If you read this article chances are that you work in the fine industry of creating virtual game-worlds and you are also probably aware of its norms. What is normal is that game projects get slipped, employees get “crunched” and gamers get frustrated about receiving low-quality products.
From the production point of view most problems in the process of developing a game come down to the way workers are being addressed. This series of articles was created to express some opinions about few, most popular approaches applied in this matter.
Let’s start with setting a scene here. You have your game studio and you’re making a simple game, say… a game about jumping. In this game you eventually need to have a main (jumping) character. What do you do?
In the first approach you do the first thing that comes to your mind – you go to the artist and ask for a character. After that you stop by your animator and ask him to make some animations right after the character is finished. By doing that you are applying a very commanding, micro-managing style where each person is addressed individually with a single (small in scope) task. What is wrong about that?
If this commanding style is so bad why is it being used? Surprisingly it is quite common to see it in action. It is simply because many managers like to have a direct control over each and every aspect of the game but that does not turn out right if the project involves too many people.
On the upside I found that this method can be very efficient when used temporarily during the finishing stages of the project.
Romans knew that the best way to win the war was to suspend democracy and appoint one man to lead for the duration of a conflict. This is more or less the same thing. Although this approach seems very limited and defective in the long run it is actually the best solution in the right time for any game project.
Note: Remember to appoint somebody who intends to step down after the dust settles! :)