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What skills a project leader should have

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A project leader should have some backround in coding if not a full backround to understand everything that's going on instead of giving an idea out n having to be explained to it can't be done for some reason or another. A project leader should also have A LOT of patience and tolerance for flaming n anything else because most projects will be put down and the project leader can't start a flame war because no one would want to join after that. A project leader should have some expierence making games although it dosn't have to be the same type as the project that he's leading. The project leader should also have knowledge about all the areas he has people working in so he can set realistic goals and deadlines. A project leader should also be very organized and ready to rearrange his schedule to meet the needs of his team and any goals that he's set. If anyone wants to create a game and dosn't have at least some of these skills if not all of them please don't post about making your sweet game that you have all kinds of ideas about but no clue how to make them happen. Please feel free to discuss this since I think it's a matter that most people don't consider and others feel differently about.

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A leader should have a skill called "leadership", thats the most important thing, he will eventully get experience and a leader should know how/why/where the project is/should be going!!

The Koz

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To me, a team leader doesn't always have to know programming. Just needs to know what it takes to be one so he can make realistic goals that are able to be accomplished. But it's true that the leader shouldn't be found flaming or swearing and such since that would make him/her seem sort of a bad leader i guess you could say. They of course need good leadership. Controlling the team, organizing, knowing what he/she is doing. Also besides these things, they should help in some way for the production of the game. Whether it's programming, graphics, map designs, music, etc.

These are just my thoughts of a project leader

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The wisdom of Solomon, the determination of a Norse God and the patience of the Sphinx.

If you get that, you can pick up whatever skills you need.

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IMHO, since I assume we're talking about the indie scene and small teams, a team leader should not have "team leading" as his first job. He will just be the person amongst the team that is more experienced and organized. That is, if we take,say, a team of 2 programmers and 3 artists, the most responsible and experienced will be chosen to guide the rest of the group. Most probably, he will be the one that started the whole project(like Raduprv did with Eternal Lands for instance). That's it.

It's ridiculous that all these people come and say "I will be the project manager/leader, and I'm looking for programmers or artist to assemble my team". If you have money, already made a name on the business(by developing other games and work their way up), or connections with publishers, then yes. But otherwise, why do they think a group of amateurs programmers or artists need another person with no useful skills to "lead" them? Can't they just choose the most experienced amongst them?

We're not talking about huge projects and big companies, where specialized managers are essential for coordinating the effort of dozens of people, managing the large financing or law issues, do PR, advertizing, deal with publishers and so on. In a small team, the most charismatic person amongst those who actually do something useful (programming,graphics art,music, level designing) should take the lead.

I could be completely wrong, but that's just my opinion.

[Edited by - mikeman on July 5, 2005 9:15:00 AM]

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In my experience, most project leads were formally programmers that work upwards from a programming position into a lead programming position and then possibly a project lead position. In addition to 'people skills' it is equally important, if not moreso, that they have an understanding about what goes into a game. That means previously having significant participation in other games in one area or another(usually programming in my experiences). I should add that I consider 'project leader' and 'game designer' completely different roles. There are many self proclaimed 'designers' who have no concept of how to make a game, what is fun, what is feasible, etc... Not saying someone can't be both on a small team. Usually a designer works closely with a project lead to determine these things.

The bottom like is a project leader has to know how to make a game. Realistic expectations about what can be done in what amount of time. They must know the strengths and weaknesses of the developers they lead. Many posters on these forums seem to think that because they play alot of games they somehow have the knowledge needed to make one. Definately not the case. IMO the only way to learn how to create a game is to have been significantly involved in the process before. This is why the majority of designers are former developers in other areas.

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