Wow, 11 peoples?, with that kind of power maybe you should hire somebody else to do that job for you.
Thanks to a few people here that helped me boost my morale, I've decided to go ahead and continue on with my game and also my dreams production.
Now, I have a team of about 11 members including myself. Do you guys have any pointers or tips on a way I could keep things inline and also to ensure the production of my game?
why do you say that??
11 team members! that's more than some studio's have heh :)
I'd get yourself a copy of MS Project and schedule there asses off before they walk all over you timewise - however, usally this only works if you pay people though else they will soon get bored and leave anyway :P
Well, I figured they would get payed as I get paid.
(what is MS project?)
Well with 11 people you would need some sort of time management / schedule generation software to run the project, else I think you will run into problems once the initial good will and intention runs out within your team.
That way at least everybody knows what they are doing or working on yes and how long they have - great for milestone based payments anyway.
Just Google 'MS Project' which is a great for most project management and I'm sure there are many apps more like it, but rather more this is the one I've used in the past in team based project environments.
You can't really expect to juggle 11 peoples workload without a project schedule of some description up front that is agreed by all parties involved.
they are all of the world, I have to stay up till 5 am sometimes because one of my workers lives 12hours ahead of me, but as of right now everything is running smoothly, but i'll check out that ms and see what it's like.Are all these people working in the same building, or dotted all over the planet?
Right, if they're all over the world then you can't possibly keep an eye on everybody. Adding lots of people to a project doesn't magically make it successful and I suggest you do a bit of weeding. I reckon that whatever your project is, you could do a better job if you lose at least 6-8 of them.
Well, see what I did was since I'm using RPG Maker XP, there are about 6 different fields that need to be worked on. So what I did was picked members that excelled in a certain field the most and made them Field Leader of that certain field. So now they each have a small group of about 1-2 members, and they are responsible for making sure that everything is running correctly in that certain field.
Open Workbench is a free alternative to MS Project. I haven't used it extensively, but at the fist glance is provides the same functionality.
The downside of using either program is that it can impose waterfall mentality on you. If you want to use an agile methodology, you might want to check what tools support your favorite. I lead a smaller team (6 people overall), and Excel about covers our needs.
By the way, does anyone have any experience of using an agile methodology with a global team? We have just one programmer offshore, and that one is pretty close. I like it this way. :)
Keep your group focused on the project.
Follow through every segment of the project including
testing the project every segment.
Ferion by far is the best strategy game since 1999. Checkout the forum too. www.ferion.com
Beyond that, your team is far too big. The reality is that most of your team are going to leave, sooner or later. They'll get bored because there's no work for them to do yet, find someone else who's making a cooler game, get fed up with working hard and getting no money, argue with you over something, argue with each other over something. That's just the way it is with hastily cobbled together, long distance, larger than necessary teams where no one is getting paid.
Far better to weed out the ones who aren't going to stick it out now, and have a team of three people who actually might hang around. That way you don't have a bunch of half-done work you have to throw away, reassign, reevaluate, etc every time one of your team members leave.
Beyond that, since it's your project, it's important for you to be the leader and to also be a force in the work. I've always felt that leadership wise, you can't just have the vision, you must also be the working force behind the project or you risk losing some respect from those doing the work.
And compliments go a long way to keeping people happy. If you like someone's work, tell them! If you're excited, then let it be known, run off and show the rest of the team the neat work your artist is doing.
That reminds me! How do I make a proper design document? I kind of just have a list of things that I want done, and I post them up in our personal team forum. But I've heard a lot about a design document, what exactly does it consist of?A good, well written design document. The larger the team, the more people who can get off track or misunderstand something. So it's important to make sure your design document is clear and spells things out for everyone in order to keep your team on the same page.
These links do an excellent job of explaining it, so I'll let them do the work. :)
The Anatomy of a Design Document
Nine step recipe for good independent game design
The Design Document for Doom
Creating a Great Design Document
Oh jeez, I guess i rushed into it a bit fast =_=
well anyways thanks for the referral Leon, I've started working on it.
and thanks to everyone else for helping me as well. this site rocks ^_^
I don't want to sound like if I had lots of experience in this, but in my opinion, the best team size is the following: one expert person for every field, and maybe two for the most complex field.
So, if I could choose a perfect team, I might take 1 graphics artist, 1 musician, 1 level designer, and maybe 2 programmers. And I might even get rid of the level designer, if someone else in the team (or everyone in the team) could do that job as well.
And if I had 2 programmers, I would clearly split up their fields again. They may help each other out, of course, but they should have "their" expert field where they put in most of their work.
Not sure if this is the very best approach, but I think it might be working out better than having 11 people who share their fields. Because if you have e.g. 3 gfx artists, they might not get along with each other or mix their styles. Though, if I would happen to have two of them, I might maybe also split their expert fields, like having one of them (the more creative one) to do the drafts with a pencil and a piece of paper, and having the other one (the more technical skilled) to only convert those drafts into the computer artwork. And if I had two musicians / sound guys, I also might say one of them should more concentrate on the music, and the other one should create the effects and atmosphere, etc.
With your scheduling don't forget, if the programmer says one week assume it's three. Predicting the time it takes to develop software is HARD.
Especially when they're like me (very inexperienced) in which case they'll be doing all sorts of dumb things.
Can anybody here recommend any free alternatives to MS Project as a tool for Project Management?
I currently have a very small team for my project, however, in the future a tool designed to help might be useful and I'd love to start checking them out ahead of time. I am familiar with MS Project and have a copy, I'm just not a big fan as it seems to impose more overhead than necessary (at least for my situation dealing with smaller projects via and agile approach).
I'm currently developing my first multiplayer game. Please try it out and leave me some feedback. IT'S FREE! BattleCity Classic - Build, defend and attack cities in an endless quest for control and dominance!