Saturday, May 12, 2007

From Idea, to Idea Graveyard

Ey Yo, you there, Yea you! Put your shit down and listen, very intently, especially the ones who have all these great game ideas. I intent to break down in pieces of WHY game project fail, well, in my case anyway.

I am a very creative person, I usually look at something and come up with a million ways to make it better. Likewise, I have too many ideas stored up in that oddly flat head of mine, So many in fact, that I find myself getting pissed at my TV for shows taking "my idea". Thats probably one of the reason I stopped watching TV as much, besides who needs TV when you have the internet? Me being Myself, its natural for me to have a ton of game ideas, and me being my stupid self...I go ahead and try to make them, ultimately to fail. I once read that 98% of games fail in production, but why?

I cant give you laws and rules of why every single game goes down to the grave, but i can in fact, share some of my experiences. I will start by telling you about a bad leader, especially in non professional environment, and even more so, working for people over the net. When i first started teaming up with random people online to make a game....I found that those jerk team leaders always make you wanna kill your monitor. SO for tip #1 that mostly applies for no-budget teams is:

Remember that they are doing you a Favor by helping you make this game.

But, this tip is kinda iffy seeing as this would kinda sorta give your team leeway to slack off. But if your a jerk, your team members are bound to leave, if you "rule with an iron fist" you KILL the creativity all other members, and even of your own. I have been in this position before...in both ends, working with a jerk, and being the jerk. The second simply applies for any game that has a budget, even if its a small one. In fact, even no budget games benefit from this. A contract, coming to agreement that:

All works belong to the team, and not a sole person in the team.

If you don't do this, you will be getting a lot of "ITS MINE BECAUSE I MADE IT" type of shit. And this will just lead to people bribing/blackmailing you to keep in in the team treating them like a prince. Another problem i run into a lot is:

Project leader: "We need to get x feature done."
Programmer: "I don't want to work on that, I want to work on this system."
Project leader: "We don't need that system yet, we need this feature."
Programmer: "If you push me, its not going to make me work any harder."

Yes, the insubordination. This applies to the Artist as well:

Project leader:" I need a "Boss Creature" as soon as possible."
Artist: "I'm working on goo monsters right now..I'll get to it when I can."
Project leader: "Please work on the boss for now. Its needed more."
Artist: "You can't make me drop a project in the middle to work on something else
You asked for my help and I'm giving it to you, but some things need to be done my way."

You solve this problem easily....GET RID OF THEM, don't even waste a small bit of your time on these losers. Even if you cant replace them right away, just get rid of them. The MOST horrifying Reaper of Games is.....self discipline. That's right... the hardest cookie to bite on. If you push your self TOO hard...you ruin your mojo, if you DON'T discipline yourself....NOTHING will get done. The best solution to this is to keep a steady work speed. Even if your not in the mood to work on stuff...Do something. Because when you do, at least now you have something to work on the next day.

Thats all for now, I will probably be posting some art on my next Blog, till then, make sure to eat sleep and shower daily.

1 comment:

Genji said...

Now you know as well as I do, that you yourself do not always feel like working on a project just because you know you have to. That's when Mediocrity becomes an issue. Just because you are told to do something, doesn't mean you will do it to either you or the commanding person's standards. Admittedly, being an ass about the situation and flat out telling your boss that you aren't going to do what he tells you to is cause to get rid of that person. But, if that artist/programmer or whatever the worker, honestly tells you that they are working on something and that they are making good headway on it, and ask you if they could finish it before they start what you asked them to do, that is hardly a reason to give them a boot out the door. Also, like you said, the boss can be a jerk, if your in that situation, stop and think a minute whether you are being an ass to your team members, and calmly resolve the situation.