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Keeping Dev members motivated.

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I've got a small development team, around 10 developers total. However, I've noticed that some members aren't actually doing any work. I'm wondering, what are some good techniques to help keep members motivated on the project? Our game project isn't that big..for one because I know that every indie developer has to start out small.

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Portland, eh? That's just down the road from Springfield, isn't it? (^_^)

Anyway. I assume your team is an unpaid (volunteer) indie team - and that you don't all live near one another (so you can't all meet face-to-face)?

The question of motivation is a big one in indie development. First, find out why each member is in the team in the first place - what are their expectations, on an individual basis. If any of them have expectations that are out of line with the project's reality, give those people the bad news. Tell them what the project's reality is. Expect some dropouts.

Secondly, assuming that you're the team leader, tell them all what your expectations are. Give them each a goal to work towards - an objective. Bite-size objectives. Follow up regularly (minimum, weekly - daily would be too much). See how they're doing on their objectives. Encourage the whole team with progress in steps. First measure of progress is what: a demo that shows what. Be complimentary when someone delivers, and let everybody in on the compliment. Negative reinforcement should be private, in general.

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When I'm a small part of a team working towards a large goal I find it important and motivating to know how I fit into the vision. That's true if it's in my work, hobby dev, even my pub quiz team! Everyone should feel like they're as important as the next guy. OK, so typically one person's contribution might, in real terms, seem more important by virtue of difficulty, required skills, whatever. But in my commercial (non-games) experience, even the temp who spends his day typing crap into Excel has a role to play, so let him know how important he is in the big picture - after all, his boss isn't going to do it, but his boss is going to rely on it.

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