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About steelstrung

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  1. @Scouting Ninja I understand what you are saying. But my original question was really about how to resolve conflicts when they go against the basic framework of the game, not really trying to repress others' ideas and I fully recognize there will be many compromises to be made - I make a ton and my ideas get some revisions every time we meet, but it always works to polish our ideas and make them better. Thank you for your prior answer though, I crafted a GDD and Dev agreement and my developers actually really liked it since it gives them clarity on what is concrete. Some revisions still get made if we have an awesome idea that needs a tweaking of what is already laid down to work, but for the most part the GDD is like the games Bible.
  2. Took me 5 minutes to write, and I have already redone his work. Thanks for your dark divinations and omniscient foresight however, and good luck with your fortune telling on another thread.
  3. Yeah I had a talk with that pretty much went like that. I offered to buy out his ideas but he said he was going to use it for his own game he is making, so he asked me to delete all his stuff which I did. Honestly he was only involved for a month and the few contributions he made will not be in the game. If he had any ownership it would be the tiniest fraction. If anything came of it I would probably pay out 40$ for the 2 hours of work he put in. And @Geri that was pretty unhelpful. I'm neither a monster nor a wimp who would let someone who barely put any effort in to have a lot of control over my brainchild. Being submissive is the wrong answer here. I should probably also say that while there are thousands of people who come up with ideas and are creative, there are far fewer who actually see it to completion or are up to the challenge of ensuring its success as I am. This is what sets me apart from all those people. Im sure there is someone else like that, and if this project ever became large enough I would even consider partnering with someone. I have found that in general though, people do not want to be involved to a very big degree. When the project started and there was no story, I was 100% open about my thinking and offered everyone to give it shape. Nobody stepped up, so I went and spent hours upon hours creating a story that would at least be a solid foundation others would be comfortable working on. It is not about getting others to submit. It is about getting others to make peace with what is already laid down. If I were to allow anyone to put in whatever the heck they want just because they can, this whole thing would turn into a total mess and would actually make for a worse development environment imho. It might work for other games whose selling point is their randomness or chaos, but not this one.
  4. So deleting everything he added from the site would probably work best? It wouldn't be a crippling loss, that's for sure, but it would I suppose it complicates things
  5. By the way, what do you guys think I should do with what he already contributed to the project? Since he never signed any sort of agreement or anything I guess I am a bit concerned it could become a legal issue later. The only thing he contributed that I intend to use is a weapon mechanic he suggested. In the final product its not going to work how he described it, and only the basic idea of it is his, but the similarity is there. He had also put some reference pictures on the wiki for an ice area he found on Google, and helped a bit with developing one of the characters. Not a huge loss if I don't include any of it, but I don't want it to bite me later.
  6. I can see the merit in your words here. I fully agree that setting the atmosphere is important, and that the artists will likely have a superior sense of aesthetics (I am not a great artist myself, although I am learning). I would agree with Ninja though on the point that things you DO care about should be set in stone. Whether in the GDD or another medium, if I want the sky to be purple and stormy the artists should know this, especially if it is essential to fit in with the story of this particular area. So far I have not had much issue with artists' ideas, as they usually base their concepts on what I have already created in the wiki with the details I care about, but then again, there could be times when I have an idea for something, but it is not fully fleshed out and I later add edits when I work it out. For example, in this area with the purple stormy sky I added there are smokestacks rising from a part of the city that is producing the haze, and that the buildings are made mostly of metal for functional purposes.
  7. Perfect. That is pretty much exactly how I have been doing my brainstorming sessions and they have been pretty productive thus far. After I get this GDD revised I will definitely be referencing it much more.
  8. steelstrung

    I'm new here

    @Scouting Ninja I agree. I have been using Blueprints a lot and while it is not lines of code I am typing up, it certainly acts like code. I would argue it is also far easier to debug, especially with the tools UE4 provides. I have not had to use a C++ module yet with the functionality Blueprints provides, but when I do need to I know I can
  9. I think I have been using the wiki for this purpose. I have different article types for enemies, locations, ect, which I add detail to as I come up with it. This is my knowledge base of sorts for the game - would you consider this an effective method for what you describe? I write a lot of the articles but I do encourage others to edit as well, and revisons are kept like wikipedia
  10. @Scouting Ninja So right now I have several concepts of the game that I feel are set in stone which will be in the GDD. Things like shirt colors and the like I have not gotten to as of yet. Should these things just be added to the GDD as I go? It does seem like a lot of minute details that would really bloat that thing. And regarding your edit - I did have a conversation with him and a few others in a meeting far earlier in the game where I did mention that what they would contribute stays with the project if they leave, but nothing was really put in writing. There was very little IP he contributed, and I am not sure if that will even make it to production
  11. Thank you all for your thoughts! @Kylotan @Kavik Kang - you bring up a good point with writing a design document. I had actually wrote one up far earlier in the project, but it seemed to get too lengthy. Perhaps now would be a good opportunity to revise it now that the form of the game has taken a clearer shape. @Scouting Ninja - thank you again for your help. I have wrote probably a good 90% of the story/world so far, with the exception of the NPC's which I am not very good at writing. The developer who is working on NPC's so far has done a really awesome job and we have probably poured hours into talking about it. What sucks is that this guy is also close friends to the guy who left, so I think the guy who left will pressure him to leave as well. Reflecting on your thoughts here and @Kylotan's input from this thread, I think my path is a little clearer. Revisions to the GDD are in order, and I will also write up a short developer agreement which I will ask each new developer to read both of before coming on, agreeing to the rules that are in place, and being aware of the contents of the GDD so there is less gray area. Thanks again for your thoughts on the matter, it was definitely a long post to read
  12. Hello all, I have been working on a game and brought a few others in on it to develop it and make content. The team is currently unpaid (will be compensated after release/funding) In this setting, what do you think are some good practices to follow to make the project a success and a good development environment? The project is still early in development and I would consider this to be my first leading role in something like this Managing vs Leading: As I am pretty directly involved in the development of things, from story to design to actual coding, I have tried to steer clear of 'managing', or over-managing as its a small team and nobody is seeing the $$$ to put up with much BS. I think I have mostly done this with some success, but it has made it difficult for me at times. I have tried taking less of the front seat and letting everyone pedal as well, but I found that people didn't really have much drive to contribute anything unless it was adding to something that I created or was already there. So far I have created a wiki, a forum, a Google drive, and set up some other tools for the team, as well as a Facebook page and have managed the security of our information (like making everything non-public) Legal stuff - NDA/other agreements: When is the best time to do the formalities and write up things like NDA's and other agreements to protect the project? Gauging my team as it is, I think they would not be keen on signing things like this - it seems to be a big turn-off when I start talking about rules and organization. I can understand the reticence as it is unpaid, but it also seems very risky in thinking of the future. I have already had a developer leave the project, and I have yet to see if problems are going to arise from this. I know these types of things are very standard for larger projects with funding, but it seems difficult to implement in this setting. I have read many stories of failed games due to petty internal conflicts, developers retracting their contributions, misappropriated funding, and dissatisfied developers that probably could have been prevented if everyone had some type of written, formal agreement adhering to some rules of conduct. I dont see agreements and NDA's as an attempt to disadvantage people or deprive them of freedom, but as something to protect the project as a whole - which is bigger than any one person and affects everyone. Is it a good idea to put write something up and get some signatures? If so, when is a good time and what would be the best approach (as far as selling it to the team)? Should any agreement be very light and plain, or well written and very detailed?
  13. Hello all, I recently had started making a game and invited some others to join the team as well to create content and write some of the story. The group is small, and there is no funding currently. The problem I am having is that I have a vision in mind for the game, but have some difficulty getting others to follow it - it follows certain themes and there are certain things about the world that cannot be changed without it being out of place or disrupting the 'feel' of the game. I have so far been running things fairly casually as it is still a small unpaid team, but there are some things I feel that can't be compromised on. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to stifle my developers' creativity and I welcome new ideas/changes (we have had several good brainstorms in the past) but I think there needs to be a line somewhere so the game stays close to this vision. In this example, the game is going to be dark fantasy, and have a rather serious environment, but I have a developer who wanted to add silly easter eggs in as 'comic relief'. When I asked for an example or something similar, he talked about how Saint's Row has some sort of dildo bat that you can use as a weapon in-game. This is very much something I did not want in the game and I had to draw a very firm line there, telling him we are not going to have anything like that (for the reasons above). He said something along the lines of "Well, I am going to put whatever I want in my level". Following that, I had a conversation with him where I told him that while he is in charge of that level, if it is out of place from the theme/doesnt fit in to the 'feel' of the game, that I won't allow it in the game. The developer then told me I am taking things too seriously, I am thinking too far ahead, and it is not fun to develop the game anymore - he decided to leave the project. I definitely do like to have fun working on this game, and value the input of all my team, but I think there are times when I need to 'get serious' I am very compromising with a lot of the story and design aspects, as the team is small and unpaid, but do not want to see this game run wild and turned into a joke. I am close to the design and story myself, and consider myself to fulfill the roles of a creative director and project manager - along with a bit of everything else. In the past, when the game was basically a blank slate, I tried to gather people around to come up with new ideas, but there was little contribution and I am seeing much more involvement after I went ahead and created a foundation of the story myself. I do my best to avoid coming off as 'managing' but it has been unavoidable in cases like this. If you have read thus far, thanks for staying with me! My question for you all - What is your opinion on this, what are some suggestions you have to avoid this in the future? I have some people with great Ideas and conflict is inevitable. Do I need to be more picky with/vet developers better? Is there something dysfunctional in how I am approaching the matter? How do you work with your content authors/designers/developers to resolve creative conflict, and where do you draw the line? Note: Usually I let a lot of stuff go that doesn't completely 'fit the vision', and adapt to it, in order to keep morale up and not stifle others' creativity, but knowing the guy personally, I suspect he had wanted to have a lot more control over the project and I had a feeling that something like this would develop down the road which is why I wanted to nip the problem early on.
  14. steelstrung

    Tips for informal game development team

    Thanks for the reply Tom. Fortunately, I have met all of these people before and have some of their motivators down already. That is a good point to make. Also, I suppose I am a bit disappointed about the meetings - I had meant for them to be more of an active discussion and open forum to talk about things among us, but it did not work as I had intended. I think I will maintain my stance to being open and available to feedback/questions from my team, but at the same time lay off these calibrations. As Ninja had said, these would probably be better relegated to emails. The only other concern I would have is the consistency of content. The main function the meetings were supposed to perform was minimize dissonance in the story-writing. My team members have some great and interesting things to contribute, but I do want to guide some things so the story does not become a mess (e.g. really whacky out of place NPC's, or other things that just don't fit) I could probably review all new content and talk to each member about anything that seems out of place, but I think this might get difficult to manage at some point. I can probably make do as it stands though - There have been very few contributions that were not my own, and they were co-authored by me.
  15. steelstrung

    Tips for informal game development team

    @Tom Sloper Reasonable - like I said however, there is no funding Wow thanks for the great insight @Scouting Ninja, that makes a lot of sense - i'll tweak some things and try out some of your suggestions
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