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iPhone: Designer looking to collaborate with coder to produce games and apps...

08-28-2008, 12:18 PM
#1
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
Designer looking to collaborate with coder to produce games and apps...

Hello there!

Allow me to briefly introduce myself. I am a designer... a graphic designer, an interactive designer... I do layouts in Photoshop for large websites, for small WAP-sites. I do icon design. I illustrate in Illustrator. I sketch with a pencil. I animate. I come up with concepts for games.
Basically, I'm a designer. I've been doing design professionally in one form or another for the past 14 years. I'm passionate about what I do, I enjoy doing it, and I always strive to do the best I can in all the work I produce.
That's what I am and who I am.
What I am NOT is a developer or a coder. I've dabbled a bit in HTML and CSS, and even a bit of complex Flash ActionScript, but generally, I just end up tearing my hair out with frustration when I try, because I can't do it very well.
I know I'm not a coder, but it frustrates me when I have an idea that I can't implement because of a lack of technical skills.

What's this all got to do with anything I hear you say? Well, unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you'll all have heard about the great new apps and games that you can get on your shiny new iPhones and iPod Touches.
Well, to get to the point, creating games and mini-apps is something I have been wanting to get into for a long time. This was for the Mac OS, long before the iPhone came along. Now with the iPhone SDK released to the general public, my desire to do this is even stronger, and I have a stack of great ideas that I want to bring to life on the small-screen!
I've sketched out a few of these ideas, but I know that without the coding-skills, my sketches ultimately mean nothing.

So this is where you come in. What I am wanting to do is to hook up with a clever programmer who's familiar with coding for the iPhone, but who perhaps feels that they need a designer to come up with some ideas on what to code. Or if you already have an idea, maybe you need a designer to produce some graphics for it. Or even if you already have an app or game built, maybe the UI needs sorting out.
In the short-term, one of us could help the other out on a project already in-progress. Longer-term, we'd collaborate on our own work together, maybe after-hours outside of our day-jobs. The ultimate goal, in an ideal world, would be for us to do this full-time, as a living.

Basically, what I'm looking for is a programmer who is in need of a designer, because I am a designer who is need of a programmer. You scratch my back, I scratch yours, and together we can have non-itchy backs... or something... ;-)

No, but seriously, teaming up with the right person will ultimately benefit us both. With two of us working together, we'll each bring our own unique special skills to the table, and the results will be twice as good as what each of us could achieve on our own.
I want to stress that any collaboration will be completely 50-50 equal, in terms of work done (although very different disciplines), investment put in, and the subsequent returns for all that.

In conclusion, if what I've said here sounds like something you could be interested in, then have a look at an "advert" I put together saying pretty much what I've said here already, but just more "formally":
http://www.nothowitlooks.com/iphonedev/
My contact details are on the URL above.

I look forward to hearing from you guys...

Thanks for your time,
Brett Archibald.
08-28-2008, 12:55 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, WA
Posts: 125
As I've said in a similar post that was placed on here a week or so back, this is going to be a tough sell without samples of what you can do. The message boards of various iPhone websites are littered with posts like this one, and nobody ever posts samples.

I work at a high-tech company with a ton of dev/coder types and they loathe posts like this one, because it comes off as someone saying, "I can draw and have good ideas, I just need someone to actually create the stuff I'm thinking of," when in reality, you need them more than they need you.

I'm not saying you aren't talented, but I am saying that there is no way of knowing unless you actually post some samples. Otherwise you come across as someone just looking to make a quick buck off of the iPhone craze, rather than someone who is actually passionate about working as part of a team to build awesome apps that people are willing to buy.

08-28-2008, 01:54 PM
#3
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
Hi 3Dave,

Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately for myself, I pretty much fully agree with what you have said...
I know that a lack of samples to show is a pretty big stumbling block, but I am taking steps to remedy that at the moment by mocking up some ideas I have, and will be just showing off static JPGs of what I envisage.
Without the developer, I can't build my apps, and so can't show off working live apps.
Without proof that I can design an app, no developer wants to hook up with me.
Bit of a catch-22 situation there...

I could show off a stack of website designs and suchlike, but I would ideally like to keep my examples relevant.

And the bit about the proposal coming across as:
"I can draw and have good ideas, I just need someone to actually create the stuff I'm thinking of," when in reality, you need them more than they need you
...again, I have been made fully aware that my post may come across *sounding* this way by another developer that I have been exchanging emails with recently, and as I took the steps to re-assure him that that is not the case, I would like to re-assure everyone reading here that I am only too aware of the fact that I NEED a developer, and as such, I am looking for an equal partnership.
I'm not looking for someone to do my monkey-work for me, as it were.
Just as I need a developer, I'm looking for a developer who needs a designer. These would invariably be individuals who have only just taken up programming, but who clearly posses the necessary skills.
The "high-tech company with a ton of dev/coder types" is not the market I am aiming for.

Ideally, I'd be looking to hook up with someone who perhaps develops in an un-related field as a day-job, and has recently taken up iPhone development as an after-hours interest. Perhaps they've built their first app, and whilst it may function as it should, perhaps it could do with a little polish and pizzazz and some UI-readjustment.

I'm not expecting to take over the iPhone-world by tomorrow. I know that as a novice at this, that I will have to take small steps first, metaphorically-speaking.

What I can assure everyone of though is that I am passionate about this, and capable in backing up my claims, but I just need to get my feet on the bottom-rung of this ladder to prove this.

There's no risk involved for anyone who is potentially interested, because I'm not asking them to commit ANYTHING without us first talking over our ideas. If they like the ideas that WE discuss and want in, well then we can take the proposal on to the next phase where, again, they have NOTHING to lose, because I could spend sometime really detailing out the project, mocking up screens, etc. Then from that point, if they still want in on the project, THEN they invest their time and effort, because they know what the idea is, how it will look, how it will work etc.

I wouldn't dream of asking anyone to "sign me up" without me first proving I am capable.
What this first post is all about is to just fish around to see which developers are even remotely interested at potentially possibly maybe perhaps hooking up with a designer, if that designer can prove himself...

I'm not expecting any calls from EA Games, but I would love to hear from a developer who needs a designer just as much as I, a designer, needs that developer.

Again, thanks for your comments.

Last edited by BrettArchibald; 08-28-2008 at 02:03 PM.
08-28-2008, 02:17 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 189
Brett, we're potentially interested. We're a small company with two games on the app store, another on the way and looking for talented artists/designers for upcoming projects. Please see your PM.
08-29-2008, 09:42 AM
#5
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Dave View Post
As I've said in a similar post that was placed on here a week or so back, this is going to be a tough sell without samples of what you can do. The message boards of various iPhone websites are littered with posts like this one, and nobody ever posts samples.
I've had a bunch of people ask me for previous work examples, be they iPhone app related or not, and although I (obviously) don't have any live iPhone app or game examples, I am gathering together in one place a selection of other work examples which will hopefully show what I can do and how they can be applied to what I'm proposing here...

Stay tuned - will come back to you with a URL soon.
08-29-2008, 12:10 PM
#6
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 24
You could try making up web pages to demonstrate your ideas. For instance, here's a web site I whipped up to explain an idea for a user-content collectable card game:

http://www.palenoue.com/card_game_intro.html

I tried pitching this idea to a few game companies in hopes they would steal the concept and make it a reality, as it is a game my friends and I would really like to play, but the programmers for the companies had a hard time understanding the concept of user-created cards and how the game would work without becoming unbalanced. So I made up some web pages to demonstrate the basic ideas and offer further explanation which helped a lot. Unfortunately, nobody has stolen the idea yet. Maybe if I cover it with BBQ sauce ;-)

I did the same thing to demonstrate another idea I had for a turn-based game-making engine (because my friends and I are getting tired of constant-action, twitch-reflex games, we want to think and relax sometimes): http://www.palenoue.com/p2p_index.html

I can't draw, I can't program, I can barely make web pages, but I can create fun games (some of my friends from 15 years ago are _still_ playing games I came up with back then) and I've found setting up web pages like this helps to convey your game ideas to others.
08-31-2008, 12:15 PM
#7
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
I have now posted a selection of my work portfolio online, but as some of it is "sensitive" work-in-progress, I have opted to password-protect the URL for it so that it's not viewable by just any arbitrary surfer who happens to stumble across it via a search engine or suchlike.

Before you look at it though, bear in mind that none of this work is for iPhone game or app designs. This is work that I have done either as my paid day-job as a web / interactive designer, or work that I have done for myself merely for fun.
I'm just showing it here to give you an idea of the kind of design work I have been doing thus far, and if you can think laterally, how I can apply these design skills into the field of iPhone game & app design.

Remember, the key here is to think laterally!

URL:
http://www.nothowitlooks.com/iphonesamples/

USERNAME:
iphone

PASSWORD:
54mpl35
08-31-2008, 12:25 PM
#8
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Formerly Zimbabwe - now England.
Posts: 1,394
Quote:
Originally Posted by palenoue View Post
You could try making up web pages to demonstrate your ideas...
Thanks for the response there Palenoue.
That's certainly an idea that I am and will be pursuing. However, where you and I differ is that I personally want to be involved in the creation of the ideas I have, so I'm a bit hesitant to just air my ideas publicly where someone could nick them.
As such, I'm only comfortable with showing my specific ideas, concepts & mock-ups one-on-one with a developer that I have struck up some kind of relationship with.
08-31-2008, 09:00 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 24
Now that's a demo page! Good showcase of your skills, now game programmers can see you've got some talent and are worth talking to. I hope you make a solid connection soon.

I can understand about wanting to be involved in the game making process, I've seen a large number of great ideas screwed up because they removed the original idea man from the process. Conversely, I've also seen several great ideas ruined because the original idea man ruled over the project like a petty dictator, crushing any suggestion of change or improvement, but not nearly as much as the previous cases. You're fortunate that you've got such good artistic skills because that's an important part of any game, thus they need you as much as you need them.

Me? I got nothing but ideas and no way to make them, so I _want_ game developers to steal my ideas! It's the only way any of my games will make into the world so my friends and I can play them. Like the collectable card game with user-created cards, the vast majority of gamers (both computer and non-computer gamers) I've talked to about the idea are very eager to play it. Some have even started working on their own artwork for their cards in hopes it comes out someday. But nobody in the game developing business has hinted that they're even considering such a concept. So I keep suggesting it in their forums, trying to make it look as profitable as I can, in hopes they'll steal the idea so we can actually play it instead of talking about it. But with my luck they'll make it vista-only and lame it up something terrible.

So far, no luck. I'd probably have a better chance of winning the lottery and hiring my own programmers.

You, on the other hand, have the talent and skills to make programmers want to team up with you. So good luck!