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Failing producers

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Intro: I'm the self-appointed lead designer on a voluntary project. It has roughly 15 active members, mainly artists and programmers (no musicians yet). According to GameDev: "The producer must keep the entire team productive and the lines of communication open. This person is a diplomat, a politician, a trouble-shooter, a force needed to produce the product." I don't feel our project producer is doing much of the above. 1. Does your game suffer the same poor or awkward design flaw as a previously released title or similar genre titles? - he hasn't, to my knowledge, addressed the possible flaws of the genre and flaws of the predecessors. 2. Are the team’s ideas and opinions seriously evaluated in the design of the product? - he seems to nod agreement with much of what's said. I'm not sure this is what's needed. I need a producer who's capable of holding a torch and guiding the way almost. Simply: he is not moving the project, the project, and the other team members give it momentum. I don't want someone who nods and has barely any creative input of his own. Finally, I'm not sure he takes on board enough of what's said by team members. 3. I honestly think he believes anyone can design a game. His method of recruiting volunteers to begin with was first-come, first-serve. People were appointed head artist or head writer with seemingly little or no capacity to fulfil their roles. I think this is one of the worst mistakes in management. 4. I've appointed myself as lead designer due to the absence of any clear design document coming forth. The other 'lead' writer on the team basically said 'I hate this job' and quit (though he still hangs about.) The producer so far hasn't bothered with a replacement and yet I'm the only writer left. 5. Conflict. The producer has recently declared that he will work on the design doc. when I've been working on it the last week (more?) and have said so. I don't intend a coup d'etat and I don't intend to leave after putting so much work in. I am aware that this project is voluntary, people can't really be sacked/fired and in all probability it will flop. Still, I don't know what to say to the producer to try and sort things out. He hosts a forum and is trying to build a website but I'm not sure these are signs that he's doing enough. There have been crises in the past where he's complained to me about the lack of attendance, motivation et al. This just reaffirms my estimation that he doesn't know what he's doing. Where can I go now? Is it worth trying to steer the producer onto a different course or try to get him to accept someone more capable? Is this project a sinking ship? [edited by - c-thru on May 29, 2004 12:17:54 PM]

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Leave the project, and start your own if you feel you want to actually create the intended result of this current one. Chances are that if it''s falling in the beginning, it will be a memory by the end.

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I agree, with management like that, and the fact that you could even appoint yourself lead designer, you should leave that project before wasting any more time in it.

If you intend on seeing it through, at least make sure you let him know that he isn't going about his "job" correctly. Maybe things will change, although if the leader of the project is unmotivated, I don't see much happening for the project.

Red Sodium

[edited by - red_sodium on May 29, 2004 7:56:49 PM]

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It sounds like you have the opposite problem I have, though I''m also on the opposite side.

The problems I''ve been having with my team is each one is pawning the responsibility on another, before starting any work assigned to them. I''ve gone through quite a few members, and I''ll admit that hiring lesser quality workers in order to attain some sort of progress (my biggest challenge has been with the artists, keeping them interested long enough to push onward) isn''t the best method.

My best solution for you would be to take those who are motivated, and develop your own game/idea. If you continue to drag along under the leadership of him, you''ll end up with someone who will take credit for not really doing much work rather than rattling his skull.

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