Working as a Team (Part 1)

"We must all hang together or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

- Benjamin Franklin

    Games are usually made by a team of people of various sizes. So it's apparent that you must some social and team-working skills. Or you are doomed to fail as a team.

     From my experiences so far in game development, a strong leader and constant communication are required. Firstly, a strong leader who can drive the project forward is a must. They must be willing to take on the burdens and stress of the team as well. They must become the solid pillar the other team members can lead on. Otherwise the team will fall apart. On that note, you must also show that you are capable on taking on the job to the rest of team. Otherwise, trust and faith can be broken easily.

    Next, constant communication should be made between members. Even, if this means having a weekly chat as a bare minimal. If departments don't chat with each other, a funnel vision situation occurs. Team members only become concerned with only what is happening in their department. I do warn to avoid this situation. Sure, work does get done. But, project progression does slow to snail pace and work involving multiple departments will often have mistakes.


Photograph: Keith Stuart

Photograph: Keith Stuart


     If these problems are present in your team. They can be corrected, but they are always not easy to fix. For example, I once worked on a Location-based game centred around using in-built phone cameras called ImaginAlien. We had a team of twenty people to make and run the game over a course of twelve weeks. As a quick run-over, the team started with a team leader/producer and a leader for each of the four departments (digital media, print media, community management, software development). I was the leader for print media. But part way through our development cycle. Our team leader had to step down due to stress and other commitments. The role was then shared by the leaders of each department. Despite weekly meetings, tunnel vision still occurred and development was a slow process.

     We were only able to finally effectively work as a team when we had an audience playing the game. Likely due to us not wanting to disappoint our players. Anyhow, I'm trying to say. Never give up on the team. You will get there eventually.

     I wanted to cover more on this topic, but I don't want to keep you here for too long. Part two will come this week.