(I'm posting this here in Public Dev forum, instead of Dev Services and Trade, because for now we are just looking for advice before we start actual recruiting.) Giving up is not an option! This game company Blind Albino Studios is our dream, and we are determined to see it succeed! But at this point, my partner and I don't know what to do... Is ethical, low budget, quality collaboration just a pipe dream here in the indie game world? Our company has encountered 3 programmers in a row who made all kinds of glorious promises, taken a bunch of our money, years of our time waiting on them, and then abandoned us halfway through development, handing us back a rickety, half-hearted pile of code saying "I'm too busy to work on this anymore, but thanks for the cash." We don't have the money (especially after paying these 3 programmers,) to simply hire the best and be done with this project in a week. Are we just screwed now? Is there no room in this industry or community for independent, talented, ethical collaborators, willing to make their money off of the game sales as opposed to demanding all sorts of milestone payments and HUGE up front chunks of money, only to cut and run once the work got challenging? What am I missing here, everyone? You programmers out there, do you have any insights or advice for an art director in my position? And before you all start piling on the cynicism and telling us to give up, etc, know that it isn't an option for me to quit trying to make these fun little gems. This is who I am, and I have to keep trying. There HAS to be a way for us to hook up with a talented, ethical programmer, one who sees our game and says "Yes, that DOES look like a commercially viable project AND this is a small indie team that I could collaborate with, starting point to finish line." Or in this case, middle point to finish line, since yet another programmer has cut and run, handing us back a half-built game architecture. Blind Albino Studios is having some growing pains. (That's our fledgling company.) Some of you may remember we were active for a short time in these forums, back when we started down the path to make this modest little stop-motion vertical scroller. This simple little game has taken years of our lives, and along the way I've had programmers take the money and run, had some serious health problems (had a pretty significant surgery along the way,) and what could have been a really fun collaborative project has turned into a groundhog's day campaign to find a decent programmer. So, just in case any of you reading this want some background on Blind Albino, and the two "employees" of this artist-run company, there's 2 places I can direct you: PeeWeeRobo.com is a new site I'm tinkering with, and the very first podcast called "pod 01" talks a bit about our project and our company. (The site is still under construction, but it's mostly intact.) Blind Albino Studios on YouTube has 3 really goofy videos up still, made for this dev community more so than for the average consumer. These videos talk more in depth about the nuts and bolts of our first game. (The name of this first game got stolen out from under us right after I released these videos, so it is no longer called "When Pigs Fly.") If any of you have some constructive advice for a broken-hearted art director with big dreams and endless determination, I'd be really grateful to hear from you here. And if there's more people out there in a similar position as me, maybe this thread could inspire them as well. An idealist to the very end, I suppose. Thanks everyone, and be well, you creative geniuses!