Team building

How can we come together here at blender artists?

Why is the tone of responses negative ?

How can we turn our dark trolls, into white trolls?


What can we all agree on and come together to do?

I for one will try and tone down my bge requests, and try and get stuff done 100% by myself,

what can we all do?

Discuss less. Art more. Help more.

That’s all.

I help people all the time…

(in the bge section)
and post free resources
have been on a nice art spasm for a minute.

but what I am talking about is how can we design the atmosphere, so there are more successful studios formed, and games/movies published?

make the entire community more successful?

sometimes I come here on my phone when I am not busy as well…

to discuss stuff because I am bored when I have a minute.

Be a person others would want to be around would be my first suggestion. Lead by example would be my second. and my last suggestion would be to any would be project leaders, Have some real skill that you can bring to the table. And a respect for skills that you do not have.
Although personally, I don’t see this community coming together on fruitful projects anytime soon.

Stay on topic and avoid getting totally lost on tangents. When that happens in threads about development, it becomes the very noise that has led most devs. to avoid this place.

I think most of us are guilty on that count (other than the moderators who are usually not so active in the discussions anyway).

I’m going to assume, for the moment at least, that this is after serious answers. If you’re more interested in justifying your own behaviour and/or picking on others - ignore this post because it frankly won’t address that.

You need to be a lot more specific. Come together for what exactly?

If you mean come together for creating & helping each other with art, check out the Art & Help forums (as per Fweeb’s suggestion).

If you mean come together for creating games - that’s a whole different ball of wax and has much less to do with these forums than you seem to think. Check out the Game Engine forums and start any/all discussions about forming teams under the assumption that everyone has their own idea they want to work on and, at least to them, it is better than anyone else’s. Ideas are a dime a dozen, you need to be offering more than ideas to attract a team. (Money often helps :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Well, going to assume here you mean responses to your recent posts specifically, given you provide no other context. The answer to that question is something you would likely regard as a “negative response”, so skip to the next quote block if you don’t want to actually hear the answer.

Quite frankly, the main reason you get negative responses in the threads I see them cropping up in is that you bring up the same BGE claptrap in every thread no matter what the actual subject of the thread. This is rude, it’s annoying, and you’ve been told by pretty much everyone (including mods) not to do it. One should expect a “negative response” to doing something that’s rude, annoying, and you’ve been told to stop.

I guarantee that you halve the number of posts you make about the BGE outside the game engine forums and you’ll easily halve (or more) the number of negative responses you get. :wink:

As I understand the (somewhat ambiguous) terms you’re using - you can’t.

“Dark trolls”, if I understand you correctly, are those that post negative flamebait just to get a rise out of others. You can’t make them into good posters - they have to decide that the negative attention they get from posting their vitriol is not worth the effort of doing so. Best you can do to these guys is to ignore them. There is a reason some folks are on my Ignore list - it prevents me from giving said “dark trolls” a knee-jerk response.

“White trolls”, if I understand you correctly, are those that are write posts that annoy people but do so not for the negative attention. To some extent, you cannot change them much other than to get them to post less on the subjects that interest them.

For instance, let’s take you & I as examples of “white trolls”. You post about the BGE incessantly and it annoys people. You are not doing it for the negative attention, but spamming about the topic still derails threads and annoys other posters. I have a bad habit of not shutting up about subjects/issues that the Blender Foundation wishes would disappear. I’m not doing it because I want to rile people up or cause trouble, but bringing those subjects up all the time can derail threads and annoys other posters. In both cases, the solution is not to give up on the subjects that drive us, but to better choose where we discuss them (and how often). Make sense?

If you are asking how to get teams to come together, I’ll share a little bit of advice I got some eight years back when I was discussing the subject of getting people to come together and work on indie game development (another forum).

In the arena of indie & hobbyist work, there are two ways to ensure you get a partner to work with - you pay them or you give up on your idea & work on theirs. That money (upfront) will motivate people to work together should need no explanation but the “giving up your idea” thing took me a little to understand.

See, everyone on the forum willing to work on a game, movie, series of plastic toys, etc has their own ideas they want to work on. If those ideas are too big to work on by themselves, they want a team to work on their ideas. It is very rare you’ll find a highly motivated & skilled artist (let alone programmer) who is willing to just work on whatever someone puts in front of them… and those rare ones are snatched up quicker than you can blink.

So how to handle the fact that you have two hundred people with three hundred conflicting ideas they’d like to work on? You convince them being in a team with you is going to get them what they want. Start from the basis that others will be as eager to work on your idea as you are to work on theirs. That artist with the really stupid car game concept is just as thrilled about that awesome mafia platformer you want his help with as you are about his concept.

I Like that that concept. And if you find the forum link in your travels send me a pm please. I would like to read that thread.

There is a ted talk that goes fairly in-depth on leadership that is worth the watch, And it is something I think any “would-be” project manager should sit down and spend some time in thought over.
But I have two questions I ask myself whenever I see a would-be leader. What are they bringing to the table, And how much of this projects intent is ego stroking and how much of this projects intent is for the sake of the project.

Myself personally, When I see someone that wants to make a game, I ask them if they have any example of their work. And I keep in mind that it took me two weekends to cobble something together in unity that could be called a game, (Even if it was a crappy one)

Along what joseph/BTolputt are saying:

Any task/project, such as a short film, animation or game are projects.

There are people whose role/job is to be a project manager (or team leader etc…). Understand why they are important, what they do (if you want to manage your project) and what they have to expect/handle from others. Delegate or find someone with the skills if you don’t want to.

If you can’t do that, I wouldn’t bother start any ideas you have. There’s a reason project managers exist, and its because (no offense) but a ‘democratic’ group of artists/developers without proper skilled leadership end up an arguing rabble going in 5 different directions and getting nowhere. I’m not saying you need qualifications to be a leader, but you do need the skills to be able to accomplish anything.

edited (not a good idea)

Damn, I thought this was going to be a productive thread. Turns out it’s actually one that belongs here instead. [SUP][SUB]sigh[/SUB][/SUP]

ok B, you win,

editing last post.

It wasn’t about “winning” BPR. It’s just that there is already a place for trying to get volunteers.

On the other hand, I can see great benefit in discussing the other subjects you raised. Why do many (most?) attempts to attract volunteers to one’s project fail? How do we get better responses to our posts? Can “trolls” be redeemed and, if so, how? etc. All of those questions are something I see benefit in people discussing. :slight_smile:

Well, Here is what I would look for in a project I am going to consider signing onto.

1- What does the leader bring to the table? :
Are they proficient with the engine in question? are they an expert story teller, Are they some form of cg artist? If you sat me down with a DM who drew their own monsters and maps for 20 years and they have well documented maps, quests and dialogue…That might be something I could go for. If they had 2 years working with the engine in question and just wanted to pool some people to take it to the next level. That could be something I would go for.

2- Personalty:
Now I know most likely I’m not going to end up drinking buddies with an internet found project manager, But its important that they are trustworthy enough to have some of that potential. Its not just a matter of being “nice” Is this someone who is fair? Is this someone who is on a power trip? Is this someone who has a long sighted direction? and I’ll say it out right. If myself and some other immature asshole are going into it, Can they put us both in our place and have us hug-n-kiss and make nice with each other? which leads us to the next bullet.

3- Leadership Skill:
There is one thing I’ve seen that many great leaders have in common. They make that it look easy. A great leader will look like they are doing nothing to a casual observer. A good one will look busy as hell but crap gets done.
It takes allot of work to get to the point of being a great leader and that is a goal I think that is out of reach for most people. But anyone can be a good leader. But it takes work, introspection and humility. Part of being a leader is taking accountability for everyone’s mistake. And not assigning blame or punishment. If your subordinate makes a mistake it is not because they failed you. It is because you failed them.

There’s a third motivator. The event/challenge. This is what makes animation sprints, game jams, and film challenges possible. The projects are short, representing minimal commitment, and you have a challenge that is just within the realm of possibility to complete. People are attracted to projects that succeed, sure… but they’re also attracted to projects that fail in as interesting and exciting a way as possible.

This thread turned out to be different than what I initially thought it was going to be about… but I gave a talk at a Blender Conference a handful of years ago (2010? has it been that long? YOW!) on exactly this topic. I think it’s on YouTube somewhere.

As an idiot whose managed projects like these a few times with greater than half of the project members working remotely… here’s a few additional suggestions:

  • If you’re the project lead, you can’t be creative lead. This aligns with BTolputt’s “give up on your idea” thing. If you’re running the project, it’s not going to be your story. You can work on the production (model, rig, animate, etc.), but in that capacity, you need to accept you’ll be taking creative direction… not giving it. You’ll be too busy managing the traffic of organizing the project and keeping work queues full to be effective in any creative capacity. Of course, if you want to try, then go for it by all means… just know that it will likely end in flames or tears or both.

  • Pick one ambitious thing (timeline to completion, story complexity, team size, render quality, experimental features). Everything else plays conservative or is outright sacrificed to ensure that the one ambitious thing has the best chance of happening.

  • Approach potential team members directly. Scout them. Explain what you’re doing and how you plan on succeeding (or failing brilliantly) and how you think they’d be a big help - nearly essential - in making that happen. Open calls by themselves will get you no where. Unless you already have substantially positive goodwill/reputation/recognition, your list of respondents will be minuscule… and often not qualified.

I have a few projects I am working under people,
and doing what they want,

I have a few projects where I am recruiting,

people seem to understand that I am skilled at what I do,
but unless I find them in the game engine thread they don’t
trust that the game engine can produce good work,

in the end its the team in the engine, not the engine used by the team,

I want to help people make their own games , by donatating my time.
and rigs, but if no one trusts the engine it leaves me in limbo.

How do I prove the engine is worth it without a team?

If you have a idea for a game and a game design doc,
I will help you…

I got Chaos Emergency to the point where a resident evil game can be made from it, in about 1 week.

I am not a good leader, I understand this.

I try to avoid community projects because

A. A person who has time to do that probably isn’t very skilled
B. A skilled and seasoned blender user are probably working on their own projects
C. It usually crumbles and falls after the first 2 days

source: experience

Oh and to answer your question

Most humans don’t do anything with a clear reward that they would be interested in

True, but speaking from the point of view of attracting a team of volunteers, challenge is a weak motivator because pretty much every project/event is a challenge. What differentiates one team from another when everyone has a challenge or is working on a given event?

The indie / hobbyist space is highly competitive - lots of people, lots of ideas, lots of challenges. You can’t just be another person with an challenging idea. That’s everyone else. You need to be the one everyone WANTS to join. Be a renowned coder/artist with a portfolio that makes people want to work with you. Be the guy with a track record of successful projects. Or simply be the guy who can pay.

You don’t NEED to be that guy, of course. Many a successful project was started with a team of people without money, without a track record, and without a successful track record. Of course, most of those teams fold quickly without finishing what they start.

As for the rest of what you said though, Fweeb, I can only +1/like/agree. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure how relevant to this discussion this suggestion is in your eyes, but I did have a pleasant experience over CGTalk with their “Hardcore modelling challenges”.

Its a regular thing with a month(or two) deadline and the winner - voted by the forum members - will get their entry plugged to the front page. The wonderful thing is that participants can be voted in for several different categories; diarama, detail, wip or even team effort. I believe something like that could be of great benefit here on BA, as its a very easy way for members of the forum to put aside their “heated discussions” and put forward what they really can do, and by doing so allows beginners and experts to communicate with each other in an honest and friendly manner.

I personally made good friends during those contests and not once had any bad experiences with other members(which is saying a lot where CGTalk is concerned). Surprisingly, the more experienced users always seemed to have time for the beginners - no matter what software they used(YES, even Blender) - always offering friendly advice. The team entries were quite good as you found out first hand what it was like to really collaborate and communicate on a frequent basis with another member in a distributed manner. And the subject wasn’t too demanding for that situation - you simply had to produce a high-quality model, for which the software requirement is within everyone’s reach.

If the moderators/admins are willing to give it a shot then count me in for the first challenge! Who knows, maybe someone would be interested in teaming up?

I think BA already has those challenges… they even have multiple little subforums:

I thought the topic was about getting a team for a project together…

I myself have had a lot of bad experiences and very little good ones, but one thing that always stuck to me is that communication is key. A lot of active open source projects gain contributors due to the awesome stuff they already put out, and similar for community projects. I think the reason is that it is much clearer from this where the project is going and what the vision is from a prototype, so if you intend to get people to hep you work on a game, prepare a prototype with your vision, or become really darn good at writing proposals.

BPR, you’re not very good at writing, judging by your forum posts. So I think for you it’s best you learn to create prototypes that demonstrate your idea is worth investing time in.

Alright, I am somewhat Liking where this discussion is going so far. So brain storm time, A way to have contests for those who are not so skilled.
I’ve seen some of the better artwork here, But I am very much about process improvement. What type of contest/ projects could be put together for those on the lower end of the skill spectrum to prod them along for improvement?