Last time, I shared some personal experiences, tips and thoughts about team communication and having shared interests. Since the last post seemed needing a follow-up, I aim to share more in this post. I’ll try to provide more insights on what others can do in managing remote game development teams.
The previous part focused on these two main points:
- Maintain a constant communication with each other.
- Establish common grounds.
There, we talked about how establishing similarities and good communication lines can affect the overall performance of a team. Those two points are good places to start, but they’re not all.
Work with the team’s goal/s in mind.
In the previous post, I mentioned setting some goals that the team aimed to accomplish. Those goals included “bringing the team together” and “introducing everyone to teamwork”. These may seem too simple and inappropriate for a team making a game, among several others. However, at that time, they became useful.
Most of the team are beginners to game development; none of us has actually made a game before. We all had those thoughts of making Pill Rush “big” by thinking about marketing, crowdsourcing and target audiences. Continuously reminding everyone about our goals somehow dampened their ambitions to realistic heights. It kept everyone’s scope small. At some point, I became proud hearing them say “This game’s just supposed to introduce us to game dev, yada, yada”, even though they sounded sarcastic. For me, it became proof the goals got into them.
It is useful to have objectives or goals for your team. They can be short-term or long- term ones, but it is much better to have both. If you don’t have one, have at least one. These goals can help your team focus on what is important both for you individually and as a whole. Your goals can introduce ways for you to accomplish them without deviating too much.
Goals help prevent sidetracks. We’ve all been there. A school project is nearing its deadline yet we’re still watching shows or playing games. Having goals lessen the chances of everyone doing that. While it’s good and all to rest from working once in a while, sidetracking can lead to slacking off. This, in turn, can lead to less work done.
With goals set, a team consolidates. Since everybody wants to achieve these goals, other people on the team will acknowledge that others are there working with them. Their actions will start complementing others’, and it is possible that the team will work smoothly. The team will become whole. An artist will not hesitate to approach a programmer if they see a bug, because they think that will help them accomplish their team’s goals. Programmers will share their insights about better features because they will think those can benefit the game. In the end, everyone wins.
In our case, things may have gotten better if we had thought of the most important thing for our team: to finish a game that all of us love. With all differences put aside, we could have worked and remained whole with that in mind. Other things like teamwork, learning and experience all follow suit.
This last point is probably the most ignored one. It may also be the only thing which may not be mentioned in other articles about this topic.
After all the things we all went through, there’s usually one thing all of us tend to forget. That is to celebrate. No, I do not mean to celebrate after achieving something. No, I’m not talking about our team. I meant celebrating for the sake of being, and that goes for all of us. We forget to think of that great thing we’re already having: being in a team.
We always shoot straight to work the moment we form, and we always forget to be thankful for finding one another. Finding people willing to work with us is a great thing we should be proud of. Being in one is something we should be thankful about. There are people who we managed to meet across borders or seas who are willing to work alongside us. That, in itself, is a good thing to have.
If you have some spare time or even if you don’t, say hi to your teammate and ask them how their day was. Go ahead and thank everyone who have helped you so far. If you are not chatty, send even a simple regard. Be happy that you have a team. Your being in one can be more than just for making a game. You are building relationships with other developers, getting to know people from different cultures or standpoints.
This, I’m afraid, is where our team failed the most. As beginners, we were eager to start with what we wanted. We forgot to cherish what we had before our game. Some of us became friends, while others gained confidants. Soon after, all of these were lost.
So, if you are in a team, be proud. Planning to have one? Prepare. The indie game dev team you have or will be having might just be the only one of its kind, and there’s no moment to waste. You will endure a lot of hardships but together, you will put though.
With this, I end this post. I hope the things shared here can be of help to you. I wish you the best of luck!
I’d like to hear about your thoughts. Anything you wanna share? You can contact me from our Facebook page or here in our blog. Good day!