Starting up a new project has me thinking a lot about ways to improve team buy-in and enthusiasm about the game that we are building. I've worked on many different team types over the last decade and have seen many ways to run things...with varying degrees of success. As team sizes are easily in the area of 100+ people on the types of games I generally work on, communication alone becomes difficult.
How do you accommodate both types of people? It would be ideal if we could get the people who want to be involved first and the others much later on...but that kind of thinking is from a dream world. So, what are some potential ways we can get people to buy-in and truly get behind what we are making regardless of what method is being used? I wish I had answers...but I do have a few thoughts:
Sometimes you'll think that everyone is on the same page about a decision and find out that you weren't effective enough in getting the message across. It takes great effort, often multiple tries, to make sure the right info gets to everyone. This step is sometimes deemed important by Designers because they don't feel they have to justify decisions or even expect that team members will read the documents they have created about each topic (they won't).
Other disciplines often view this as Design changing their minds or not knowing what they are doing and it's hard for them work toward a moving target. The team members who prefer to be involved may say the decision would have been better if only they would have been included in the first place. This can quickly lead to resentment of the Design Team and that kind of respect is hard to regain once lost. Taking steps to fix the before mentioned communication will help with this, but nothing sucks more than someone doing work that later needs reworking or deemed unneeded entirely.
he game that everyone is making...try taking the discussion outside. Go somewhere outside of work and have a drink or lunch together and just talk frankly about what frustrations they are having. A very free conversation like this can often help you understand each other better and alcohol can only help with that right?
In the end...this is something I'm thinking a lot about for my project before team members start rolling on in large quantities. I obviously don't have the answers, but really wanted to use this as a topic for discussion. What ideas do you have for helping with this?