Author Topic: AGS Group  (Read 8299 times)

Baron

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AGS Group
« on: 28 Aug 2014, 04:24 »


    I'm interested in starting an AGS motivational/support group for aspiring game finishers.  I envisage this as being a low time commitment enterprise whereby each member's essential function is to hold the others to account for their progress in as positive a way as possible.  "Meetings" would essentially consist of two weekly PMs: one mass mailing to other group members stating the week's progress on your project and the challenges you've encountered trying to make progress, and one personal PM to another group member as a response (obviously you could respond to everyone if you chose, but I think a mandatory minimum is necessary to guarantee that everyone gets support).  Why the PM route?  Well, there's already a forum to post your game if all you want is attention: I was thinking of something more personal.  Also, some members might have projects that aren't ready to be announced, or are intentionally being kept on the DL, or don't necessarily want to air their dirty laundry to the public at large.  And, lets face it, enthusiasm for a GIP thread dies much more quickly than the developer's need for motivation: ideally the PM format will fill this gap.  AND it's personal.  There's no hiding, or saying you didn't check the thread.  Somebody has taken time out of their busy schedule and written: "Baron, why you no make progress?!?", and you've got to face that.  Ideally this will result in more AGS games being completed, especially mine! ;)

Here are the group dynamics I propose, but I'm open to other ideas being discussed.

AGS Group Goal: Motivate and be motivated by a small band of like-minded and like-muddled developers.

Membership: 6-8 members would be ideal, but realistically there will probably be some churn.  Membership would be open to all skill-levels, but proper manners and a supportive attitude are compulsory.  All members must be currently developing a game (no free loaders!).  I'm not fussy about how far advanced the project is, but if there's enough interest it might be worthwhile to split into groups of fellow travellers who are at the same point in the development cycle (but let's not get ahead of ourselves yet ;) ).

Commitment: Minimal, as to maximize time for working on your project! ;)  This is not a social gathering, although you can feel free to send social PMs to group members outside of Group business.  And it's not for tech support, or C & C, or for attention seeking, or for idea brainstorming.  It's about holding each other accountable for following through on what we all acknowledge to be our personal goal from the outset: to finish a game.  A longish-term commitment would be ideal, since I foresee members developing an attachment to the success of the other group members projects.  You are under no obligation to share sensitive material, builds, assets, etc., but you should be prepared to demonstrate progress in your weekly PM (describe work, problems, rough sketches, etc.)

Atmosphere: Positive! ;-D  We can do this!  Ra, ra, ra!  There's a thread for criticism: Group should be all about getting things done.  Maybe the quality of those things might be iffy, but they can always be improved upon later should the developer chose.  GO TEAM!  [igm]Tabata cheery smiley[/igm]

Exact Format: To be determined once the group is actually assembled, but ideas are welcome below.

AGS Group Name:  I like how cheesy "Group" sounds, but we can probably do better. 

So, feel free to offer ideas below, or sign up, or tentatively sign up.  For organizing purposes please clearly communicate the following information to help us see where our members/potential members are at:

Name: Baron (actually this isn't necessary, since you'd be posting using your account....)
Interested in Group (Yes/No/Tentative): Yes (why else would I have started this thread (roll))
Game Dev Skill (Beginner/Intermediate/Jedi Master): Intermediate
Project Status (Starting/Middle/Ending/Post Production): Starting
Estimated Project Completion: Approximately one year

Re: AGS Group
« Reply #1 on: 28 Aug 2014, 13:07 »
Why has nobody else chosen Jedi Master?

Name: Darth Vader (I don't remember my real name)
Interested in Group (Yes/No/Tentative): No
Game Dev Skill (Beginner/Intermediate/Jedi Master): Sith Lord
Project Status (Starting/Middle/Ending/Post Production): Starting (I am rebuilding Death Star)
Estimated Project Completion:  ASAP


Ghost

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #2 on: 28 Aug 2014, 13:34 »
Why has nobody else chosen Jedi Master? Is everyone else just too humble? Ghost, I've seen the résumé on your profile. You could hardly be called intermediate!

Modesty aside, I do not own a light saber. I wouldn't mind "Sportacus" level though :=
« Last Edit: 28 Aug 2014, 14:08 by Ghost »

Darth Mandarb

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #3 on: 28 Aug 2014, 13:56 »
Name: Darth Vader
Game Dev Skill: Sith Lord

I find your statement... disturbing.

** leers **


Joking aside, this is a neat/good idea.  I might be inclined to take part when I actually start working on something again (nod)

Baron

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #4 on: 29 Aug 2014, 04:11 »
Holy enthusiasm Batman! :shocked: ;-D

I count 13ish people so far (not sure about the Darth brothers.... (roll)), and the idea has only been floated for less than 24 hours.  This is proving much more popular than I had originally contemplated.  My personal feeling in floating the membership cap at 6-8 was that keeping up with more than 6-8 developers' projects and struggles might become more of a strain than the benefit of Group membership is worth.  And if there are too many people, it's easier to float under the radar....  What do you guys think?  At current numbers my preference would be to run two parallel groups, with membership being either based on project status (starting vs. middle) or lottery (just for variety's sake).  Or we could just push ahead with a large group and ask for volunteers to hive off if necessary.  I would appreciate your input; otherwise I will feel compelled to forge on blindly just for the sake of making progress! ;)

I'm in, if there's still room:

I don't think its fair to turn people away based on the speed of their replies.  If we don't have immediate room, we could just use this thread as a waiting room for interested parties to congregate until there's an opening or we have sufficient numbers to get another Group up and going.

Gurok

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #5 on: 29 Aug 2014, 04:16 »
I would prefer to break up into two groups. I don't think it's good to keep people waiting in a queue.

6-8 is the magic number, I think. I would be happy with letting us choose a group (8 slots per group), and assigning stragglers by lottery. Just be sure to say somewhere that there are only 3 spots left or we might have to break up into 3 groups.
« Last Edit: 29 Aug 2014, 04:18 by Gurok »

Ghost

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #6 on: 29 Aug 2014, 04:26 »
At current numbers my preference would be to run two parallel groups, with membership being either based on project status (starting vs. middle) or lottery (just for variety's sake).

Two groups sounds good. I actually prefer the lottery approach- project status isn't necessarly a big factor for the "motivator".

Problem

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #7 on: 29 Aug 2014, 08:39 »
I'd also prefer small groups of 8 at most. I want to be able to read all the progress reports and still work on the game. ;)
Lottery seems like a good idea, I love surprises.

AprilSkies

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #8 on: 29 Aug 2014, 11:27 »
I also think that having two groups would be better. It's better to manage it.
And a lottery it's a great idea, 'cause it's a way to socialize with fellows we don't know yet so well ;-D

Retro Wolf

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #9 on: 29 Aug 2014, 12:12 »


A more appropriate image.  ;)

AprilSkies

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #10 on: 29 Aug 2014, 12:24 »
Another one:


Mandle

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #11 on: 29 Aug 2014, 14:46 »
Another one:



OMG...The banner message is sooooo fitting too!!! (Love that movie btw)

Cassiebsg

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #12 on: 29 Aug 2014, 18:20 »
I also think it's a good idea to break into groups. :)
And if there are more interested in the idea, so just create a third, fourth, ..., group, as needed. Don't see why "we" should close the door to others. ;)
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

KodiakBehr

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #13 on: 29 Aug 2014, 23:18 »
Problem and I are working on the same big project, so grateful if you keep us together when you hold that lottery.  This is a fantastic idea!

Baron

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #14 on: 30 Aug 2014, 04:59 »
OK, let's get this thing going!  Here's the results of the lottery (I threw in the tentatively interested people to round out the numbers):

Adventure Game Studio Addicts (AGSA)                    Devs-Anon
Problem & KodiakBehr*                                            Scavenger
Stupot+                                                                Gurok
Monsieur OUXX                                                        Cassiebsg
Lasca                                                                    Haggis/Haggini
Baron                                                                    Ghost
Intense Degree                                                        Eric
                                                                        AprilSkies

*I did rig the lottery so that Problem & KodiakBehr would fall into the smaller group, since if they both participate it will make for more reading.

I've done a bunch of reading on running groups and I gotta say there's a bunch of crap advice on the internet, so I'm just going to make up a few basic rules here on the off chance that people get confused, irritated, grumpy, lonely or curious.

AGS GROUP CHARTER RULES

1. How to Gain Entry into a Group:  There are two acceptable methods.  1) Post in this thread, and we'll try to hook you up to an existing group or a newly formed group, depending on current numbers.  2) PM someone in the Group that you want to join indicating your interest in joining the group.  In both cases someone will mention in their weekly group post to the group that so-and-so wants to join the group and ask if there are any serious objections.  If there are none within 72 hours of that PM it is presumed that the new member is welcomed, after which he should be added to the PM list and/or the secret private forum for that group. :)

2. How to Exit a Group: People have their reasons, some good and some bad.  Nobody's forcing you to participate in anything you don't want to.  But you can't just stop answering PMs, since the whole purpose of the Group is to pester you to stay in touch in order to support your progress.  Alternatively, someone might get overly emotional and seem to be needing extra support when all they really want is to be left alone.  To avoid this kind of confusion, you need to use this exact formula to clearly communicate your desire to leave the Group: I am regretfully informing the group of my desire to withdraw from [Group Name] at this time.  You can list reasons, or not, but do keep it civil, and believe that we all wish you the best.  You can even apply to join another group if you feel its dynamics would suit you better.  No grudge holding allowed!

3. How to Resolve an Intra Group Dispute: *Sigh*  I'm really hoping nobody ever has to read this section, but just in case two or more people just can't get along, this is the official process to be followed.  I write this in the interest of quickly resolving any dispute, so that it doesn't fester endlessly.  The procedure is as follows: 1) Somebody identifies a dispute and names the parties (this can be a party to the dispute, or a witness that sees it brewing).  2) Each party has 72 hours from the moment a dispute is identified to explain their side of the story in as dispassionate and civil manner as possible in one mass PM.  Each party may choose to omit the other party from this communication, but must make this decision clear in the PM.  No rebuttals are allowed.  3) Non-parties to the dispute are then to vote on two courses of action: a) assign a non-party to the dispute to act as mediator, if the Group feels that a misunderstanding can be resolved, b) vote to split the group.  In the event of a majority of the remainder of the Group voting for a split, each party to the dispute shall be deemed the core of a new Group and the remaining members can decide to join one, or another, or both.  In practice this might lead to everyone deciding to join one group and ostracising one member.  That's a a bit sad, but probably a very clear signal that some reflection on one's behaviour is in order.  On a happier note, this same mechanism might be used to settle a positive dispute over how big the group is getting.  Or we could just all be passive aggressive about someone being out of line and all bow-out using the above mechanism, only to form or join a new group without them.  Choose your poison.  ;)

4. Providing Consistency Between Groups: Somebody in each group should briefly communicate the type of things discussed in their Group with someone in all the other Groups on a regular basis (every couple of weeks), and communicate interesting discussions/processes etc. to the rest of the Group in their weekly PM so that all groups have access to best practice ideas.  This should just be a quick note: "Hey Groupey Group Guy, what have you guys been talking about lately?  Last week Super Duper Group decided to talk about our "distraction worms" (kind of like ear worms, they're the little distractions that won't go away that keep us from focussing on our projects).  Some great insights!  Stay in touch."

I guess we'll add things as they come up, but hopefully these simple ground rules will keep things running smoothly.  If anyone seriously objects to one of the above please post a better idea and we'll discuss.  Otherwise, happy Grouping!

Edit: I've PMed everyone in the lists above.  If I missed someone, or if the PM didn't go through, let me know and we'll try to get that sorted ASAP.



« Last Edit: 15 Nov 2014, 01:33 by Baron »

Re: AGS Group
« Reply #15 on: 30 Aug 2014, 20:39 »
This is awkward... I'm not Darth Vader anymore! := And, I'm interested into being part of the group. Please let me in! :~(

Name: BSP
Interested in Group: Yes
Game Dev Skill: Jar Jar Binks (somewhere between beginning and intermediate)
Project Status: Starting
Estimated Project Completion: 2014.

Cassiebsg

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #16 on: 04 Sep 2014, 18:47 »
_I would say: any progress is better than no progress... so to answer your question, yes. And if you want to share, you can always scan/photograph them _(then you can demonstrate_ your progress ;) ).
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

Baron

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #17 on: 05 Sep 2014, 01:51 »
Hey Weston,
    You know, as long as what you're doing is furthering your interest in finishing a game, that sounds fine to me.
    Give us a couple days to sort out where we can find space, and I'll get back to you.

BvB

Weston_Kaunk

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #18 on: 06 Sep 2014, 02:14 »
Sounds like a plan, look forward to it :)
tldr: I say too much
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selmiak

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Re: AGS Group
« Reply #19 on: 07 Sep 2014, 04:37 »
can i learn how to stop my brain from making up more and more intersting plots that could be a cool game and learn to ffocus on one projetc?
and can I also learn to love the act of slowing muh brainz?
and how do i get rid of this caffeine addiction?