This week the Slime Boiz tackled one of their most challenging problems yet: Management. Our programmer, Alex, has been excellent at getting work done on time; the rest of us… need a bit of direction. Earlier in the week, we had a bit of a falling out, or at least a realization that Alex had been doing the brunt of work that had been done on the game.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re all glad that he’s working on Slime with such passion. While Alex can easily see what bugs needs fixing, or be given new features to implement with fairly specific requirements, the rest of us haven’t been given very many concrete tasks, but I guess that’s probably my fault.
I’m still developing as a producer, and it’s showed. This is the first project where my primary role will be a producer, rather than it being tacked on at the end because a team lacks experience or cohesion to act without one, so I’m still figuring out exactly how to do it and how forceful I need to be. It’s also been intimidating to be in charge of making tasks and defining the work schedule for a project where I’m not the team lead or project owner; sometimes I find myself second guessing whether something is what I want for Slime or what the group wants for Slime.
Because of that, we’d been creating very nebulous tasks with no real sense of deadlines, and half the team didn’t really have anything to do. I wasn’t doing any management, and our Public Relations Manager, Cole, hadn’t really been given much to do aside from setting up bare bones social media accounts and pushing out these blog posts to those accounts. Important? Yes! The full extent of his capabilities? I think not.
Now Slime is under new management, or just management I suppose, and we’re all the better for it. As we move forward, I’ll be keeping a few (fairly obvious in retrospect) things in mind:
- Concrete tasks to make it clear what needs done: No one likes working in the dark.
- Deadlines to make us accountable for our progress: Turns out due dates are helpful to productivity. Who knew?
- Specific and measurable tasks: Huge multi-facet tasks are just as confusing as nebulous ones.
- Assigning tasks for the rest of our team: We have Cole, so let’s use him!
- Keeping the vision in mind: This one will be the hardest, but worthwhile.
While we worked on getting some tasks outlined for the remainder of this sprint, Alex has been working hard on fixing any bugs that come up and Dewayne, our level designer, has had enough constraints and direction to be pushing out solid levels that have what we want for Slime moving forward. Because of this, we’ve been able to get some really valuable play testing results, and I think I can find some pretty concrete tasks in there once we decide as a team what’s important.
Here’s to a year’s progress saved, and here’s to making up for lost slime.