Team Building

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Team Building

Okay, so the Independent Games Festival submission are due on 11-15. Sos it occurred to me that I have an Engine, I have a Level Editor, I have some character designs and a working script (which I am quite proud of – since I wrote comic books and short stories in a previous life). What I don’t have, is content. I mean, backgrounds, stages and the meat of the game itself. So, here’s the story that I thought about :
I’m reminded about a movie I saw and love. For those at home who haven’t seen Seven Samurai (The Kurosawa flick, not the crap assed western or that first sign of Ragnarok – the Anime {They made Kikuchiyo a gods damned robot! Who the hell does that? Assholes.}). Anyhow, it starts off and the villagers are going to be attacked by bandits, so they ask their chief what to do. He tells them to find Samurai to protect them. Problem is, they don’t have any money to pay Samurai, and all they can do if feed them. So, the Chief thinks for a moment, before declaring, “Hire Hungry Samurai.”
So, like I said, my current situation caused my delectable brain meats to recall this. Right now, I’m looking for a Team. I need a Background artist/ level designer (other than myself), a Music & SE producer (let’s say the first one is, um, indisposed) and another Programmer (for C#), and all I can’t even offer them a bowl of rice. Instead, I have to find hard working and talented people who will work for the sake of working and the chance to be part of a team and make a game.
Now, I’m no longer just the programmer with an idea and a gameplay system. Now I get to be the role that I really want to do. Now I get to act as Lead Design, with say on the style, the content and the game itself, and as Executive Producer, with the responsibility to find talented people that know what the Team is trying to accomplish, meet the deadlines and make sure that the finished game is everything it can be.
Honestly, I’m totally conflicted on this point. On the one hand, passing off control of some aspect of the project, seems almost like I’m letting the thing leave the nest. Soon, it won’t just be mine anymore, but it will be the Team’s. On the other hand, seeing pieces of art come in, that I had no input on, that are new and unique to me, but made for the Game, it makes the whole thing seem bigger somehow. Like, I’m no longer just doing this for me. That people are depending on me, and my work for this to happen. So I feel burdened with responsibility, but freed by the fact that I’m not doing this alone.
-Right, so I posted a note for Background Artists on the List of Craigs. So far, I’ve gotten a variety of responses from a variety of very talented people. So, choosing one (or 2, maybe 3) will be difficult to say the least. Either way, i won’t have a lot of time to think about it. The game needs to be playable by 11-15.
-The real trick is working out the Work Flow (man, that looks lame on the page, it seems like nothing office speak, like “synergy” or “productivity”). The Flow of course being the Level Designer to the Artist and back. So here’s what I think should happen with this. I will lay out a level, and take a screen capture of it (PrtSc is awesome). Send it to the artist(s) who will block out the basic look of the thing and send it back to me. I approve (or don’t, as the case may be) and send it back to them for finishing. Then they send it back to me when its done, I put it into the Level, and make the changes needed on my end for collision and so on. Or, they can send an idea to me, I’ll block it out in the Editor and then start the process anew. Hopefully, this can all happen pretty quickly. I think that when I have some concept art available for the artists to work from, then it should go quick and easy.