Tips for Making a Good Fan Game Team

Brom

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For a long while, I had trouble trying to get my team interacting in my private developer server and working on my game. I did learn a few things that I wanted to help spread to other aspiring developers.

Tip 1: Give clear objectives
If you already have a team together, but they don't actually do any work on your game, they may not know what they need to do on the project. For a while, I didn't realize I could ask my team to help me with my project. I shot myself in the foot by doing everything on my own while my team for the most part was left in the dark of what I was doing, what needed doing, and why they were even on my team if they didn't do anything. If you give your team members clear objectives of what needs done, it can significantly help make you closer to your team than if you didn't. Just make sure you remember that the people on your team are making fan games in their free time, and it is not their full time job. Don't get mad at your team if they don't fulfill a deadline or are unable to do what you ask because they don't have the time, skill set, or drive to do it!

Tip 2: Show progress to your team
Another thing you should do is showing your team that you're pulling your weight as well. It doesn't take too much to do, and it can make your team feel more motivated to do things. Transparency is important in becoming a trustworthy figure, and it is especially critical when you are managing a team.

Tip 3: Talk to and respect your team members
If people aren't coming to you to join your team, in most cases you'll end up either recruiting people or asking friends if they can help you out with your project. This probably is the most obvious tip, but it may help somebody, talk to your team members about things relating to your project. Ideally, you want to form close bonds with your teammates if you don't already have them. If you show care towards them, they most likely will do the same towards you. If you only talk to the person about project things, any time you approach them, they can make the reasonable assumption that you are there to ask for their help with something rather than to talk to them. Another thing you should consider is, if you don't like the person or people you're working with, don't work with them and find someone else to help you. You are making fan works as a hobby and not a job, so you should try to stick around people you like and stay away from people you don't like. Connections between people are more important than the quality of work they can push out for the most part. Now this doesn't mean that you should hire everyone you like, regardless of if they have the skills necessary for your project because it can hurt you and them in the long run. If that person knows they don't have the skills necessary, then they may feel bad about their lack of skill. Alternatively, that person can drag the rest of the team down by not being able to follow through with their work and leading to possible delays if you set up deadlines for your game. Don't keep people around either if they really aren't compatible with the rest of your team either. It can bring down productivity, and it may build resentment against you or the incompatible person which isn't too good to have around either.

Tip 4: Identify what things your team can do and what only you can do
Frequently, many fan game developers recruit writers to help them write their story. While this can help a little bit with feedback, in all likeliness, they won't be able to continue writing the story, at least based on how you envisioned it. An exception to this is when you don't have a vision for the plot of your game or if you create a story from the ground up with your team members.

Tip 5: Get your team involved
If you involve your team in decision making on your fan game, it makes them feel like they have a part in your game, and they do! Set up polls, have meetings, or whatever works for you in order to get your team members involved and invested in your game. Again, this can help make your team feel closer, and make the overall dynamic of your team better than if you didn't. Another thing to consider is that it can be stressful taking care of everything from graphics to story-writing all on your own, especially for a long commitment like a large-scale game project. Getting your team involved with your game can remove stress from your shoulders, and can make your game better than if you did everything alone and risking burnout.

These are all my tips on making a good team, I hope you fellow developers liked this post, and I hope anyone aspiring to make a game or a fan game succeeds!
 
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