FOUNDATION NEWS

Below you’ll find recent news about the happenings around Foundat.io/n game studio. We hope to keep this page updated monthly with any major news within the company. Thanks for stopping by! 

 

 

Foundat.io/n News

June 19th, 2019: Indie Gaming & Blockchain

For the last two weeks we have been working with various blockchains (Ardor, NXT, Waves and others) in order to help game makers integrate their in-game asset purchases into blockchain technology. We have successfully integrated in-game purchases onto the Waves and Ardor blockchains. This makes it possible for game players and game makers to verify game asset ownership in a decentralized way. Game players can now exchange unique in-game assets on a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) without the need for any third party intermediaries. We’ll continue to keep you posted on our progress within the area! One of the next blog posts we’ll create will help show you how you can take advantage of a few different crypto funding projects currently available which could help you raise money to help you develop or finish your game. 

May 1st, 2019: Most Creative Indie Game Studios

In quest to both continue to develop our indie game making blog we recently updated a blog post that we published in February that showcases some of the most inspiring game studios working in the industry at the moment. In this blog post, we explore why more and more indie game studios these days are eager to bet on innovation and creativity when designing their indie games. Knowing that their resources are usually not enough to compete with the big titles, they have to grab people’s attention on other planes, such as the story, art and mechanics. A dire need for innovation amongst indie game developers is often a result of the domination of triple-A games on the market and the merciless criticism of the players. To get noticed, indie developers have to come up with something new and daring, but at the same time adequately appealing in reception. You can read the full post here

 

April 20th, 2019: New Gaming Writers! 

We are pleased to announce that we have recently hired a few new gaming writers for our blog. We hope you will enjoy the content that will be populating our indie game making blog in the coming months! 

April 2nd, 2019: Blockchain Research

Foundation has begun very preliminary work researching how game makers can integrate blockchain technology into the indie games. In the coming months we hope to publish our research in this field on our blog. Stay tuned! 

 

April 20th, 2019: Our Development Problem


A few days ago, it was brought to our attention that plugins we just launched on our platform where strikingly similar to other developers plugins. We were both surprised and upset to hear this news. We hired two freelancers (see their profile here) to help us with the development of these plugins. You can see in our first email we VERY specifically asked for 100% ownership and NO copying. They agreed.

Now we always hire people to help with various tasks within our company. We hire writers, programmers, teachers, admins and many other people to lend a hand. Often, those people are freelancers. Hiring people is an important part of what we do. I’m sure all of you can agree that posting jobs for indie game makers is an important element within the community. It allows people to monetize their passion. We pride ourselves on offering opportunities to people working in the game dev space. In the majority of cases, everything works out fine. We’re able to support game developers and their families and in turn we’re able to grow quicker. However, sometimes we make hiring decisions we later regret. I don’t know of one company who hasn’t made a hiring mistake, and we’re no exception to the rule.

In this case, we outsourced the programming of plugins. We looked for freelancers for about two weeks before finally deciding on a team. The team we hired gave us an amazing first impression and had perfect reviews on their freelancing platform (as you can see yourself). We started working together. They were very professional and helpful through the entire development process (you can read not only our initial review of their work (which of course we’d change if we could), but you can also read all of the other reviews they get for plugin development. The entire development process took a little over a month to complete. It all seemed totally legit as we went through the development process with them (lots of back and forth, fixing requested changes etc). The freelancers charged us just over $1000 for their services.

Everything seemed to be going well, until the day we launched a blog post  and the plugins we paid for on our site. The day, we launched the plugins, was the day we decided to officially launch our site, and we did so by promoting a blog post on social media. During that time a few plugins were downloaded (7 free plugins in total). Someone quickly drew attention to the plugin similarities. We immediately removed the plugins from our site while we investigated the issue further. We reacted as quickly as possible (within the hour the plugins were taken down). We communicated with both the freelancers and directly with other plugins owners. The developers continued to claim that their work was 100% original. Unfortunately, we believed them and we publicly took the side of the freelancers (a decision we later regretted) as they promised us they did nothing wrong.

However, as the days passed and we took the time to go through the plugins in more detail. We used other developers to look through their work, and we saw the similarities. Not all of the plugins they created suffered these problems, but a few of them did. To be safe, we decided to keep ALL of the plugins offline until we could find the time to check all references to all other plugins. The developers promised to repair the parts of the code that they could differentiate. They continued to claim that, because we asked for functionality which already existed, it was hard to differentiate the code due to coding language restrictions. For example, they told us if we wanted to move the X/ Y axis of a menu (which we did), there is only one way to do that. However, others in the community argued that there could be a few different ways to do it. So we asked the developers to differentiate no matter what.

To make a long story short. The developers DID NOT end up delivering any new satisfactory code (that met our requirements) by the deadlines they set themselves, and we ended up losing $1000 on the development of these plugins. We were given many excuses for the delays (depression, breakups, lack of electricity etc etc), but In the end, they just didn’t end up delivering.

Continued on the right–> –> –>

April 20th, 2019 – Present: Continued

Therefore, not only did we end up losing the money we invested in these plugins, but we lost a considerable amount of time, had our reputation damaged through the process and had other projects we were working on in parallel get delayed due to this issue. We are now working with a trusted developer to continue work on these plugins. We have worked with this developer many times in the past (on non game engine related projects) and it’s the decision we should have taken from day one. Lesson learnt. In the future, we will be much more careful when hiring outside help. The takeaway here is that we shouldn’t immediately trust people we haven’t worked with previously (no matter how good their ratings are on sites like Freelancer, UpWork or Fiverr), and we need to check the authenticity of any code and art assets that are delivered to us  (we had a similar problem with one artist freelancer from UpWork as well).

We’ve posted public apologies in other places as well, but again, we are sorry to other developers who were impacted by our mistake. We work hard to make Foundation a helpful resource for indie game makers and we’ll continue to do that into the future (mind you, a little more carefully moving forward). Any writer, teacher, programmer or other freelancer we hire is made aware of our heightened sensitivity to this issue and our zero tolerance policy on copied work.

Look, at the end of the day, WE made a mistake. We take full responsibility and we ask for forgiveness. We relied on a 5 star rating to make a decision and we didn’t check their work for any code similarities to other plugins (we just tested for bugs). I guess were were naive in thinking that someone just wouldn’t do that after explicitly being told not to. But we were wrong, and take full blame for that.

The consequence for our mistake is that we got abused on social media and we received brutal hate mail (this this) from the other developers involved. Then when we pressure the freelancers to repair the damage they have done, they give us nothing but excuses (like this one, or this one, or this one, and this one).

But we didn’t hire this team with the intention to support this type of behavior. Remember, we hire people (maybe you in the future) because we want to support the indie game community. This is important to us, and it’s important to the people who work as illustrators, programmers, teachers and writers to have the opportunities we (and others) offer. In the vast majority of cases, it’s a win win situation for everyone involved. I’m sure everyone reading this has either been hired or hired people to the great benefit of both parties involved. We’re also sure, that virtually everyone reading this has either been hired by a bad employer, or hired a bad employee. You’ve undoubtedly also made mistakes as either an employee or employer. When any of these things happen, the consequences often suck. This isn’t the first hiring mistake we’ve made, and if we manage to stick around for the next 20 years, it it likely won’t be the last.

However, we would have NEVER hired this team if we thought they would do this to us or anyone else. We are really upset that we (and others) had to go through this. We didn’t make any money through this process. It was MORE than a 100% loss to us in every imaginable way. While I know we won’t get our money refunded (although we’ve asked), we are working with the freelancing platform to try to get them removed from the platform so they can’t do this type of damage to other people (so far we’ve had no luck with this approach, but we’ll continue to try).

To make our mistake up to the community we will be publishing a huge assortment of helpful indie game making interviews on our blog shortly. We’ve hired a writer and her plan is to bring you 30  to 50 new indie game interviews in a quest to help you make better indie games. This not only helps you as an indie game maker, but it also helps the indie game makers we interview gain more exposure and hopefully sell more games.

This type of support is essential for indie game makers, and we’ll continue to do our best to contribute in meaningful and positive ways.

We love you.

From the Foundat.io/n Team & the good freelancers who rely on us for support!

 

Dec 10th, 2018: Game Makers & Project Management

We have been continuing to publish indie game development content on our blog this month. If you check our blog, you’ll notice our focus on project management for indie game makers. We’ve created a lot of content that teaches you how to use S.M.A.R.T planning and project management tools to ensure your video game gets completed on time and on budget. We hope you enjoy this content! 

 

Dec 1st, 2018: Game Asset Library Launch

Our game asset library is now live. If you’re an artist and you’d like to have your work featured or sold on our site please reach out to us and let us know. We’re actively looking for 2D artists and pixel artist who would like to be featured on our site!

 

Nov 1st, 2018: Call For Writers

We are currently looking for writers for our blog. We are looking for both gaming writers to write about the latest happenings in the indie game niche, as well as indie game developers to help us create high quality content to help indie game makers create better games. Please contact us with a 1000 – 2000 word writing sample. 

 

Oct 5th, 2018: Site Launch

And we’re up! We hope you enjoy the content we’re about to start adding to our site over the next year. Our goal is to help indie game makers become better game makers! 

 

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