You could be the most talented indie developer in the world while dually having an idea for an indie game that is guaranteed to sell like hot cakes (there’s no such thing as a guaranteed idea that’ll work, but bear with me for a moment): if your team isn’t motivated, you might as well throw in the proverbial towel and not get started. It’s as simple as that.
Over at Gamasutra, Katie Chironis wrote an excellent piece detailing the importance of a motivated team, and it’s definitely worth a read. I wanted to pass on her advice to you guys before the end of the work week though, so without further ado, here are some of the secrets to having a motivate team.
Be picky when choosing your team
This is one of the most important parts of forming a team. You can’t just choose anyone to be part of your team (that goes for friends, too). Every member of your team needs to be able to self-motivate themselves to work on the tasks at hand without having someone breathing down their neck every five minutes. They need to be passionate about what’s happening at your studio, and when they don’t feel like working? They need to have the self-discipline to tell themselves to, “suck it up,” and do the work anyway. Because hey: people are depending on them, you’re depending on them, and they need to realize this.
It all goes back to using the right tactics for outsourcing the game development process. Read the article, and you’ll get a better idea for how to be choosy.
Make the work passion-fueled
When you have a self-motivated team that actually wants to help you to develop your indie game, the hard part is over. From there, you need to make everyone feel as if they are an equal part of the team. In fact, don’t just make them feel it: make it a reality! Everyone needs to feel as if their ideas are valuable. Thus, whenever someone suggests adding something to the game, tweaking it, etc., listen carefully and consider their ideas. Do this with everyone, and you will make everyone feel as if they are all making their game.
By feeling this way, passion will follow, and in the end? The game is going to be better for it.
One day at a time
What causes a lot of indie studios to veer off track is looking at the big picture at all times. If you stop and think about all the work you have to do as a whole, it’s enough to make you say, “this project is too complex, I’m done,” and want to throw in the towel. However, as the head of your indie studio, you need to create a breakdown of small yet realistic tasks for everyone to work on. Nothing is made in a day: it’s gradual and takes time. But if one is consistent, eventually all of that work pays off and become something.
The same holds true for your indie game. Don’t focus on everything you have to do before the game is finished. Split your project into many small tasks, and work on those as you work toward your ultimate goal: finishing your indie game.