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VN Lead Programmer with Ren'Py experience @ Future Proof

Brooklyn, NY, USA

Job description

Hello, Producer/Co-Owner of company here!

The Gig: Need a programmer who can do a bit of copy-paste-tweak engine work in Ren'Py, build out game based on design doc, help us design a cross-platform mechanic that will need to be hosted on one of our sites, and assist with bundling so that we can run our own QA.

Finished product is a 3.5hr free release, so while our quality standards are high we want to stress that this is not a make-or-break company investment; this game is both a standalone release and a small part of a larger multi-year plan already in progress.

Pay: Always negotiable- get me a quote and we can talk! I have a budget, but will pay as close to union rate as I can regardless of expertise. Exposure is for photos, not human beings.

Timeline: Always as-soon-as-possible-within-reason. Given size and scope this is 2 weeks~1 month of work. You and I can figure out what a proper timeline actually looks like, and if I need to cut down expectations or features in order to make a date then well... welcome to Future Proof!

Turnaround:  Given scope of work is not tight per-se, but definitely not open-ended; we're on a schedule with deadlines and stuff. Can scale to reasonable expectations

Core responsibilities

VN Engine/Mechanics: The 'traditional' mechanics we need include: A calendar appointment system (which is all prearranged, it's essentially another choice screen). A map screen. A progress bar. We need individual save states and a 'meta game state' for progress tracking. Few other bits, but nothing extreme on this front.

Cross-platform gimmick: We have a central plot beat that will require the player to download content from one of our sites to unlock further progress. Gating access to that webpage is easy for us to set up on our end, but how we implement this from a technical standpoint with the game  (including tracking progress) is where things get to 'I need a programmer' territory.

Distro Bundling:  We need to wrap this thing up into a .exe for distribution, and my QA folks will then need to bash-test it.  Ren'Py makes this plug-n-play, but will probably have some hidden bugs to kill at this stage due to aforementioned gimmick. 

VN  Alpha/Beta Build: Not required, but the more assistance you can lend us on piecing together the nitty-gritty of assets, animation, copy, etc. the better. We're building our own GUI assets, getting some help on making the buttons do button things would be appreciated. We've already built a pre-alpha and have some folks versed in Ren'Py, but chances are you will move faster and cleaner than we do. Obviously the amount of work in this category can be negotiated.

Qualifications

Python/Ren'Py: We're building in Ren'Py, so prior experience is a plus. However, Ren'Py is super-easy to pickup if you have prior python experience, and pretty easy if you've ever programmed anything ever, so it's not a MUST - Take a look at their documentation if unfamiliar and use you best judgement when applying.

Web Dev: I've tagged web dev as a skill only because we're interfacing with a site - you shouldn't have to do any of the site building, but prior knowledge will definitely help implement some of the unorthodox stuff we have designed.

OS: Ren'Py bundling is OS-agnostic and we're using a git, so beyond some QA bugs with the cross-platform gimmick you can code on a razer toaster if that's your rig.

Minimum XP Level: Not going to discourage up-and-comers, but will definitely say prior-experience in a professional/semi-pro workflow environment is preferred (more the better). You don't need to have 20 years of accolades under your belt, but we are a real company with S&P, deadlines, budgets, etc. We keep things to a chill 30/40-hour workweek and hate wearing ties, but it's still a job that we take seriously.

Obviously if you're a savant, cool! Send me your portfolio, but consider yourself warned - we're going to have to operate on some kind of timeline and iterative cycle.

Disclaimer said, If you want to make something weird and mess around in python, welcome to the party!

Additional information

Who are you and Why? 

We are not a game studio by trade and have no aspirations to become one. Consider this an isolated incident.

We are a transmedia in-house content company specializing in immersive theater and cross-platform gameplay. Because of some-reason-I-can't-quite-seem-to-figure-out (jokes), nobody wants to go to live events right now! So I've got my folks working on some no-longer-backburner digital projects. One of them is a VN using RenPy. My creative team likes using renpy. I don't want to make them do all the python work because they also have stuff like words and images to make.

What is the finished game? Can't say much at this point before we start rolling out marketing, but I am allowed to disclose the following: 

  • We're building a game set in our universe. 
  • We wanted to tell a story through VN mechanics with respect to their history and design while also sticking to our core mission statement and canon. We are not out to make fun of the VN community or the VN format.
  • It'll be a product of LUX (www.luxuryuniversalexperience.com),  and will center on a legitimate VN that has been hijacked by corporate interests and turned into a giant product demo. 
  • You're going to get to date office software. 
  • An AI may or may not hijack your fun. 
  • Can neither confirm nor deny allegations of a googly-eyed rectangle mascot [redacted].
  • I am required to state that spoilers and other contamination are forbidden in the eyes of LUX.
  • Any more info requires you to sign an NDA and read the whitepaper.

Perks?

  • Our team consts of entertainment salt mine vets, so we  take Independent Contractor roles seriously. You're on your own hours, own workflow, etc. You can of course get access to whatever tools or resources we have at our disposal, but once we set up a timeline, deliverables, and a work order, you're free to work as you please! 
  • We are all insane. I know that most companies throw that out willy-nilly, but can confirm that we tend to look at our projects and content... let's call it asymmetrically. 
  • We love using standard tech in unique ways, but don't over-inflate our egos too much - nothing we do reinvents the wheel, but that doesn't mean we can't make a totally radical muscle car with flames painted on it!
  • Vaporwave. We're into that.
  •  Also flamingos and palm trees. 
  • And making fun of Walt Disney.
  • Don't run! Come back! Join us! We all float down here!