Haven team expansion

Thoughts on the further development of Haven & Hearth? Feel free to opine!

Haven team expansion

Postby ekzarh » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:34 am

It is more of a question than an idea.

Jorb, Loftar, have you thought on expanding the team?

Haven is a great and unique game (even though IMO some priorities and last 2 years 'softening' decisions are wrong). Haven has limitless ways to improve and grow. I am sure you want bring to it 10 times more with every patch then you can physically do. So here's a piece of advice/text to mitigate your fears/ideas.

Two people will never be able to bring even shortlist of shortlist of ideas endorsed by only two of them.
You may be afraid to expand or unwilling to deal with the hussle, or think its impossible.

Money is an obstacle, but can be solved:
I am pretty sure there are many people who would like to work on it. Even for free.
There are enthusiasts who can do it after normal paid work.
There are college graduates or people who came to gamedev from other industries who desperately need their first real job experience line in their CV. I know 1 decent 3d artist for instance.
Game spirit is not an issue if managed correctly:
You own the game. You can tell teammates how it should look and feel. You give tasks, review results and accept/decline them. Regardless of logic or common sense if it comes to that. If you invite a designer and tell him that character textures should be with eyes texture shifted from 3d model eyesockets - they'll make it.
Security is not an issue:
Intellectual rights transfer agreement examples are all over the internet. Once read, understood, adapted to your needs and signed by employee you can be safe that all things they produce will belong to you or to Haven trademark. So all kinds of texture/art/model designers, lore text writers and any other non-code content creators can work with you.
Client code is open source already.
Server code may be shared relatively safely if you host a virtual dev machine and give some sort of Teamviewer access with any means to copy files from it disabled. This and signed NDA makes you 99% safe that nobody from EU/USA and other countries where intellectual laws work well will screenshot and type server code to deploy pirated Haven server :)
Only time is a big issue and is hard to deal with
With a team growth game authors become more of a game designers and managers than a graphic designers and coders. Interviewing people, reviewing their work, managing their time can take full time of 2 people. But first of all - if you start with 1-2 new members it is farfrom becoming an issue. Secondly, I don't know what is more fun for you in creating Haven - bringing your ideas to life and seeing you child growing or an actual coding/drawing. If first - going 'pure manager' may not be as bad as it looks like. And third - it is possible to delegate lots of management tasks and keep at least 30-50% for actual coding/drawing. Provided you fing a good manager, whom you'll like and trust . And ready to work for free :).
Also, lots of gamedev activities are covered for 0-5%.
PR, Marketing, SMM, A/B tests, all kinds of quizes and analysis, all kinds of researching, ideas generation (incl. new useful and non-intrusive monetization ways). I've personally seen people doing this work for free. It will not take a lot of burden from you (from player perspective it looks like these things are done by you infrequently and don't take much time), but may benefit Haven a lot.
Legal part...
Not sure but I am 99% sure that if you don't pay then you should not worry about that. Maybe some signed paper with 'all work made for Haven is performed as a donation with no claims or paymens expected or performed" to be perfectly sure.

I'd be really glad to hear your opinion about that.
If someone creates a strawpoll with "Do you think expanding a Haven team is worth trying and effort?"- would be nice.

P.S. I like Haven&Hearth a lot. There is no game closer to my vision of perfect MMORPG made yet. I wish you and I would like to see it as a highly hardcore, adrenaline generating yet in a harsh sense fair and technically balanced game with prime-time online exceeding 10000, with cybersports-quality dynamic combat heavily related on human skills, savvy and out-of-the-box thinking, with massive amounts of players involved in combat and sieges (100 or more on each of 2 or more sides), with many opportunities to put your character at stake for some high prospective reward, with financial success sufficient to make creators rich and hire the best talents, with distinguishable, polished and perfected graphics (not like Witcher or CoD. More like Samorost or early yet texture-res pumped Zelda), with many hours of content and things player can achieve, with UX optimized further than current custom clients, and with bot/alt/abuse proble solved.
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Re: Haven team expansion

Postby Granger » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:47 am

ekzarh wrote:Server code may be shared relatively safely if you host a virtual dev machine and give some sort of Teamviewer access with any means to copy files from it disabled.

This and signed NDA makes you 99% safe that nobody from EU/USA and other countries where intellectual laws work well will screenshot and type server code to deploy pirated Haven server :)
That'll work perfectly well, also not.
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Re: Haven team expansion

Postby RoboKy » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:56 am

I may not know alot about computer stuff. But if you guys are looking to hire a cook/nutritionist, just let me know.
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Re: Haven team expansion

Postby Fostik » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:32 pm

Two problems:
1. Noone interested in haven development, if never played.
2. People who played may have interests to hack it, or gain profits from access to server side.
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Re: Haven team expansion

Postby loftar » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:03 pm

To be sure, there are enough things that we want to do on Haven that we could surely entertain a far larger amount of people on it than the current two.

However, from having had outside help on Salem, I can confidently say that the one, primary and by far largest problem with having more people to work on it is communication. If it's not someone who can sit in with us while working on it and, preferably, speak Swedish, I'm not sure it's worth it. One-day, or even one-minute, roundtrip-times for adjusting small details suck beyond anything else.
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Re: Haven team expansion

Postby sMartins » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:31 pm

But the real question would be if having more people working on Haven would be sustainable.
I mean the money that Haven generate would be enough for more than 2 people .... or are you willing to invest on more people to work on haven, hoping that in the future the game will generate more money?
Cause, i'm pretty sure if you post somewhere you are hiring for new staff ... you will find hundreds of Swedish guys willing to have the job, art designers, coders, and so on ..
So, in conclusion, if you find the right people to work with, you would have the intention to open Haven at more people developing or you are OK with keep going just you 2?

Of course, more people would mean more risk, etc ... more problems in general .... and you 2 would become more the bosses of the Haven industry, than the actual developers. So you and Jorb would have also a new job that is to organize people that work for you.
So the real question is: do you want to make Haven a greater(*bigger) thing having more people work on it (with all the risks and downsides related) or you think you are OK with the current state of development and would be fine for the future as well?
This is the question to me ... probably is an hard question for you also, what to do with Haven in the future.
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