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lead and organization


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#1 Haaa   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:39 AM

Hello there,

 

Some day in the future, very far-away future, Id like to start a game development team. but im not sure how to lead the team. Here are a few quesitons:

 

- how should i organize it? should i use like model leads, and what should their responsibility be ?

- should i be a strict leader? id like more info on how i should be as a leader

 

thnx, hope to hear an answer or more soon! Thnx!



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#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19366

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:37 AM

I'm going to move you to our Production and Management forum for these questions. smile.png

 

As to your questions, it really depends on the type of team and development you'll be pursuing; what works for a large commercial studio developing AAA titles is very different from what you might want for a small indie team with minimal funding, and is again different from a hobbyist team with no money at all.

 

What sort of budget were you envisioning, and what sort of games were you planning to make?  How many employees do you foresee?

 

 

For smaller independent teams with two to five people you won't need team leads -- each person on the team will be a capable individual who will take on one or more roles and will either work closely with the rest of the team or will work in isolation (think a composer hired to create music, but otherwise not regularly working with the team) on only a single aspect.

 

For larger teams, it becomes necessary to have skilled management who can help to facilitate proper communication between team members, assign tasks, keep track of progress, etc.

 

 

Should you be strict?  It depends.  You should definitely try to be honest and fair, but the amount of dedication and work you can expect from team members will depend on your situation -- it's perfectly reasonable for volunteers to take time off on little-to-no notice for personal reasons or for other work, while you might expect more dedication from fully paid employees.

 

 

Hope that's helpful! smile.png



#3 Haaa   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:44 AM

Hi!

 

It was really! But I mean more with:

 

Organization - How should I then get them to maintain pro. comm, be active and so on?

Strict - I mean more like, well, this sounds like a dumb question, but "how many smilies should i use" - get me?



#4 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6305

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:54 AM

Hi!

 

It was really! But I mean more with:

 

Organization - How should I then get them to maintain pro. comm, be active and so on?

Strict - I mean more like, well, this sounds like a dumb question, but "how many smilies should i use" - get me?

 

if you want the people who work for you to act professionally you need to actually make them professionals (in other words, you have to pay them a proper salary, get employment contracts, get an office and run the business professionally).

 

If you intend to form an amateur team you just have to accept the fact that people will have to do other things in order to survive and that your ideas are less valuable to them than their own ideas, The only way to successfully lead an amateur team is by doing the majority of the work yourself, noone will make your games for you for free) and the only people you can rely on to actually help you pull the load is your friends.


Edited by SimonForsman, 26 July 2013 - 08:57 AM.

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#5 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19366

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:44 AM

You still haven't answered the million-dollar questions, so the answer is still "it depends".

What sort of budget were you envisioning, and what sort of games were you planning to make?  How many employees do you foresee?

 

The answers to your revised questions are still different depending on the type and scale of games you want to create, and the development methods you use to make them.

 


Organization - How should I then get them to maintain pro. comm, be active and so on?

I do have one tip based on this!  I'm half guessing here that "pro. comm" means "professional communication"?  Your team members should never be left guessing what you mean; if you expect them to communicate professionally then you should do so yourself.  If you use lots of abbreviations, scatter emoticons through your posts, and generally take a more relaxed attitude, chances are good that they will too!

 

Again though, this depends on the type of project and development team.  In an unpaid amateur team you can't really control this -- people are volunteering their free time, and they can participate or leave as they wish.  If you're paying professional staff, you can expect them to show up to work almost every day (unless they're sick) and put in a solid day of work.  If you're doing something in-between by using contractors or paying capable volunteers non-official wages (a token amount like $100/month for example) you can expect something in between the above extremes in return -- they'll probably be more loyal than regular volunteers, but you also may not be able to expect x hours/day work from them.

 

 

In either case, you should be friendly, polite, and honest, and should behave in the same manner you expect from your team members to set an example.  Emoticons are fine when used in moderation and if appropriate, but are usually significantly less common or even completely absent in professional communications between paid staff.  On volunteer teams, anything goes as long as it works for you.

 

You can probably find some additional tips in the old topic "what programmers want from a designer".  It's a different question with different responses, but I think you'll find a lot of relevant material amongst the replies. smile.png



#6 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 10630

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:25 PM


For smaller independent teams with two to five people you won't need team leads -- each person on the team will be a capable individual who will take on one or more roles and will either work closely with the rest of the team or will work in isolation (think a composer hired to create music, but otherwise not regularly working with the team) on only a single aspect.

 

A quick aside here though.

If you manage a small development team, its always good to start with 'just the one' from every field. While not their lead by any stretch, it will help to build a coherent baseline for your work (architecture of modules, how the 'game' will think so to speak).

 

 


- how should i organize it? should i use like model leads, and what should their responsibility be ?

Experience would probably teach you a lot in that regard, either through management school or hands-on experience. I'm assuming that you'd like to build a team for experience purposes, so my best advice here is: try something, see if it works, then adapt. I've been through many different buzz-words of organization, but at the end of the day, its always a matter of 'do-what-works' and that changes based on the project, team, etc.

 


- should i be a strict leader? id like more info on how i should be as a leader

Show respect. Demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in their comments. More importantly, accept that your 'team' will be better at what they do than you. Though you might understand a situation, and have assessed a specific course of action, understand that you might have just seen the tip of the iceberg. Your team is your everything, and only they can get you anywhere (as opposed to what some might think, hitting harder on them won't net you sustainable results).

 

Even more importantly: have fun doing it. I believe one of the core advantage of doing something 'indie' is that you can enjoy it, reflect on it, iterate on it, and this is what largely allows some indies to successfully deploy semi bug-free games that are actually a lot of fun (Minecraft, Prison Architect, etc.)

 

If you can provide more precise problems as you move along (specific situations with context) be sure to poke around, I'd love to help wherever I can.






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