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How do I keep myself and my team motivated?


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#1 Cisco4321   Members   -  Reputation: 166

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:01 AM

Hey Everyone!

The doldrums of game development are here. Its summer, we all have "real" jobs, and the Steam summer sale demands most of my attention.

I'm working on a game project with four other guys I met through GDNet, and the project is going fine, although some people are better at completing their work assignments than others. Granted, we all have lives outside of the project, and no one is getting paid until we try to sell it. Since none of us are professional full-time developers... yet... it is understandable that things get in the way. With that being said, do YOU have any advice for us from your own experiences that kept your team motivated, or at the very least kept the work interesting?

Please feel free to offer suggestions!

PEACE!

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#2 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1701

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

Set deadlines, be consequent(three strikes and you are out). Make them understand that this is also a REAL job and the goal is to deliver. No linger, no unnecessary delay. Make sure that people sign a group agreement where it is written clearly that if one gets delayed he lets the whole group down.

You need to find people who are utterly loyal to the project and can deliver. If you do not want to demand this of the group then this is not a project, then this is playing around and having fun(that can be acceptable too).

Make sure that people get to work with what they like at most(or second most). Make a list of what needed to be done and make people write them on that list in first priority, second priority etc. Then roll a dice or something(or pick the best man for the job).

Do something else than just working together if possible in order to create friendship, team spirit and loyalty among the members in the project.

A group of devs. are only as strong as the weakest link. Tell the people that do not deliver on deadline that the first time, warn them the second time and the third time they have proven that they do not wish to contribute. That is what is needed to be done with people who constantly delay or don't make the deadlines(of course the deadlines has to be realistic).

I have seen way too many groups ending up with like 50 percent of the team members doing all the grunt work while the other halve barely lift a finger(horrible). Be consequent as this is your life and your time that are passing by.

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8711

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:54 AM

do YOU have any advice for us from your own experiences that kept your team motivated, or at the very least kept the work interesting?


Yes. See the thread "How to reinvigorate a team?"
It's here in the Production and Management forum (where your post has been moved).
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4 capn_midnight   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1375

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 11:32 AM

Check out this book, The War of Art (this is not a referral link, I don't do such things). The book is all about getting over one's resistance to work so one can get back to being productive. Also, check out Getting Things Done, a veritable cookbook of productivity enhancing practices.

But really, it all boils down to establishing a routine. Setting deadlines works for some people, not others. For me, I have to set start-on times, the complete opposite of deadlines. The next item's start-on time is essentially the deadline for the previous item, but it becomes more of a motivational piece for me to finish today's stuff so I have a clean slate to work on tomorrow's stuff.

Don't work only when you feel like it, and don't work for as long as you feel like it. If you work only when you feel like it, you will work sporadically, and if you work as long as you feel like, you will work too long, completely screwing up your schedule for everything else, which will become a subconscious deterrent to getting back to working again.

Motivation isn't a magical muse that rests on your shoulder and whispers in your ear. It's the iron rod of determination of will, beating your sorry ass into shape. For me, it helps a lot to think of it in the terms of The War of Art, defining lack of motivation as a sinister, paranormal force called Resistance. When I feel Resistance taking hold, I know it's a demon trying to drag me down into mediocrity, a hellspawn trying to send me back to a soulless life in a cubicle farm. And that wakes me up, gets my blood pumping, to get back to work. I *will* maintain my schedule and my practices and be productive when productivity is *demanded*, because I would rather quit technology completely and work on a farm than go back to a cubicle farm.

If you can get your team together in the same place once a week for--say--3 hours, do it and work together. Coworking is incredibly motivating and a LOT of fun. It's hard to sit on the internet and cruise the Lounge all day when you have your friends sitting with you all working. And physical contact with other people is an incredibly powerful tool for motivating and invigorating people onto the mission.

Whatever you do, make it routine. Put it on the calendar. Cherish that time. Don't abuse it. Don't work when you're not supposed to work; that makes it too easy to not work when you are supposed to. Force yourself into the routine.

Edited by capn_midnight, 07 August 2012 - 11:46 AM.

[See some of My Projects] - [Find me on twitter tumblr G+ Github]

#5 Cisco4321   Members   -  Reputation: 166

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:04 PM

Thanks for the great advice! @capn_midnight - Thats a great way to look at making work into a routine. I've always tried to set a time to work, with the occasional sporadic "inspirational moments" thrown in, but it never stuck. It didn't occur to me that forcing myself to NOT work on my "off" time would end up focusing my motivation and anticipation to that specific session. Its worked pretty well so far. Thanks again!

#6 capn_midnight   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1375

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 11:22 AM

Awesome. Glad it's working out for you. If you haven't already, check out www.lifehacker.com, there are a lot of great articles on this sort of stuff.
[See some of My Projects] - [Find me on twitter tumblr G+ Github]




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