I'm a psychological researcher and am interested in developing a bare-bones program for an experiment.
The basic premise is I need small groups of people to be members of a town, and to choose between daily activities that have various risk/reward ratios to generate resources for the town. e.g., hunting for rabbits has high potential gains, but is unlikely to succeed, while picking berries produces a small amount of food reliably.
The best way I can think of doing this is with a flash game. Is this feasible? Does anyone have any experience doing something like this? How much would something like this cost?
I'm not at all familiar with flash so I'd recommend some sort of Java applet. You can embed it right into the web browser so that users can play it easily (assuming it is signed). What's more, it can submit all the user choices to a server that will collect all the data. You could even have multiple users grouped together in joined sessions as part of the same town.
That sounds perfect. Much better than what I had planned. Thank you.
As long as it can support a feeling of a town (think town of salem), it should be fine.
How much do java applets typically cost to develop? I do not think this project is all that complex.
Unfortunately, I can't help you in predicting cost. I have never commissioned / be commissioned for programming on a per-project basis. You are correct though in saying that the project isn't very complex. It will require server communication and some decent UI, but it isn't the kind of thing that would take more than a couple of weeks at most.
I have literally no experience with python, so I don't know.
The only reason I was thinking of flash is because I know flash games exist that do things much more complicated than what I want. Ergo, using flash should be (1) possible, and (2) comparatively cheap. But again, I'm out of my field here.
My technical expertise is limited roughly to building my own desktop and occasionally googling error codes when they come up.
Cost depends greatly on how much you want the game to do -- be more specific. Does it need graphics? Good graphics? Are the participants in the same town in a realtime networked simulation? Do you need fancy automatic reports with charts from the data, or can you interpret raw numbers yourself? Do you need someone to take care of hosting the game someplace? For how long? With how much traffic?
I can't speak for the average rate or for Indians or for normal people, but as a poor desperate student that is qualified and reasonably experienced, I'll do it for $20~$75 depending on the details.
Yes it would need graphics. Nothing fancy, static sprites are perfectly fine. It would be turn based. Every turn they get to select from a variety of options.
No, I need the raw data. I'll be doing all the stats myself.
Most likely, the uni would be able to handle the hosting, but this is in proposal stages atm, so things could change dramatically. I do know that if it was in flash, I could upload it to kongregate:
But I would then need it to have private rooms I could get participants to join.
The study could be run for a few months, depending on how fast the data comes in. With the effect sizes we discovered in exploratory studies, I'm assuming we would need at least 50 trials of around 6 people each. 100 would be optimal.
This would be part of a multi-study project that we are trying to get approved, and is the final stage. Data collection of this phase might not take place until a year from now. However, if you are interested, you are welcome to leave your email with me and we can contact you once the study is approved.
I can probably host that much traffic on an existing server personally.
Syncing the game between users in the same group is going to be the main non-trivial part assuming they need to be able to play at the same time. Graphics take time. Overall the game is probably several hours of work, worth about $50 to me. I think people who do contract work as a job (and maybe me in a year) would need more.
Keep me posted: gentoo at member dot fsf dot org