Forming a Team
Determine the Team's Composition
- Decide what work you want to do. This will determine your role/s on your team.
- Decide what tasks you want to delegate. This will determine what roles you want your teammates to fill.
Types of Roles:
- Designer - Creates the concepts and ideas for the game. Lays them out at a high level in a Game Design Document. Uses tools made by engineers to make the game, or works alongside engineers to script the game. Works with engineers and artists to fine tune the game's mechanics and art direction.
- Engineer - Implements the designers concepts and the artists assets. Build tools for artits and designers. Documents the more technical aspects of the game's design. Sets up the means for continuous integration of code changes and the process for making builds of the game.
- Artist - Creates the assets, art or sound, that will be used in the game.
- Writer - Writes the narrative, lore, script, dialogue, plot, or descriptive text.
- Producer - Creates a development schedule and a task backlog for the Designers, Engineers, Artists, and Writers. Helps establish development processes and best practices. Sets production deadlines and makes sure development stays is within budget.
- Tester - Playtests the game in order to find and report bugs and glitches. Also provides feedback and suggestions about the User Experience.
- Localizer - Translates the text that will be used in the game into other languages.
- Business Admin - Handles the business related aspects of running a games studio, such as human resources, finances, or accounting. Evaluates business success based on reports from marketers and producers.
- Marketer - Focuses on advertising the game to a potential audience and increasing the chances of a successful launch or crowdfunding campaign.
- Community Manager - Engages with fans and community members of the game. Moderates community discussion. Relays community feedback and concerns to developers. Works with marketers to encourage community engagement and growth.
Draft a Recruitment Post
Draft a recruitment post for your project and the open roles. Describe the game's premise, the game's genre, the available roles, each role's responsiblilities, skill and experience requirements, the estimated production time, and minimum time commitment per week. Also, make it clear if you are offerring any form of compensation (Unpaid, revenue-share, hourly payment, or commission based payment). The more detail you provide, the more likely people will inquire and join your team.
If you make people sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before divulging any details about your game, then people may be less likely to contact you about your project. While an NDA is a good way to keep your business and game idea a secret, the lack of information about the project may inhibit your ability to recruit the right individuals to your team.
Recruitment Post Template:
My Previous Projects: (If Applicable)
Responsibilities of Role(s):
Required Experience for Role(s):
Project Length: (X Months, X Years)
Compensation: (None, Revenue-Share, Commission, Hourly, Salary)
Recruit Team Members
Publish your recruitment post on game development forums, subreddits, and discord servers. You can also contact individuals directly who post that they are open to joining a team.
If you want to try a more in-person approach, then attend a game development meetups for local clubs or organizations. You can ask other attendees if they would be interested in joining your project. Even if they don't join your team, they may be able to connect you with others who may be interested in joining.
If you aren't getting contacted by potential recruits through your posts, then consider contacting individuals directly who are looking for a team. You can find "looking for a team" posts in the same forums, subreddits, and discord servers where you published your recruitment post. Individuals looking for a team include freelancers, hobbyists, or beginners.
Factors to consider while recruiting members are: experience, availabile time commitment, physical location, and time zone.
The team’s experience will determine if implementing certain features is feasible and if it can be done in a timely manner. Team members will also expect a certain level of compensation based on their experience.
While less experienced members are more likely to work for free or for revenue-share, they may have a hareder time implementating complex features. Also, less experienced members will likely spend more time learning the necessary skills to make the game.
Experienced members will have an easier time building the required systems and expanding upon them. Development will be more predictable and move at a steadier pace. But more experienced individuals will expect payment for their high skill labor, especially if your project requires a significant time commitment.
The team's availability will determine how much progress can be made on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
People tend to be available on a part-time basis to work on side projects. So progress is often made on a weekly basis. If a person that is only available a few hours out of the week, then expect monthly progress. Team members that are working on the project full-time will allow for daily progress.
Working with people locally allows you to meet up in person, which makes it easier for people to motivate each other and hold each other accountable. Working with people in the same time zone also makes it easier to synchronize the production schedule and ensure everyone is working around the same time.
Remote teams allow team members to work on the project anytime and anywhere. But remote projects require more management to make sure team members are working on tasks regularly. It also requires more leadership efforts to maintain morale and motivation. Also, communications may be delayed, trust may take longer to build up, and morale more difficult to maintain.
The team's size will determine how much work can be distributed and completed simultaneously.
As a solo dev, the production time is entirely dependant on your efforts. While you have full creative control, every aspect of the game will require your attention. Production times will drastically increase because tasks can only be performed sequentially.
With a team of specialized individuals, tasks can be divided up and worked on in parallel. The bigger the team, the more specialized team members become. As a result, the final product will be a culmination of the team's creative efforts.
It's time to produce your game!
Producing a Video Game