** IMPORTANT: Should I become an Epoch Games team member? **

Would you like to join the Epoch Games team? Or just contribute to the project? Then post an application here!

** IMPORTANT: Should I become an Epoch Games team member? **

Postby names_are_useless » 06 Sep 2013, 16:32

Greetings interested applicants/contributors,

This thread exists to assess whether you are a compatible fit to work on the Epoch Games team. Now, if you'd like to know the history behind Epoch Games and this project, you can read the following (under the first spoiler in this thread). It's not required of course, but it should hopefully give you an idea of what some of us went through working on MERP and our dedication towards working on Althas (I myself have been working with a couple of these guys as far back as 2009):
Spoiler for The History of Epoch Games:
Back around 2005, a group of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind fans, lead by "The Grey Wizard," began developing a total conversion modification (or "mod") based in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings setting. The modification was going to be an open-world RPG that would include all of Middle Earth.

The mod came from humble beginnings, but its popularity would grow overtime, attracting a number of Elder Scrolls and Tolkien fans. For currently unknown reasons, the modification eventually moved to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. During this phase of production, a single heightmap of Middle Earth was developed by team member lumpypat. After advertising on ModDb, the mod's popularity quickly grew. A beta version was released before the project's next move.

The goals of the project rose as did it's popularity and team size. Oblivion's limitations, along with the project's disorganized file management, caused the team to move and nearly restart the project in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. A newer, more accurate, and larger Middle Earth heightmap was created by team member Maegfaer. A regional release plan was also put into place, one where the entire team would focus on a specific region of Middle Earth, release it, and then move on to the next region.

During MERP Skyrim's development, the team received a C&D letter from Warner Bros. The team began a petition and letter campaign to have the C&D lifted. A deal was presented by WB, but it was not one that the MERP team could accept. Since then the MERP team have halted development and have since stopped the C&D petition and letter campaign.

Shortly after MERP's C&D, various team members discussed the idea of creating an original IP modification. Lays of Althas: Sundered Order was one of those original ideas (devised by team member Nuvendil). It became one of the more popular ideas and eventually moved into production. Originally devised as a total-conversion Skyrim modification, Skyrim's limitations (this included a Skyrim bug found when loading large heightmaps into the game) caused the team to look at other possible development platforms.

The free version of the CryENGINE 3 SDK was chosen, meaning that Lays of Althas: Sundered Order would no longer be developed as a total conversion modification, but as a full-fledged game. Because of this major move, it was decided that a team name was need, and "Epoch Games" was chosen. However, with the underwhelming release of CryEngine on Steam in May 2014, Epoch Games decided it was best to switch over to Unreal Engine 4 (UE4).

The rest is history.

The following traits listed below (under the second spoiler in this thread) are what we are looking for in all applicants:

Spoiler for Epoch Game Member Traits:
For starters, be advised that we have a high standard of quality. Not everyone can get in on enthusiasm alone; you must have confidence and skill in your chosen field. Now, as will be mentioned under Discipline, growth is an important trait, but there will be a standard requirement that you will have to meet before acceptance in the team (except in certain circumstances, an assignment will likely be given in order to prove an individual's skill).

If I've learned anything in the years that I've worked on MERP, is that dedication is truly one of the most praiseworthy traits in any team member. Keep in mind that the Epoch Games team is completely volunteer and that we are currently a not-for-profit development team (we are not paying anyone on the team: all donations that we receive go towards development and promotional purposes only). Because of this, we are not asking for you to make this your full-time job, nor even must you spend every waking minute of free-time on the project either. However, we do expect for team members to be willing to work on the project over a long period of time (afterall, we do have a lot of goals to overcome in making a game of the magnitude we're shooting for).

Now events do come up in our daily lives, and we as a team are completely understanding of this and do allow team members to take time away from the project. The important part (and this has happened a lot over the years) is to let others on the team know about your absences.

I have made a lot of contacts over the years when working on MERP. Indeed, communication is an important part to any team: it is no less the same with Epoch Games. We have set up several policies (monthly goals & reports, team meeting, Skype chats, Developer forums, and more) that help us to keep in contact with one another. I often find that those that I and others on the team are able to keep in contact with end up becoming some of the most dedicated team members. Now, that's not to say that you need to be in constant communication 24/7, nor that there aren't team members that we have that are dedicated but prefer to chat seldomly (indeed, some like to keep busy with their team assignments): this is merely an observation of mine.

Now, we usually keep in communication over Skype (it's highly recommended you register an account with them if you want to join our team) as well as the forums. Keep in mind that, although we do have members on this team from all over the world, English is the primary language used with the Epoch Games team.

We are looking for developers that complete what they set out to do. What do I mean by this? I mean that I’ve seen plenty of team members in the past (both on MERP and Althas already) that will take a claim (an assignment, whether public or private) and not actually complete it. As mentioned under Dedication, we perfectly understand when real life issues come up and you must take time away from the project. However, if Communication is not followed, it will mean that we have “hanging claims.”

In many cases, we’ve had nearly completed assignments that will simply go silent (not even an upload of the in-progress work). At that point, the assignment may be considered as if it had never been claimed in the first place.

Even if you are fairly new in experience to the position you're apply for, but you're willing to learn and improve your skills, then you very well may have a spot on our team. Over the years working on MERP (and now a year on Althas), I and others have learned quite a bit. We hope not only that you are willing to learn, but also to help teach those with lesser skills, which can only help the overall progression of development. Although we do not have a lot of resources to work with at the moment, we do hope to provide a compendium of information in all the various departments of development.

Team Player
Last, but certainly not least, we are looking for team members who can work in groups. Although we have many assignments that are for a single developer (and can be worked on alone), it is important that team members are willing to Communicate in a civil manner, respect our team policies, as well as show maturity towards other team members. It is fine to be proud of your work or to help others when they need it, but we are not looking for egotism nor insensitiveness towards other’s and their work.

It is also quite important that we try and share a vision of some kind for Althas. We are still very early in development of course, so we do strongly encourage suggestions, but they must be within reason and they should never be demands.

There are also several requirements for all applicants:
  • Skype: You must have a Skype account and must be able to access it regularly. Skype is our team's main form of communication. It is where we have team discussions, team meetings (every other Sunday: although not required to attend, our very good to join), and also for interviewing applicants. If you for some reason can't use Skype, or even don't have enough time to be on it even semi-regularly, then you probably aren't a good fit to join our team. Keep in mind that video (webcam) nor microphone are required to use over Skype (in fact, none of us on the team use webcam or microphone).
  • Email: You must be able to provide an email address you access at least semi-regularly. We use email primarily when announcing Team Meetings, or in cases you are not able to access Skype.
  • English: English is the language we use to communicate on this team. Although we have team members from across the world, you must be at least semi-proficient in reading and writing English.

So, are you still interested in joining Epoch Games?

If the answer is yes, then I encourage you to post an application (look under the Application Process thread for more details). You will likely be asked to interview with an Overseer in one of our departments, as well as myself most likely. Keep in mind that there are some positions that are a far higher priority than others, which brings us to the list below.

Immediate Roles Needed

    3D Animator/Rigger: Although we have an animator on our team (MEB), he's a very busy guy. We could really use someone with decent animation and/or rigging skills (or even someone with novice animation and/or rigging skills that is willing to learn). Must be able to work with 3DsMax/Maya/MotionBuilder.

    3D Modeler: We are looking for someone with a high skill level in modeling in 3DsMax, Maya, ZBrush, Blender, or any other 3D modeling program. Especially if you possess skill in modeling humans and/or creatures.

    Graphic Designer: At this time, we need someone to assist with art for the game's 2D UI (User Interface). Currently the UI is planned to be fairly minimalist and will only show important vitals (such as Health) that can vary. We could also use a Graphic Designer to help with PR (Public Relations) material. Must be proficient with Adobe Flash CS5.5 and up.

    Level Designer: We are looking for someone with experience landscaping (the placement of objects in decorative fashion) in UE4. If you have not had prior experience with UE4, but have had experience with landscaping with modding tools such as Skyrim's Creation Kit or the like, that can be acceptable as well. As we are a volunteer group, all Level Designers must pay for their own copy of UE4. This may change in the future.

    Public Relations: We are looking for someone who has a knack for advertising, good online communication skills, and has a firm grasp of the English language. Your tasks would include looking for potential applicants to fill up roles needed on the team as well as advertising the game.

    At this time, we are not looking for Writers nor Voice Actors. This may change in the future.

Last updated: 7 December 2014

Feel free to still apply for a position not in this list (unless otherwise noted); just know that the position[s] listed above are a much more immediate need on the Epoch Games team then other possible roles and will likely be easier for you to receive a spot on the team.

Hopefully this has been helpful for Applicants and Contributors. Feel free to post any questions you might have (either in an application thread, PM, etc).
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Re: ** IMPORTANT: Should I become an Epoch Games team member

Postby names_are_useless » 07 Dec 2014, 21:33

Status update:
  • I have made mention of our new Interview process. If you meet our standards, we would like to interview you over Skype (usually will be me and an Overseer of one of our departments).
  • Making mention of the requirement of a Skype account, Email, and English proficiency.
  • 3D Animators/Riggers, 3D Modelers, Graphic Designers, Level Designers, and Public Relations are still highly needed at this time.
User avatar
Writing and Literature
Posts: 1062
Local time: 10 Oct 2015, 05:48
Roles: Althas Wiki Creator
Co-story Writer

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