

As for your lack of coding ability, I too am weak on that point. I’m a 3D Artist, not a programmer, there’s quite a big difference between the two, Artists create things, Programmers make things work, but thankfully Unreal Engine has a “Blueprint” system, which is great for those with little to none programming experience. All you have to do is learn to understand which blueprint variables connect to what and what the result of that action is.

As for fair payment, again, not sure if you’re allowed to do that, but I’d say people most likely won’t do it for any small amount, there’s always people out there that are willing to do stuff for free as they see it as an opportunity to do something they haven’t necessarily done before and learn from it, but it seems you’re more or less looking for someone that knows what they’re doing. As for time, unsure.

Good Luck!