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IF I was looking to hire a dev team how would I...?

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communicate the game idea to them? create a communication policy that will allow us to communicate with as little misunderstanding as possible? and should I hire one team to do the whole game or should I seek separate teams that specialize in different areas of production?

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Write a design document. Have online meetings/confrences using a voip program like Teamspeak or Ventrillo. Look at test builds they produce. I'm no expert but those are some logical ideas I would use.

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All the above and do them frequently so that you catch any errors early.

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where can i find a development doc template?

We were planning on roundtable meetings every other week or so.

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There's one here. Not the best I've ever seen, but workable.

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Also look into the general theory of "Extreme Programming" (aka "XP"). While I don't suggest that you force that particular methodology on the team, I do suggest you use their approach to communication between customer and implementor. You would probably be playing the role of "customer" as well as "tracker" with XP terminology (if you want to know where you stand, at least :-)

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There's a couple of good primers here: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/spider/forsey/448/UBCSyllabus_2001.html

One of the Radical guys also teach Game Design at UBC, and was allowed to use their internal template documents as teaching material.

Allan

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I find using a private forum (e.g. only developers/members of the team) helps the communication aspect immensely. For example if you're adding a new feature, Post #1 in a thread is the specification of said feature. Then, as discussion goes on about its implementation, any changes that should be made, you continue to revise Post #1 until it's as complete as you think it needs to be. Then off to coding :)

Communication is of utmost importance for any team's productivity. Forums are about the simplest method of achieving this.

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You should make several .txt, each explaining a certain part of the program. Level Design, User Interface, Themes, Side Quests, Planning, Abilities, Characters, and Basic Plot; just to name a few. It is wise to well-document your game for your team. They don't know what you want. Set your goals and your ideas in these documents. Then zip them up and distribute. Keep updating the docs too.

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