Easy Way to Kill Team Motivation

If you want to frustrate your other team members then easy way to do that is to change your game plans and goals in frequent times. Maybe even stop doing your current game and starting another. Again and again.

One way to break this habit of constant need for change is to think bit longer before setting project goals and game plans. Think about them a bit more and ask “Is this what I really need right now? Am I 100% sure about this feature?”

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @Jake: Yes, it’s good to remember that of course game needs changes. Game code could need to be optimized. Some artistic appearance needs refining. New sounds replace old ones. That happens.

    But, if that happens *all the time* – then you are in big trouble.

  2. However, I would add that sometimes you just have to change things when the end result isn’t right and it’s plain to see and the artist has to be prepared for this if they are professional. After all if something doesn’t play right in your game, you have to change the code, you can’t cling onto it like a baby.

  3. @Michael: Great contribution. Yes – ‘leadership/relationships’ is an important issue. Thanks for the post. Sounds very good.

    @Zodiak: Yes. Of course any other projects will cause stress – whether it’s school, work or other game projects. If it’s possible – focusing on one project at time would be great, although often not possible.

  4. 2 games would cause lots of stress between the team. It wouldn’t be good for team morale. When I write, I try not to change the overall story, doing so would cause me to go into a tailspin, thus plotholes and other things that wouldn’t make sense. As for programming, I dunno but they have a tough job as it is. It just amazes me.

    And yes, asking yourself “is this what I really want?” should cross your mind. I’ll keep that in mind. :)

  5. Slightly off topic, but I think maintaining relationships with artists and creative team members is a big topic worthy of several posts.

    It’s easy to forget than a good artist has spent years and years honing the technical aspects of their craft, and that good art doesn’t just ‘appear,’ it’s the result of careful thought, experimentation, and planning. If you pull the rug out from an artist midway through a project with sweeping, uninformed statements like ‘Actually, now it needs to be more middle eastern and more glowy,’ it’s the same as a random manager coming up to you and saying ‘actually, now we need to rewrite all of your game code in pascal’. If you have no education in the field you’re trying to critique, you come off sounding like an imbicile to anyone who’s familiar with it.

    Having no respect for the time, skill, or thought behind the production of art is the quickest way to lose a good artist, and changing directions many times in a project and expecting everyone to follow is the best way to display a lack of respect. You might be prepared to change everything you’ve done to date, but you can’t expect everyone involved to think the same way. The same applies to people who produce sound, music, gameplay, writing, or anything that the production of a real game involves.

    That being said, you may indeed find that for whatever reason your project needs to change direction. However you’d better enact the change with carefully thought out respect for the work and skill that has been expended to date by your team members, and you’d better have a very, very good set of reasons other than ‘this way is cooler.’

  6. Almost. Luckily I have had a chance to work with people who have not pissed off because of many changes made… the same people with whom I worked years ago – they still work with me :)

    But – you will sure to get blame from artists if you constantly give new ideas and constantly make big changes (that’s why I recommend having graphics placeholders!).

  7. Speaking from experience, eh? :D

    It’s definitly good advice, especially if you’re incapable of making two games simultaneously. And that’s usually the case for indie productions, since you need to be so involved in the process.

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