"What if you are a creative person, with an excellent game idea that he or she believes
In any event, you may have a little money to put into a project, ... but you simply don't have the time to really learn how to program.
So what do you do? ..."

Turning a game idea in to a game can be done, but the hours it takes to do it vary from programmer to programmer. There are programmers available for hire, but you'd have to be very specific on what you want. A hired programmer's job is to program, not to help draw out a plot or features list. That's where the challenge would be. You, as the man behind the project--the one with all the ideas, storylines, features, etc.--would be thinking differently than the programmer who programs these ideas into the game you want them to create. It could very well be that an idea you give them later on can't be done because of the way they programmed it, or it would cost you an unreasonable amount to code because the programmer would have to make unexpected changes.

Another reason your money will drain quickly is because there are several stages to a software development lifecycle. Among these are design. The programmer will have to (if they're a smart and experienced programmer) draw out a basic outline of how the game will work, from the programming perspective. This way, if all goes well and they did it correctly, the game they build will be running on a very generic core, allowing them to add new features and move stuff around without breaking the mass of the code. All the while their hourly counter is ticking away, and your money is going.

Developers can easily spend years of programming time, depending on how large-scale the game is. So yes, hired programmers exist, but it's not cheap labor.

"How would the ownership of the program belong to, and what would the financial sharing
look like?"

Good question. People have different opinions on this one. If you hire a programmer to work for you, they'll be under a contract that will lay out everything ahead of time. Contracts are an excellent way to seal a deal. The drawback is, once you sign a contract, it's pretty much a closed matter, and you can't change it without serious legal repercussions--once again costing money. Developers use contracts all the time--not always for financial reasons, I might add. For instance, I've had to have some parents of minors sign an agreement for me because their child participated--no matter how minutely--in the development of TDV.

Granted, the terms of the financial agreement are up to you and the programmer you are hiring. If done correctly, contracts will save a lot of headake in the long run since both of you know what you are proportioned.

"I do remember someone having an issue with a programmer who took the work put into
a project.... How does one go about
avoiding that, that is to say, if it is feasible to accomplish such an arrangement?"

It is possible. Remember though, humans will do anything at all to satisfy their needs. The more legal protection you have, the better. What I suggest you do if you ever go in to a contract is to have witnesses present. Ask your employee several times whether or not they accept the agreement, and get all of your witnesses to sign testifying that the person agreed fully. Present them with ridiculous amounts. For instance, you can say something like "suppose the game brought in $50000. Is this agreement still acceptable?" That way, if indeed the game brings in $50,000 and they challenge you, you and your witnesses are there to testify against yor employee.

"I'll be honest, i'm kind of fishing here, but I am also interested for just knowledge
sake as well to see what everyone thinks."

No problem, you have very legitimate questions, and not everyone is expected to be a programmer; otherwise programmers wouldn't be in such high demand as they are now.
Munawar A. Bijani
"Knowledge is of two types: absorbed and heard. The heard knowledge is only useful if it is absorbed." - Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib, Nahj Al-Balagha

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