I have led many projects and worked in teams of varying sizes during my time at Forgotten Key and Ubisoft Massive. At Forgotten Key we had to solve hard problems on our own, and my approach was to build on ideas and methods, test them out and reiterate on them until I found things that worked in our context. Following is a base for my management philosophy:
Game development is to build an artifact (the digital game) that creates an experience when interacted with.
Development methodology is a set of structures and processes to ease, strengthen and hasten that development.
Every team and culture is different and changes over time. Rather than having a set-in-stone method, I rely on principles and implement different methods where needed.
These are my core principles:
- A good team is a team where people trust each other.
- Rest, happiness and purpose creates great work.
- Break down projects into defined phases.
- Set clear overarching goals.
- Avoid micro-management, let the team design and plan based on goals and vision.
- Divide time into manageable chunks.
- Break down work into clear and managable chunks.
- Categorize work after relative size/complexity.
- Welcome open discussion, but agree on a set hierarchy.
- Tools and methods are never perfect, adjust to team and strive for using minimum required.
- Celebrate achievements.
When starting a new project I like to agree on a set of axioms in terms of models or ideas. This to make sure people have a shared understanding of where we start, where we are heading, and a shared terminology to help communication. This both for production methods and the specific terms for our project.
When projects are running, I ideally want to talk to every individual on the team every few weeks in a private sit down to get to know everyone and make sure everyone can talk freely about what’s going on in the project.
I want recurring feedback meetings where we build a space to give coworkers or managers feedback on how they are as people and how they affect others in the team. This to tighten camraderie and build trust while avoiding interpersonal problems that can happen when working together. Usually followed by drinks or games or both!
I have been responsible for communication with external partners ranging from among the world’s largest global game publishers to midsized publisher and academic institutions.
They all come with different structures to fit in with and problems to work around. I am diplomatic and solution driven in my approach, but stand my ground where I feel it matters most.
I have been in charge of planning, budgeting and following up on budgets with reports through projects and for the whole studio at Forgotten Key.