UC SANTA CRUZ Design lead The holders of the design vision This doesn’t mean that they get to make all the decisions Completing the design will be a team effort, and will involve group brainstorming and individual team member contributions to the design The role of the design lead is not to do all the design, but to be responsible for the design forming an organic whole, for making sure all the pieces go together This includes figuring out when different design elements clash, or are drifting from the vision, and resolving this (or enlisting team help in resolving this) Design Leads Project Villain: Ripholes in Rubbish: Child’s Play Things: Golden Fist:
UC SANTA CRUZ Producer Responsible for making sure all the different tasks are on track If I ask about any aspect of the project, this is the person who should have the answer on tap If something looks like it’s falling behind, or some major design or production problem is starting to rear its head, the producer should notice this and make sure the team works on it Should have a sense of ownership for all the different tasks people are working on Should be someone different than the design lead Should be an organized person with comfortable social skills Producers Project Villain: Ripholes in Rubbish: Child’s Play Things: Golden Fist:
UC SANTA CRUZ Regular meetings Failing to meet regularly is one of the common failure modes for team projects Team members lose contact, communication failures set in, and the project goes down in flames (generating ill will along the way) Schedule regular meeting times (e.g. every Monday and Wednesday at 6:00pm) The most successful groups tend to work a lot together (hang out in the same space working on individual tasks) If not able to do this, at minimum you should schedule regular working hours where all team members have skype and IM open All team members should have two ways to contact each other (e.g. phone and email) Agree to check these regularly – don’t give people your shared apartment phone where you’re never in, and depend on flaky roommates to take messages
UC SANTA CRUZ Team goals and evaluation Each week explicit deliverables should be established for each team member Example: Write up a certain section of the design document, developing a specific aspect of the physical prototype, do playtesting with a prototype and write up a report on design problems discovered The goal should not be “work on blah”. So, instead of saying, “Work on computational prototype” the goal should be “Get main game loop working in prototype, with player controls working and stubbed AI”. Team members will evaluate themselves and each other against these goals every week How well did I meet my goals? How well did each of my team members meet their goals? What did I like about what other team members did? What were the problems I saw with other team members? Given 100 points, allocate the points to every team member (including yourself) based on how well each team member did that week. These are sent to me every week (on Friday). It will be easy for me to detect slackers, as well as see early warning signs of team problems.
UC SANTA CRUZ Slugforge Every person should get a slugforge account: slugforge.soe.ucsc.edu Once your account has been approved, create a project for each team and assign group members to that team Deliverables will be turned in on slugforge (code, documents, documentation of physical prototype, computational prototype, etc). Also gives you a group mailing list to be able to mail all members of the group easily
UC SANTA CRUZ Time management Time management failures are another major team project failure mode You need to work backwards from major deadlines in order to give yourself enough time Important: figure out what your other big deadlines are! Let’s do a little exercise…
UC SANTA CRUZ Seeking advice If team issues arise while working on your project, come to me for advice Successful teamwork is hard It’s smart to seek advice early, before any team issues have escalated into ill will