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I'm Making a Game Part 2: First Rally

This is the second of the series of blog posts I will be writing that will cover my first attempt to make a game. This post covers the results of my call to arms letter, my plans for the group's first meeting, and my concerns for managing this project.

Gerald Antoine, Blogger

April 17, 2012

4 Min Read

Hello everyone!

I know that I said I would make this second post last week, but I was busy with a myriad of other things, so here it is now.

First, I want to share with you all the results of the call to arms letter I sent out on April 2.  Out of the eighty-eight people I sent the e-mail to I had twenty two people respond and tell me they wanted to be a part of this project.  From the post I put here on Gamasutra I had two people reach out to me and tell me they wanted in as well.  I also had two people who were friends or acquaintances of friends reach out to me as well.  That makes for a grand total of twenty six people.

I have since lost one person because he found gainful employment in his field and will be unable to participate in the project because of that, so I am back down to twenty five.

The next step is to gather together everyone I can in the same place at the same time so that they can meet each other and get to know one another.  About half the team lives here in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I plan to gather all the locals together so they can meet each other.  I have also invited those who are not local to telecommute in to the meeting, because even though video chatting is far inferior to actual face-to-face communication, it is better than simply being an e-mail address or a voice on the other end of the phone.

The meeting has been scheduled for this Saturday and will be hosted at the apartment of one of our team members.  So far, I have three items on the agenda for the meeting:

1) Have all those in attendance introduce themselves to the rest of the team and get to know their team members.

2) Discuss the project.

3) Plan our next move.

I particularly feel like Item 2 is going to be a source of trouble for the meeting because I do not feel like I have a good grip on exactly what we need to discuss.  I know there is a lot to talk about, but I feel that if I do not have an agenda on what we specifically need to discuss that the conversation is going to wander too much to be constructive.  I know we should discuss the scope of the project and our goals for it as well as how we are going to go about making the game, but that is about as specific as I have my ideas narrowed down in that regard.  I do not plan to delve into exactly what kind of game we will be making, but I believe that we can probably decide on a platform.  If anyone should have any suggestions about topics I should probably cover, I would be immensely grateful if you would leave those in the comments.

The last topic I wanted to write about in this post was management.  A lot of people that I have spoken to about this project have told me that I need to start really small, keep the projects short, and do a lot of rapid prototyping as opposed to trying to do a longer project that would require more dedication from those involved.  I find myself at odds with some of these suggestions.  I understand the importance of gamejam sessions, and I do plan to try and get the team to go through such an experience just so that we have a taste of what it is like to work with each other, but I do not believe that we should focus on having a gamejam-like feel to everything we are doing.  I did not put this team together with that purpose, and I do not believe that the team is built to accomodate working in a series of short, intense bursts like that. 

So the dilemma here is whether I should approach this as a series of very small projects or a single large project.   In the perfect world that exists within my imagination, I envision our team working on an episodic project like an RPG where each episode is about 2 months of work and is its own game, and all of these smaller episodes together would comprise a larger overall experience.  I realize that reality and my imagination are not the same thing, though, and I am willing to accomodate whatever project size the team feels it can handle.

So that is all for now.  I realize that I may be a little disorganized when talking about managing the project and discussing it with the team, but that is because this is new territory for me.  It is part of the reason I am putting these blog posts up on Gamasutra, because most everyone who posts here has been making games longer than I have.  Any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks for reading.


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