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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Hero-U - Update #36, March Update

Default Hero-U - Update #36, March Update

March 17th, 2013, 17:01
Gary Cole brings us a new update of Hero-U, which is about sending information to backers and that they work with contractors.
Lori and I decided early in the project to work with independent contractors rather than employees. This has allowed us to control costs by paying only for the actual work that has been completed at each stage. The downside of that decision is that we have much less control over the pace and amount of work from contractors.
I've been a "part-timer" myself on the game design because a large part of my time has been devoted to administration and reward fulfillment. I knew all along that those would take a lot of my time, but I didn't realize just how much. I'm now through that phase and participating much more actively in working with Lori to design game systems. Recent eye surgery (cataracts) is also making a big difference, now that I can read the computer screen without a magnifier!
The good part of this is that we are burning through the Kickstarter funds very slowly. The rough part is that we are also building the game slowly. In particular, both of our team programmers have dropped out to pursue lucrative full-time contracts elsewhere. We are in the process of doing a "partial reboot", bringing in a full-time lead programmer, and redesigning the software architecture. This is allowing us to further refine and improve the game design, but it means that we have zero chance of making our original October ship date.
We still plan to use part-time contractors for much of the final game programming. Are you a strong Unity and C# programmer? Would like to contribute to the development of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. Oh, and are you a code monkey who is happy to work for bananas because bananas are so tasty? That's pretty much what the rest of the team (including Lori and me) is doing. If so, please send an email with a resume (CV) and information about your availability and contract rates to jobs (at) transolar (dot) com. Actually our rates are highly competitive, compared to say fast food restaurant and warehouse store work.
We will keep all of you informed as we move forward with the project. I don't want to promise a specific date for Hero-U release at this point, but we are 100% committed to shipping it as soon as it is a great game.

[A Catacombs section by John Paul Selwood]
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March 17th, 2013, 17:01
Switching programmers in mid build will require that the new coders will need to get up to speed on the existing code base. That's got to cost something…
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March 17th, 2013, 18:57
I have to admit that update didn't sound good at all. I'm a bit worried they will take a very long time to get this done.

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March 17th, 2013, 21:05
This is slightly troubling to read about, and implies that they did not do proper project planning…shouldn't contracts or some kind of enforceable agreements been in place with whomever they hired - regardless of whether the workers are contractors or employees?

Even contractors are supposed to agree to be bound to hit certain deliverables within a certain time-frame, it's basic business sense, no?

I can understand as he says the less costly nature of using contractors instead of employees…but that's less costly sometimes at face value. Here we see an opportunity cost he failed to account for. Hopefully they'll get back on track despite the setback.
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March 17th, 2013, 23:34
Originally Posted by Dhraiden View Post
This is slightly troubling to read about, and implies that they did not do proper project planning…shouldn't contracts or some kind of enforceable agreements been in place with whomever they hired - regardless of whether the workers are contractors or employees?

Even contractors are supposed to agree to be bound to hit certain deliverables within a certain time-frame, it's basic business sense, no?

I can understand as he says the less costly nature of using contractors instead of employees…but that's less costly sometimes at face value. Here we see an opportunity cost he failed to account for. Hopefully they'll get back on track despite the setback.
You know, that's the feeling I got from the start with this. I took a giant leap of faith on this one, because I honestly felt it may never materialize. This is probably the only kickstarter I actually felt like that.

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March 18th, 2013, 18:01
Originally Posted by Dhraiden View Post
This is slightly troubling to read about, and implies that they did not do proper project planning…shouldn't contracts or some kind of enforceable agreements been in place with whomever they hired - regardless of whether the workers are contractors or employees?

Even contractors are supposed to agree to be bound to hit certain deliverables within a certain time-frame, it's basic business sense, no?

I can understand as he says the less costly nature of using contractors instead of employees…but that's less costly sometimes at face value. Here we see an opportunity cost he failed to account for. Hopefully they'll get back on track despite the setback.
You can't plan like that and you can't stop people leaving - even if you could you wouldn't *want* a resentful dev. And developing new stuff always throws up surprises. Not a single one of the Kickstarters I've backed so far is even remotely on time and TBH haven't always been on time on my own projects . i.e. situation normal all f'ed up.

Don't see this project as being any different. Just depends on the will and persistence of the Cole's to push it through. And although all my Kickstarters are late, none of them have crunched yet (although I'm a bit dubious about one of them ).
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March 18th, 2013, 21:33
Delivering late doesn't seem as big a concern as running over budget. I worry that some of these Kickstarters will get 90% of the way there and then go begging for more funds. I suppose they could always trade a bit of the projected profits for the extra investment money. But that could leave them in a hole for follow-on projects. Shrug.
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March 18th, 2013, 22:19
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Delivering late doesn't seem as big a concern as running over budget. I worry that some of these Kickstarters will get 90% of the way there and then go begging for more funds. I suppose they could always trade a bit of the projected profits for the extra investment money. But that could leave them in a hole for follow-on projects. Shrug.
thats the problem with this one, at the moment they are not progressing at all and seemed a bit muddled. Honestly got me a bit worried.

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