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Oh boy... TEAMWORK... How it is, and how it should it be ?

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Cheers everyone ! I am fairly new at teamwork. I am a programmer, but somehow i ended up with a programming team on my back, and they keep asking me what thay should be doing to complete our project before our time limit is up ! The problem is, i keep telling them stuff like: "Sorry, guys. I don''t really know myself.. I figure you guys shoud be doing something usefull " In other words i''m stuck And i need professional help, from anyone who have any good tips on "How to be a good Lead Designer, Programmer, whatever... Our project is a multimedia presentation about our city. We have 100 MegaBytes to do this, so we choose to create a 3D engine in Visual Basic with DirectX. We are a team of 8 people. - 3 ppl Programmers (myself included) - 2 ppl Writers and project researchers - 1 ppl Musician & Sound artist and finally - 2 ppl 3D artists to create the graphics. And i am stuck with both programming and supervising everyone else. Please help out if you can ! Every post might help ! Byez, Robert

"Find the path, follow the Master... Follow the master, understand the master... Overcome the master !"

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Keep a clear eye on what needs to be done (meaning getting the project finished and staying true to the original vision) and establish and be aware of everyone's capability and responsibility on the project.

Improve where you can.
Don't let the wrong people take control.

It can be hard, I imagine, with team members that you are supervising that might know more about certain things than you, but if your position is the team lead, then as a team they should respect that.

Try to talk at length about decision-making regarding optimization strategies, data structuring, etc. so that members aren't trying things out, realizing it's the wrong way to go about it and having to redo it, etc.

Establish critical path (what's first, what's next, what should be planned for that will affect current tasks, etc.)

Not a team lead, never been a team lead (not in what I would call a REAL sense), but if I were, I would hope things would be done this way.

Best of luck!

[edited by - Waverider on January 20, 2003 1:55:27 PM]

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the post above talks about good things i just wanted to add that u need to DESIGN ....

design before u write any code or do anything. u have to get a full and complete design for everything then write a design document in terms of time and ur team that''s how u don''t suddenly discover defects or bugs or incompatabilities and be assured about every bit in ur design

hope this helps

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1. Figure out what you need (broken down so you can assign a section per person)

2. Figure out what the others are good at and want to work on.

3. Tell them each to do the specific section that they would each be best at.

4. Work on your own bit, too, whatever that may be.

Assuming that you can do those 4, you''re set for a small project.

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Thanks people for all your posts

OK ! Next question:

I have split up the project, but unfortunatly i am heaving a hard time determening what the programmers should do...
Unfortunatly I am the best programmer, and have most of the knowledge about DirectX.
However i only code in Visual Basic, and I am not yet confortable with C++.
The second programmer has good knowledge on VisualBasic too, but he only had some experience with Direct Draw, and some basic Direct3D...
The third programmer only codes in C++, and has no knowledge on VB. He knows OpenGL, and has few experience with DirectX.
This way it is verry hard to determine how to break the Project for programmers...

I tried it this way:
- I, the leader would take on with the writing of the 3D Engine
- I''ve assigned to the other VB guy to create the MenuSystem and a writing of a browsing engine, to walk around menus and stuff
- But i have no idea what to assign to the third one, who has absolutly NO Knowledge on VisualBasic...

Help is needed :\

"Find the path, follow the Master... Follow the master, understand the master... Overcome the master !"

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First, determine what the goals are and write them down. Figure out what your requirements are, write them down. Focus on what you need to do, not on what you want to do.

Does it just need to show the city, and let them move the camera around? Or do they need to bump into walls, open doors, jump & climb, break-windows, etc... Will more than one person be in the city walking around (networked)?

What''s your time-table - how are you going to write an entire 3D engine, in VB, with three relatively inexperienced programmers? Depending on what you want to do, you’re looking at two months to two years of work, some of which may be impossible to meet performance goals using VB6.
It ought to be trivial for the C++ guy to learn VB – three weeks tops if he’s familiar with programming windows, specifically COM.

You could consider having the other two write the engine in C++ and making heavy use of the D3DX code, or looking into Managed Dx9 and using VB.Net might not be a bad idea.

Or buy an engine and focus on just tailoring it to do what you need. Could you make the project a Quake or Unreal mod? The tools are freely available (and free all-together if this is a non-commercial project). The project, more-or-less, needs to be written in C or C++ to go this route.

Give us a better idea of the scope of the project, and we can tell you if you''re heading over a waterfall

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Ok then ! I shall describe the project.

There is a large world-wide contest, sponsored by Siemens Corp. .
And so every High-School/College who had any past on participating at multimedia Events, recieved an invitation to the contest.

This is a multi Media presentation, NOT a coding contest.
We have to create a MultiMedia presentation on how we like to spend our free time.
They gave us examples on authoring programs, like Flash and other crap like that...
We have verry little experience with Flash,
so I (and the team) decided to create our own authoring program,
wich would be a 3D engine, wich is capable to handle scripting in''s and other non-programming methods.
Besides the scripting, we want to add support to all the common used formats to the engine.
So it will be a soth of a 3D Internet Explorer.
We choose this, because we have a 100 Mbyte space limit,
by implementing 3D, we can do a LOT of anymation, in real time rendering,
saving us quite an amount of space...

+ About the Engine:
I will describe capabilities of our engine written so far:

* Support for image files: TGA, BMP, JPG, GIF, Animated GIF, DDS
* Support for 3DS meshes or X Meshes
* Real Time 3DAccelerated rendering
* Keyboard/Mouse input
* Camera Movement
* Sprites, animated sprites
* A tool for creating Scene files, wich can describe scenes: Meshes to be loaded, Sprites to be loaded, positioning, behaviour, etc.
* Effects: FadeIN, FadeOUT, FadeToCOLOR, Transparencies, Texture Stages
* Dierect Sound handleing fo loading and rendering Wave files
* Mp3 Module for playing streamed MP3 or WAV files

In the close future we want to focus on creating a LOT of texture Effects, never seen in something like Flash
Anyway we have 3D menus, and movement effects, that look werry nice.
Also we have people working on taking pictures of landMarks in our town,
and other people who are doing reaserch on this topic.

In conclusion, we do not need to fly around the city necesarelly, but we want to create 3D models of some indoor landMarks like: Pubs, Museums, etc.
And of course most of the models will be real pictures taken from that landmark.

I hope i made sense, if not, keep asking
Thanks for your helping out !

"Find the path, follow the Master... Follow the master, understand the master... Overcome the master !"

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Ah, ok, good - the level of interactivity is low and the renderings are broken into different sections. That makes it much more feasible to code in VB in a short amount of time.

It''s a bit ironic that you mention scripting, because one of thing you probably want to do is script the presentation. Not scripting as in code, but script in the broadcasting sense (like radio or TV).

Once you have a plan of all the content of the presentation, you can assign different people to different portions - like reporters.

You want to do texture animation, but what are you going to animate?

I''d urge you to forgo the scripting engine idea. It''s rather complicated and isn''t required to accomplish your objective. You could just hard-code it in VB (use VB as the scripting language), or make a simple text file with instructions on what to load in what order (as opposed to designing a language, a compiler, and an executor).

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Yeah, i will probably drop the scripting idea
Although it might have been a good idea, but it was indeed a little ovesized...
Anyway i'm getting along with the team (FINALLY )))
I have a large notebook, where i write every idea down,
and when i go to the others, i can talk for hours, untill they ALL understand what i'm trying to tell them.
Than i gather ideas from everyon, and talk over everything,
and after a few overs i am exhausted like crap,
but it has definattly worth it.
It's fun to be a team leader, but it's verry hard...
Thanks for the help everyone
Every future post is still welcommed ^_^

"Find the path, follow the Master... Follow the master, understand the master... Overcome the master !"

[edited by - Dark_Guy on January 27, 2003 5:18:52 PM]

[edited by - Dark_Guy on January 27, 2003 5:21:16 PM]

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