Brain Droppings - OMS, Our future, Team Empowerment

Brain Droppings - OMS, Our future, Team Empowerment

Postby Bob » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:29 pm

Hello Developers,

On a previous team I was a part of there was one thing that the lead did that I found fascinating. It was an open letter to team and community where he openly discussed matters that had come up within the ranks of the team, not necessarily the intra-arguments or squabbles, in terms of where the project was going. I am going to begin using this same medium to try to get discussion going on this project to a point that we can actually call it that.

I am about to share one of the decisions that many leaders have loathed having to make, to a question that is quite difficult to even utter. I have come to this decision firmly and do not want to disregard its merit by hiding behind dramatic tone or words. The question I am intending to answer is – Where do we go from here, and how to we get there? Undoubtedly, we will confront this question again, in this perpetual cycle of reassessment that is modding. Our project has lost a lot of traction, and time, over the last two months and if we intend to get it going towards the goal that we all previously agreed was necessary it is high time to do so or abandon the project and move on to better ventures.

We are all quite busy, a fact that is very hard to face. We have lives, school, work, girlfriends, wives; the list goes on and on, sapping us for our time and energy. This means there will not be any work from some. At the same time it means that at least one of us is hitting the books trying to find some form of direction or inspiration from projects past in order to get the drum roll going again. I feel like I may have found the drum roll that I needed, so I figured I would share.

I just got out of the fifth meeting of my day – and its only 1pm – and all I could think about is you guys. I have discussed our project with friends, instructors and colleagues who all are telling me that not only am I going about things wrong but that I am not expecting enough from you guys. Regardless I have been fighting myself to get time and energy together to make this project happen properly. I sat down, last weekend, and wrote for nearly 9 hours straight, only pausing for a refreshment break and to let loose the refreshment that had backed up maybe four times. I wrote out a thirty-page document that I was screamed detail and individual letters to everyone, including the people who have gone their own ways, trying to get feedback on the project and its direction and where things can be corrected or at least adjusted. The whole process left me exhausted, and the truth is it only made me feel like I was doing a mediocre job leading.

The last month in particular we have all been off in our own worlds again, and while I do talk to a couple of you, it is another thing to say that things are well understood. The document and letters have since been trashed, twice, and have been replaced by a new bit of insight into the future of this project.

The consensus is – we cannot be dependent, as we currently are, and hope to succeed with this project. No matter who I talk to they just echo back to me that compartmentalizing this project and letting each of us deal with the individual blocks is the only possible solution, considering how far spread we are. The only option is to break apart and work individually, unless collaboration is necessary. What does this mean? You may be asking. This is me suggesting that we break the game up into smaller portions and allow each of us to build it out as we see fit. Weapons, Player, Gameplay, Mapping, etc. into a compartment of the game and have a single person handle it. This is in contrast to the proposition that we solidify a design document and then move forward, which is where I have been headed, per Morgan’s suggestion.

We have a long road ahead of us, and will take a long time to get things sorted out, but it is just not a possibility for us to falter at this point in time. We are at a crossroads and need to pick ourselves up and resume moving towards getting our game out.

This is step 1. I will be removing a bunch of the tickets listed in order to simplify our view of our future and make things a little more bearable.

Good day sirs.
Bob
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