Creating a game with your friends can be fun, and it should be. Sitting down and swapping ideas about what to create and how to go about doing it. Then, delegating whom does what so everything is finished in a timely manner and up to standard.
This is probably something we've all done once or twice. Most of us crash and burn... it's okay.
First things first:
Let's get together and talk about what we're going to make. Let's decide where we want this project to go and how long it should take for us to get there. We need to get on the same page, so we all what content the project is going to have, and we need to know who is doing what.
There's nothing more frustrating than creating a game idea and having it head in the wrong direction. This can demotivate the development team and all of the progress can end up in everyone's recycling bin.
We know what we're doing. Now what?
Now it's time to decide who is going to do what. A project has many moving parts and all of them need to be moving at the same time. We now need someone to start to work on the sprites, we need someone to work on the tiles, we need someone to start programming the basic game mechanics that we can build upon as this project takes shape.
Here are some tips:
Create a central source code to send everything to once it is ready to be added. The project manager or project lead should have access to this central source and add everything to it as the development team members complete each task. Organization is always a key element to success!
Set deadlines so every team member has enough personal time for social events, classes or work and other things (like Monday Night Football :D) but don't be too lenient to the extent that everyone gets lazy. Get stuff done and get it done on time.
Team members should be competent.
I'm not saying don't allow novice programmers or pixel artists on your team. However, if you do, don't give them tasks that are beyond their abilities.
I've worked with some programmers that are 'brand new' to programming in DM, so I gave them simple tasks, such as programming in the turf. (God knows I hate doing that <_<)
The point is to keep everyone motivated. If something is way too hard for them to complete, it'll kill their motivation and send them to the first live Naruto rip they can find. We don't want that.
Listen to one another!!!
If you're the project lead, congratulations, you had an idea that a few people fell into and decided they wanted to be a part of its creation. Now, don't get cocky. Just because you're the project lead doesn't entirely make you the boss.
Everyone thinks differently. Having said that, everyone on the team is capable of adding valid input on the project and making it that much better.
A development team is a team and should be treated as such.
Don't overwork any one person.
So Jimmy is your best pixel artist, eh? Nice. Now, let's not put the entire game on his shoulders. Spread the wealth!
If Bob is pretty good at pixel art, let him work! This does two things.. 1) takes a bit of workload off of your main man. Allowing rest and time away makes for a more motivated worker and better work. 2) makes Bob a better pixel artist. The best teacher is experience. There's no substitute.
But what if we fail?
That's okay. Failing at a project isn't the end of the world. Let's try to clean it up and talk it over with each other to get things moving again, or if it's a total loss, start over
Starting over can be helpful. We failed our last project, but we're more experienced and wiser for it. We won't make the same mistake again, and we grew as a team, learning each other's strengths and weaknesses.
Your first project as a team, or solo for that matter, doesn't have to be a huge game. This brings me to the title of the blog post.
It isn't about the size. It's the content that matters.
Your project is well made and thought out, and everyone is pulling their own weight. We have done alot of work over the past couple of weeks and things are taking shape. Let's start adding content to it, get it to a playable, satisfying level, and release it. This is the most motivating thing a team can experience. A game has been released and now BYOND users are playing it.
I challenge you to:
I challenge you to create something. Go create anything you want to. Grab a few friends and make something, anything. Work together, grow together and make a good game.
Games are meant to be fun, and so is the production of them.