Beware of loose cannons!

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Because of recent events I felt the need
for this longer blog entry.
This should also help people who want to do
their own game project and crowdfunding campaign.
When you want to develop a game, at some
point you probably need to hire more man power. This is a very crucial task. If you hire
the wrong people, you are going to losing money and it can create huge problems, for the
project and for you. These problems will prevent you from focusing 100% on your
project. You don’t want that to happen.

Rule number one: Beware of loose cannons!
I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

When I started the planning’s for the Saber
Rider Kickstarter, I also had to look for people filling in several positions.
Such positions are most likely programming, graphics, music and so on.

It turned out that my choices for the programming
and graphics positions back then were very poor.

I had to let go the programmer already
shortly after the Kickstarter finished because of massive problems happened before, during
and after the Kickstarter. I was even forced to spend money to hire a lawyer in
order to stop him spreading lies. That was only semi
successful because we do not life in the same country. He refused emails, mails
per post and even registered mails.
I could have spent more money for an
injunction. I was just not willing to spend more on that matter because it would not have changed anything in the short term. The lawyer costs were
already at 1800 Euro and that was money from the project! By German law he is supposed to pay this money back. But
since he hides in a different country and feels save there that probably won’t
be happening, except if I would show up in person and kick the shit out of him.

The matter with the GFX artist was even worse.
The work with him started out good but it went downhill from there. It took him
ages to complete one sprite sheet. At one point I spoke with him and told him that this is
not working out that way. No change. A bit later I cut money from his monthly salary, no
change.

We always had endless discussions on Skype but at the end they were just useless and a waste of my time because nothing was achieved. This is a huge
issue if you have problems to stay focused in general. I had to answer the same
questions over and over again. The delivered sheets contained errors which I
had to fix myself since he refused to do corrections. He left animations out we showed in the Kickstarter in the hopes I won’t notice. He always wanted to go the cheap and easy way and questioned every decision I made. He always was sticking his nose in things he had nothing to do with as a freelance GFX artist. The whole matter became very nerve wracking and because of the endless debates I started to feel unsure about my own decisions. My clear vision of the whole idea started to get blurry. It came to the point where I just wanted to avoid any more discusion on Skype. At one point I came to the conclution that this won’t work out and work never gets finished that way.

Again, I had to make a hard decision and
let him go. All of his work had to be
tossed away and had to be done again from scratch because no other GFX artist wanted to complete that material. That was in march this year. Oh, well! Yeah, he took that personally
and tried to start his private vendetta against me.
I won’t go in detail but several
people contacted me and told me what lies he spreads and where. I didn’t even
know some of these people before! He even contacted team members and several
other contacts of mine to bother them with his weird stories and his grudge. The answer he mostly got.
was that they don’t want to get involved in his crap. He likes to play Sherlock
and tried to find out anything about me. I felt stalked. I also had to ban him
from all Saber Rider channels but of course he still has some minions there and
is just waiting for any mistake I make to use it for is advantage.

As you can see, both persons created huge
problems for the project and for me. Such persons are called “loose cannons”.
You don’t want such people in your team.

In the end, however, it was my fault,
because I was too credulous and hired them in the first place and it will be your fault if you make the same mistake!

So, when you plan your own game and
funding, make sure you have the right people who share your vision of
the project/game.
Make sure they follow you and not the other
way around.
If you work with freelancers and also “veterans”, check them out
good!
Check their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Podcasts…! If you find something there you don’t like or something that gives you a bad feeling, don’t hire them. Always let them sign a contract and very
important a NDA!!!
Do not let you fool by the fact that somebody is a “veteran” in the business.
That just means he is working a long time in his job. This does not necessarily mean he is
good at it or more important good for your project. I have experienced the good and the bad
side of hiring “veterans”.
Choose wisely!
Keep your ears open and your eyes on the mark.

The bottom-line is, that both people have
been replaced. The programming side is in the right hands. The same goes for
the GFX part. However, the whole issue took a lot of extra time and money. It also took massive amounts of energy from me.
Already during the Kickstarter, I was completely out of energy and it got worse
each day. Having to deal with loose cannons won’t make it better.
During the summer, I reached my limit and
ended up with a huge burnout. I got depressions and panic attacks. So be very
careful with your decisions during a project because that will affect anything including you!

Stay save!

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