We’ve talked a bit about getting some interns to help out on the project and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I’ve been in the industry long enough that I believe anybody doing quality work should be paid. I’ve seen enough ads from companies asking for handouts to make me sick. There are companies that have the expectation that they can get top quality work for free. When I say quality, I don’t just mean how good the work is, but how much effort is put into the work.
Of course with Brainsss, we don’t have the budget to be paying for interns. Every cent that we at Lonely Few spend on this zombie game comes out of our pockets. This isn’t money that we’re borrowing from some institution, this is money out of Rod and my savings.
So the question is, do I feel comfortable trying to get students to work for free on this project? I certainly have some contacts from my teaching days.
The work they would be helping out with is industry related, but they do tend to be tedious tasks that I would rather not be doing. I would imagine the role of an intern is to act like an extra hand that could help out wherever needed. This means things like designing small icons for the game, breaking up models that I’ve built into chunks so that they can be rendered faster, or baking lightmaps for each level when called for. These aren’t the most exciting jobs, but on the other hand, they do beat making xerox copies or getting coffee like at some studios.
Another thing is that Lonely Few isn’t some powerhouse developer either. Rod and I have worked on some large titles, but we in no way carry the star power that would have people flocking to us in droves.
To answer the question, I don’t really feel comfortable about hiring an unpaid intern. It’s probably just a personal trait that I would feel bad asking for free work.
That being said, if I think back to my art school days, I would have jumped at the chance to work at a small studio for free. :/