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The Three Elements of an Effective Game Development Team by@Brainhub

The Three Elements of an Effective Game Development Team

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Brainhub

The JavaScript software development experts.

The process of composing a development team can look a lot like starting a fighting game where you choose characters to fight your battles. 

There are many tips you could follow and many strategies you could try.

In this article, we’re breaking down three core elements of an effective game development team:

  1. Personality mix
  2. Supporting roles
  3. Communication

Let’s find out how to nail them.

Step 1 — Personality mix

Keeping the personality mix in balance is crucial in making every team member feel acknowledged and comfortable with asking questions, coming up with ideas, and admitting mistakes.

Some people are more open, others will need some time to get used to their role in a cross-functional team, still, balancing different personality types helps to mitigate such problems.

There’s also a matter of engineer-stakeholder cultural fit. It’s good to work closely with the HR department and assess every potential team member’s behavior, skills, and ethics, and find people with the right attitude and work ethic.

Step 2 — Supporting roles

Even in cross-functional teams, nobody has all the answers. That’s why supporting roles are crucial to make the team feel comfortable and guarantee each member’s psychological safety. 

By being close to the core team, supporting members can better understand people’s biggest strengths as well as how they complement each other. Such insights help with composing teams for projects along the way.

A great deal of work is also in the hands of game producers. They have an impact on the overall vision of the game, but above all, they support other experts — designers, animators, writers, UX/UIs — who are the real driving force behind any game development project. They are the leaders who serve their teams, focus on their needs, prioritize their well-being, and commit to their growth and development.

On a more practical level, this means that the producers’ job is very interactive. Their key tasks are to:

  1. Mediate between programmers, designers, animators, writers, UI/UX designers, developers, project managers, and project coordinators;
  2. Break down the work into a sequence of deliverables, activities, and tasks;
  3. Help their team achieve timelines and meet deadlines;
  4. Connect their team to the right people in other teams and streamline day-to-day communication;
  5. Resolve conflicts and issues.

Step 3 — Communication

When it comes to communication in game development, it’s often hard to perfect. It’s especially challenging in larger teams, where there are more people you need to get your message across.

That said, here are some practical tips you could use:

  • Always assume good intent — Hastily jumping to conclusions when facing issues is just adding insult to injury. Instead, trust your team and give people the benefit of the doubt and you’ll be able to listen to them more carefully.
  • Stay open and transparent — Weekly team meetings, as well as regular AMA and Q&A sessions, are always a good idea to involve your team in making crucial decisions together.
  • Adjust the frequency of communication — Try to keep the right balance and avoid making the day-to-day communication too noisy so it doesn’t get in the way of actual work.

What’s your next quest?

Striking the right balance in the team’s personality mix, the extent of support you offer, and communication quality, is just one of the quests on the path to building an effective game development team. 

What steps should you take next?

Here are some of our suggestions:

Quest 2: Learn the 4 crucial soft skills for game development leaders.
Quest 3: Grow trust and motivation in your team.
Quest 4: Choose the agile methodology fitting your team’s needs.

This article is based on Chapter 1 of “Choose Your Fighters — A Practical Guide to Composing and Leading Development Teams” published by Brainhub.

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