Saturday, November 12, 2005

The future of management

You know what the main problem with the game development industry is these days? The BIG G does! It’s management. There isn’t enough of it. We are going about this all wrong. Some games have over a hundred employees, and I’m betting most of those aren’t managers. That’s COMPLETELY the wrong approach. We need projects with MORE management. We’ll create a really sophisticated structure with levels and levels of management and clear responsibilities. At the top will be the visionary. He’ll come up with the high-level concept like “clone Halo”. He’ll give useful feedback like “make it more fun” and “this isn’t cool enough”. Below him, we have the chairmen of the right and left sides of the screen. Each one is responsible for all the bugs, gameplay and art that fall on their half of the screen. They both are responsible for the board of directors (which of course has a chairman) that includes director of fun, director of ripping other games off, director of doing nothing, director of time wasting, and director of scheduling. Below these directors, we have the subdirectors. The subdirectors are below the board of directors, but are in charge of the individual departments. So, there’s a subdirector of art, animation, production, management (an integral department to making a game), programming and design. Below, them are the leads. The leads are broken up into many important categories. Each department will have a lead for each character or enemy, a lead for each type of object, and a lead for each level. Below that, there are several sub leads. The subleads work on specifying EXACTLY what they want in the game. They lead the subsubleads who write exact specifications for not only what is wanted, but how to do it. Then, all the work can be done by one completely unskilled person. This person doesn’t need to know how to use Maya at all. They can just follow the step by step instructions provided by the art subsublead assigned to that particular object. No programming experience? No problem! The document will tell them exactly what they need to type!

Why will this work? So much time in game development is wasted on reimplementing features because inexperienced people are making incorrect decisions. With so many great directors, they’ll know exactly what is necessary first, so they’ll be able to boil the problem of making a good game down to its simple elements. It’ll be so simple and easy that one unskilled person will be able to make the entire game when oversaw by 50 directors.


Blogger X_Button said...

Someone's been rifling through the file cabinet at EA in the middle of the night again...finally the secret plans have been discovered!

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it's a joke, but it still makes me cry.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous jubal_harshaw said...

You think that's new thinking? Pshaw! I own the patent to this management method.

We started trials a few years ago with 3D Realms - they promised to try out the method with their 'Duke Nukem Forever' team. We've tried to follow up and gauge their impressions, but our messages never seem to get through to the right manager. We put this down to the fact that they're concentrating on important game-related things rather than the day-to-day minutiae of office life.

From what I've read about the progress of the project, it seems that the management-data interexchange quotient is phenominally high, which means greater efficiency. It's obvious that a lot of the past engine and structural changes were a direct result of our astounding Method.

I think this could be a success!

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m sorry Mister Big, but I’m a tad disappointed by your short sighted vision here.

You desperately need to include transversal managers. Their role is to think about management itself, in pure practical abstraction. Then, as you reach a critical mass in the meta-management – empirically 1 – a lateral pyramid of meta-managers will come into existence. Lateral thinking.

And then you’ll quickly realise, if you’re truly a meta-visionary, that the process can be applied recursively to infinity. Given an infinite number of managers you’ll create in no time at all a formidable master-piece of Shakespearian grandeur.

-Meta Me,

3:01 PM  

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