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I just had a great idea...

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You know how you join some game projects just to have them fall through on you due to bad communication or a horrible team leader or whatever? Don''t you wish you knew the track record of the team your working with? I think that there should be a online panel of comprehensive people that would give an "approval" stamp on game dev teams. This panel would have a site at which you can submit your team to be reviewed and view other certified teams. I don''t know exactly how this panel would judge a team though, i just cranked this out of my head about a half hour ago. Probably on how informative their site is, how much work is done in a certain amount of time to see that the project is moving along, things like this. Modifications, suggestions, opinions?

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To be in any position to judge other peoples projects, all members of the approvals board need to have actually successfully completed real projects - preferably across multiple genres with multiple teams.

This opens the "what''s in it for them" question. And if they''re all busy on their own projects then will they have enough time to review what they see _properly_.

There''s also the question of arbitration - how to handle appeals, how to handle split decisions etc.

Finally, as with commercial games, people can, do, and will bullsh*t on paper. They''ll say their abilities are better than they really are, they''ll say their technology is much more complete than it really is etc... It''s VERY hard to tell from a demo and a few documents how well the final production will go. The team may have taken 3x longer to make the demo than they told you they did. They may have used a middleware engine and told you that was their technology etc...

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Sadly the idea is unworkable. As Simon said the panel would have to be qualified to make the judgements. What is more they would have to spend a large amount of time tracking and reviewing all they projects, in detail, to give them an accurate rating.

Also the wasted effort would soon destroy their will to live. 99% of the projects that start up die. All the effort the reviewers put in would be wasted.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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Ok ok, so it has a few holes. You could make it simple, just have a team send in a progress report and in return, they get approved? Well, i guess you could just check the teams site yourself.... hmmm the more i think about this, the more I see the beauty in self-efficency!

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