June 18, 2007 at 8:15 am #6083AnonymousInactive
In the next 3 Months I will be looking to fill 5 fulltime programming positions within Ireland. At the momment it is undecided whether or not the positions will be in Dublin or in Athlone.
I will be looking for:
1 x Lead Programmer
2 x Senior AI Programmers
2 x Senior Gameplay programmers
So my main question for everyone here is just what would it require to attract experienced developers back to Ireland or into Ireland.
Obviously Money is the major issue, and I have arranged for what I feel are very competitive packages.
1. Relocation Expenses
2. Competitive Salary (Against US and UK rates)
3. Full Medical with VHI
4. Gym & Pool Package
5. Entertainment Discounts : Cinema, Movies, Games, Music and Gigs all at varying discounted rates.
6. Top End Next Gen Technology which only a limited number of developers are exposed too.
7. Strong Partnerships and Contracts for our current titles and future titles.
8. Work with an established Art team and contracting team.
Our current title is 1944d-day : Operation Overlord
It’s been in development for many years and has been gradually expanding to bigger and better things. Finally it’s gotten to the point where we are leaving pre-production and prototyping behind us ready for full scale development.
So what would it take to attract people back in. (Or even attract people within Ireland with experience to take up a position).
Any suggestions or recommendations are more than welcome. Positions will be advertised in due course.
June 18, 2007 at 9:00 am #37288AnonymousInactive
Sounds like a good package, don’t think you could really offer much more than that.
June 18, 2007 at 9:02 am #37289AnonymousInactive
Sounds like a good package. Any royalities or bonus scheme in place?
June 18, 2007 at 9:06 am #37291AnonymousInactive
No royalties but there are investment options.
June 18, 2007 at 9:28 am #37292AnonymousInactive
My main worry with moving to Ireland to a company like yours would be to do with job security. Is everything hinging on 1944d-day : Operation Overlord or are there future plans and publisher ties to help secure a job for the next X years…
June 18, 2007 at 9:53 am #37294AnonymousInactive
Secured Tech, Secured Partners, Publishers are still in the pipeline but will certainly be arranged for the 1944 series. Other titles are already in the works including XBLA games.
This is the main issue that I feel we need to address and that is job security. So over the next 3 months I will be attempting to ensure that it’s not an issue.
June 18, 2007 at 10:21 am #37296AnonymousInactive
Sounds very good Ronan. Best of luck.
As for job security I never thought of the games industry as secure at all but I understand the issue of moving to Ireland and then having to move away again should the job not work out. Not like you could just go knocking on a bunch of developers doors like you could in England.
How long do people stay with a company these days though? Heard stories a few years back that if you were with the same company in a senior capacity (even if company was doing well) for more than 3 years you were quite the oddity.
June 18, 2007 at 10:38 am #37297AnonymousInactive
Job security is a must these days as far as I’m concerned. We’ve still got a few people here for the early Tomb Raiders, think we’ve lost all of the original team, but thats only recently too.
June 18, 2007 at 11:09 am #37298AnonymousInactive
ya security is a must, especially if they’re moving to ireland. at least over here especially in the midlands, you have like 10-15 companies at least.
June 18, 2007 at 11:14 am #37299AnonymousInactive
Congratulations Ronan – it sounds like you’re on the verge of reaping the rewards of your hard work!
Regarding getting experienced game dev people to Ireland, I’d say relocation and the general lazyness of a lot of developers in the area of real-life skills ( eg finding accommodation ), would play a big part.
Is there a possibility of hiring a near work "development house", where anyone coming over gets free rent ( "free" as in gets deducted from some part of their salary+ ), for a certain amount of time ( eg during their trial period of 3 months ), after which they either pay rent, or get their own accommodation.
This also means that new employees will be socialising with other company employees with similar interests for that period of time, rather than sitting in a hotel room somewhere, or getting accommodation with people with potentially very different interests than them.
Havok had a house like that, where contractors / new overseas employees / existing employees from more remote locations could stay for free, and it really helped on two points – one was making it a LOT easier for non-local devs to get settled and stuck into work, and the other was that it showed that Havok did go that extra mile to look after employees who were willing to travel from afar. As someone who stayed in that house ( both as a contractor, and also as an employee ), it really was priceless!
Just an idea – if you were able to do that, and advertise it heavily, imho it would be a great added incentive for experienced developers to leave their existing and comfortable routine.
June 18, 2007 at 11:18 am #37300AnonymousInactive
Oh undoubtedly job security is very important (super vital if moving to Ireland) but we are in a very volatile industry in general and we all know that even what seem at the time like an iron clad publisher deal always leaves room for a project to be scrapped let alone the myriad of development problems that can crop up to kill or delay a project.
Short of big cash reserves and a proven release record what can a small first title developer do to improve at least the impression of stability?
I think people trying to break into the industry are willing to take a punt on a startup but how do you drag the experienced people away from larger more secure companies. Thats hard!
Guess you need to wow employees with your vision and get them to say "Screw the sequel to that million selling game I worked on, I want do something different with more impact on the final product". Of course if you can show the prospective employee the vault of money you have that always helps. :)
Do contracts these days guarantee a number of game cycles?
June 18, 2007 at 12:08 pm #37302AnonymousInactive
Ya Codemasters did this for a while with the Operation Flash Point 2 team. Alot of the coders\artists were coming from the states so they had a house where they all stayed and could hang out together. Then after a few months they’d move out to find their own places, and some more new ones would moved in. Wicked house too, massive old place but tricked out big style. Conservatory, 2-3 drawing rooms, loads of bathrooms, bedrooms, garden etc.
June 18, 2007 at 12:12 pm #37303AnonymousInactive
Nice one on entering Production, hope you get the guys you need !
June 18, 2007 at 12:15 pm #37304AnonymousInactive
Well part of relocation does include accomadation. For those with a family it includes a 4 bedroom house, fully furnished. While those without it is a flat closer to the work. Obviously there is travel, relocation and other expenses that can certainly be covered and I suspect will be covered. Again a budget needs to be given.
Job security and the end of a project can only be given as a personal guaruntee, perhaps not worth the paper it’s printed on, but for those who have stood by me, and seen just how I work they would know that i would not be posting 5 job adds, unless I could fund those positions for a minimum of 2 years. You must also remember the vast majority of the artistic content is complete. While publishers still need a little more convincing, we are in a position where with the partnerships and existing contracts the game has enough funding to be completed without a publisher. Obviously a publisher would be a great plus but the money is there without having to worry about signing any old deal.
Technology will also play a huge role, and we have secured some of the best, and minimized the risk factor in doing so. While most companies are bundled with expensive license agreements, we have partnered with some strong developers to ensure that we get the best technology without breaking the bank.
Finally there is security, as above the job is there, the money is there, and it will be there for sometime. While it is a startup it’s carefully planned out, the risk is minimal and it’s merely a matter of preference. Does the developer want to live in the UK where commutes of upto 2 hours are common practice, and house prices range from 150k GBP -> 500k GBP or do they want a standard of living where they can get a similar life without the mortgage stress. Typically prices of houses in and around Athlone range from 250k euro -> 300k euro for competitive houses, and that’s without the commute. There is also alot of land up for sale and the town is growing rapidly.
It’s a matter of achieving job security, standar of living required and of course liking what you do. While I can’t do everything I have made sure that everything is that little bit easier. So hopefully the package may draw people over, or may bring people out of the woodwork. Ultimately I will find out in 3 months when everything unfolds.
June 18, 2007 at 1:30 pm #37308Aphra KKeymaster
Ronan great to hear you are at this point and gd.ie will help publicise positions etc and provide other help if we can.
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