One of the most difficult things in working with a group is communication. There are many gears turning in the machine of success. Understanding your role in making sure things run smoothly is only part of the machine. Another crucial element is to rely on and trust that your group members are doing their part while you do yours.
Twelve of us have been working on this game for the last nine months and we have had to learn how to work with people that have different personalities and skillsets. We have been using a server that allows us all to work on the game on different computers and whenever we make changes, everyone else receives these updates on their computer. In general, only one person can be in one scene of the project at a time. Otherwise, when two people go to commit their changes to the server in the same scene, one person will lose everything they just worked on. Almost everyone working in the build has had their stuff overwritten at least once during the course of the project. It is usually a very frustrating and disheartening event. However, this caused us to come up with better ways of communication and brought us to using a check-out system.
Our game ended up having quite a few mechanics which caused more bugs than we were expecting including game-breaking bugs. The last couple of weeks mostly consisted of the programmers fixing hundreds of bugs, while the artists worked on bug testing, promoting the game, and polishing the art inside of the game. This also ended up being the most important time for communication and support. When critiquing parts of the game that need to be tweaked, fixed, or removed, it is important to focus on constructive feedback about the game and not focus on problems that someone may have with the person who created it. On the other side, while being critiqued, it is important not to take things personally. Everyone wants the game to be the best it can be and someone else may see issues that you can’t. Staring at one thing for too long tends to give us tunnel vision and we oftentimes need a second opinion on how well something works. Take responsibility for your work and take initiative when offered new tasks. Don’t be that person who constantly makes excuses as to why you can’t complete something and don’t blame others for something that you did. Everyone is in it together which means we all have to be team-players.
This whole process of creating a game with a fairly large team has been a great learning experience. It has taught us all what is required to succeed in creating a large-scale project. We have learned that you might not like everyone on the team, but it is still very possible to get along with and work with them. Overall, we’ve had a great time making this game and have developed many important life-skills along the way.