I'm a doctor, not a mechanic

Legacy:Dante/Rants

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The "perfect" team leader (for mods)[edit]

I don't think, there's is a perfect one, just wanted to draw attention. A good question is, "how to become a good team leader ?". AFAIR there's already a page about it (will search after I wrote that here), but I'll make up some thoughts of mine anyway...

A good team leader

  • knows that his crew is doing this for free
  • tries to keep specs for the mod as low as possible for starters
  • doesn't need to know mapping, modelling or coding. But he/she can estimate the difficulty of those things.
  • tries to make a good order - in which things should be done:
    • Members of different "categories" should concentrate on similar things. Ie. a modeller modelling a gun + a coder writing code for that thing. Whoever finishes first most likly motivates the other one to finish their work too -> working stuff
    • don't concentrate on details at the start/middle phase of your development. Just imagine a mod with a new player model with x thousand animations for movement. High detail textures - and so much polygons that even high end machines draw a deep breath. Yeah - it took 2 years to get all those things in, but in the end your CTF mod will rule them all. There's already a player model, just game rules and everything else missing...
  • don't put coders under pressure. This might be subjective, but a small sound problem, or a glitch in one of your maps won't hurt the overall impression of your mod too much. But even small bugs in code can work out as being monsters in-game (and bugs happen to get more frequent with more pressure)
  • don't make another CS clone. Ok, I know - your clone is special ;)
  • creates some sort of timeline, when specific things should be finished, and how it should work out. You need some details on specific things too. Ordering a modeller to make a "cool gun" will help him just as much as telling a coder to "code a cool gun" - they might leave because you have obviously no clue of what you want ;)
  • knows organization. There are already some points above which fall under this category. But it's still the key point in your mod development. Don't make them all depend on you to talk to the other members. You will get bored - and your overall development will slow down because each and every person uses you as a router.

I'm not the leader of a team, and I never was the leader of a mod team. This is just my personal opinion. So I might be wrong with every point (althought I hope I'm not).

Related Topics[edit]

Discussion[edit]

Mychaeel: Some of those points have little to do with being a team leader – when to concentrate on details, for instance, or how to go about designing and implementing the mod.

It happens that some people (especially those who'd like to bear the title of a "team leader") quickly assume the position of a "lead designer," albeit without more than a nebulous idea of what that is about. The result is somebody who's following no recognizable long-term concept and is content with bossing everybody else around, feeding the other team members with vague bits of information that turn out to be not exactly what the "lead designer" meant only after everything has been implemented (which of course means that everything has to be redone "properly").

A good team does not need a team leader. At the end of the day a proper team leader is merely responsible for coordinating communication in the team, and a really good team can do that all by itself. If everybody is willing to listen to each other, accept each other's respective competences and, in turn, give thought-out and truthful assessments on the matters discussed, a team leader has no job left to do.

Dante: Yeah, I might need to make a lead designer section in here too. But having such a really good team is an illusion. Even if it got no official team leader, there will always be one or two persons which are the communication center. And about that "lead designer", I think it's the other way around. Somebody has a idea for a game, which is an entry point for being called designer, and then assume team leader position.

Mychaeel: Being the "center of communication" is a high responsibility. If you're it, it's your choice how to deal with it: Either by taking responsibility for all decisions and effectively using your position to lead the team wherever you like, or by channeling the communication to facilitate constructive teamwork and leaving the team in charge.

Nobody is ever forced into a leading position. I, for one, prefer to be part of a team that's not considering itself subject to a certain team member's whims.

Dante: You're not forced into it that's right. Sometimes, if you want to make a mod, you'll ignore the structure of the team. I think it's also a bit of training for RL. When we, for example, had to form groups in order to write some software as a student project, I recognized something. There are a few kind of people in a team:

  • Those who want to get things done and are able to do it
  • Those who want to get things done and need help
  • Those who need to be kicked in their ***** first
  • Those who try the way of minor resistance
  • Those who are just in to be in

OMG, I'm getting OT in a rant...