As a semi FAQ question attempt :

Where can you find people to work with you on a project? Particularly programmers. One thing that is obvious is that all programmers have a project (or twenty), and the chances of a programmer just hanging around looking for something to do is a lot less likely than if it were an artist needed on the team.

So, where do you post? Where do you search and follow people around until it looks like they are a viable team member? Is it really difficult to assemble a team that are not close friends or chat buddies? Are there sites with this sort of posting?

To clarify : I am referring to a team.

Example 1 : I am making gameEngineOfAwesomeness. I need help.

Example 2 : I am 70% complete on this game, and i need help.

Example 3 : I have an open source project idea, with a prototype. I need help.

It doesn't necessarily mean open source, just programmers who can work with me on something (and where to find them :))

  • \$\begingroup\$ Any luck getting started? It has been over a month and I was wondering how your project was progressing. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2010 at 20:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, Thanks for the query. It is going excellent thanks :) I was actually just curious/throwing the question out there for others as well. It is something fundamental that everyone might be curious about i guess. my projects are posted on blog.centrc.net if you really were interested. :) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 9, 2010 at 23:10

5 Answers 5


1) Press the flesh at places like Penguicon or local users group meetings and have your elevator pitch down and some color fliers with calls to action. If you want to enlist the help of others, you will need to market yourself and your idea. Explain 'why you' and 'why this' to a group of people who don't know you and surely have 15 of their own ideas that they haven't followed through on themselves. If you have a prototype, set up several machines in a con-suite or talk to the users group about being a speaker and present what you have to as large an audience as you can.

2) Make it easy to help you by setting up all of the infrastructure yourself before you talk to anyone. Get a well populated WIKI in place, source control system, storyboards (even if the art stinks), etc. and ideas on how 'this game' is going to change the world.

3) Be prepared to do more work than any two or three other team members, because you will need to be cheerleader, project manager, and contributor all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is pretty much along what i was aiming to hear. You need something in hand, something to show, and something that works. Totally agree - The links provided are great too. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2010 at 21:01

From what I've seen, the internet is not a very good place to find programmers, especially if you're looking for them to work for nothing. But it sounds like you perhaps just need a programming task to be done (like making a specific game based on your art), rather than needing to actually form a group. You might try the following:

If you have a single specific task that needs to be done, you can post it on vWorker (previously Rent-A-Coder) and programmers (or programming groups) will bid on your project; accept the most viable-looking bidder, they do the work, and then you pay them once you receive the work. It's well-made to keep both sides fair; for example, your money goes into escrow, so that any foul play on your part and the programmer still gets paid; but any foul play on the programmer's part and the money comes back to you. Communications should be done through the website so that everything is documented, and their moderators are pretty quick at resolving issues, should you need them.

There are many "outsource" workers and groups who will do your task for very cheap and quickly, but watch out for bad quality code. Also make sure to have crystal-clear requirements, and document everything through the website. Anything said on there is like a contract, and if you put complete requirements up there, the coder will be required to complete them before they get paid. Conversely, the programmers NEED a clear specification of what needs to be done in order to accurately bid and estimate their time, and poor requirements are often the source of buyers taking advantage of coders, making them work extra before they get paid just because there was a misunderstanding.

I've had both good and bad experiences as a coder on the site, but it seems to me that buyers are treated very well; they are certainly in the position of power. Again, if you have a very clear idea of what needs to be done and you post all of your requirements upfront, you won't have any problems; coders will complete your task as you ask for it, or they don't get paid and you just try again.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice answer and interesting link. Didn't know about that. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – bummzack
    Aug 15, 2010 at 15:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The question is entirely aimed at game development, as a programmer. I am a programmer with projectX, there must be people who would want to help with this project right? So step 1) Make some docs and such step 2) Make a sourceforge/google code project step 3) Where do i find others interested? See, Your answer is good but unrelated (and ill clear that up in my question perhaps :) ) I am not looking for a programmer to do stuff for me, i am looking for a team. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2010 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ odesk.com and elance.com are also pretty good. We got several writers/copy editors for some of our site content through oDesk and 1 was awesome, 2 were good, and 1 was wretched. We started with 4 small tasks and build up until we have the awesome one working 1/2 time for us now. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2010 at 0:26

Let's turn the question around: There are plenty of in-progress game projects on the Internet already. Why aren't you helping one of those, and would rather start your own?

When you figure out the answer to that, you'll have the answer to your question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting counter, but the problem is not that i need a project : its that i have one in progress already (for example a game i started 2 years ago that i would love to finish). The goal is to get help, again. Not to find something to do. But i can see your view, it sort of helps and sort of gives me "because i have a lot to do already". But, this makes no sense either. Millions of stagnant projects, no developers around. So, i think id prefer to still ask for help and rope people in (as Larry put it as well) :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2010 at 20:59
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ The answer isn't because "I have a lot to do already". No one wants to work for someone else, especially on hobby projects. The way you counter that is to offer money or a very sexy project, or a position on a project that's not 70% done already so they can have input. No one offered these to you, so you started your own. You're not offering them to anyone, so no one will take you up on your offer. \$\endgroup\$
    – user744
    Aug 15, 2010 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have to agree completely with this point. I have gone as far as to actually attempt to join up with some other projects in the hope of gaining some knowledge as to how I could make my own requests in the future actually successful. Having at least one completed project is going to make people have more faith that you will stick through to the end. Also like Joe says, make it one sexy project so people will want to see it finished. Just about every project I have run across has the opinion it's the best one out there, but very few have simply tried to make theirs more appealing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Deleter
    Aug 16, 2010 at 15:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't necessarily disagree with the points mentioned, just seeing what the thought patterns of other developers :) So, what if the project is sexy, and ready for input : the question again - where do i post to find a team? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2010 at 8:56

You guessed correctly that programmers are both in intensely high demand and full of their own projects. Your options are:

  1. Offer to help a project of theirs in exchange for them doing programming for one of yours;

  2. Have a fantastic idea no programmer would ever be able to deny (this never happens);

  3. Get a student programmer that doesn't quite realize how the system works yet;

  4. Open your wallet.

Remember that programmers are usually the ones most in tune with how long a project really will take. If no programmers are biting your hook, it's likely your project is not as feasible as you guessed.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if you pick 3, you're a jerk. \$\endgroup\$
    – user744
    Aug 16, 2010 at 21:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Lol, 3 is a bit badass but it might be effective. But again it feels like the question is still where do i find these people. I appreciated the views on how to make a project appealing ( and its likely i have a few appealing projects ) but if you see what im asking is WHERE do i go with my project.. Opening it up to the best PLACE not the best project. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 17, 2010 at 8:59

The difficulty here is that you're asking someone else to do your work for you (particularly with programming). If you say "hey, I'm a game programmer and I'd like to make a game, but I need some help with design" it is probably a lot easier.

Joel wrote a great article on finding programmers here: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000050.html

Yes, it's geared towards actually hiring programmers and not getting them to do your work for free, but a lot of the same logic still applies. Offering vastly above market price will get their attention. Failing that, from their perspective, your project needs to be worth their time in other ways (the most likely of these being, if you've got a great game). You didn't say if you're actually willing to pay for the work done or not, so I'm assuming the answer to that is no, but feel free to clarify.

If you're envisioning some kind of "resource exchange" board where you say "hey everyone, I've got this Great Idea for a game, I just need people to make it for me"... yes, those do exist, and in my experience they're worthless. You see tons of posts from people wanting someone else to do their work, and next to no posts of people offering anything of practical value. If I'm a programmer, why would I spend my time making YOUR game instead of MINE, if I'm working for free?

There is, of course, another way around this: don't rely on other people. Learn to do it yourself. This has a lot of benefits. You get total control over the course and scope of the project. You don't have to rely on someone else screwing up your grand vision. You don't have to get into legally sketchy areas about who owns the work and the IP if it actually sells for real money. Given the number of really bad programmers out there, and the fact that the really good ones are going to cost you an arm and a leg, this is the best option for a surprisingly large percentage of projects.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool response, and helpful link :) For me, personally, it's not about getting the work done for me. I am trying to emphasize the word team. Many programmers ignore this and end up getting owned and never finishing anything. There is plenty of space to work together on hobbyist projects and i think it would be 100 times more rewarding than a hundred incomplete projects of my own. And for reference, it is more that my projects are cool/will do well/are just plain fun to work on - but it's as you say. Thats for the programmer in question to find out if i give them the info. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18, 2010 at 16:27

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .