Tranzfuser – Dev Blog #3 – Team Building

Week 3 of Tranzfuser has been all about finding people to flesh out the skill range of our team. While the four initial members have skills in development and composition, we lacked any skills in the form of design or 3D modelling. We have spent this week seeking to resolve our dilemma, alongside further work on our initial features. Over the coming weeks I look forward to introducing the team members to you by showing off their work, but this week I’d like to talk about the process we went through to find those people and the elements which helped, or hindered, the process.

The first part is to do with how we went about finding people to join us. As we had never previously worked with freelance creators, we would have to start from our connections to try and find people to work with us on Here There Be Monsters. By utilising the networks we had developed over the past two years; namely Ga-Ma-Yo, Game Republic, and Full Indie UK (all three of which BetaJester is a member of), we were able to ask the the most experienced indie developers around who they would recommend, as well as put out the call to anyone in those groups who wanted to work with us. Having the networks available meant instead of immediately having to pay for someone to search for us, or putting out a call that no one saw, we had the ability to go through trusted means of communication to find the best creators, and have the opportunity for veteran game developers to advise and recommend people to us.

Moving onto the process of finding the right people to hire, we found a few flaws in our method that we will be looking to fix in future. As this was our first time finding the people that we wanted, we went at with an open minded approach with regards to who we were talking to and how we wanted them to respond. What we discovered quite quickly was that when talking to creative people, particularly when we wanted them to create models and art for our game, it is best to present them with points of reference to demonstrate what we’re looking for. We found that the majority of people we spoke to were looking for mood boards or our creative influences to help steer their creative process which, at the time, we did not have. For next time we now know that the best way to open discussions with artistic creators is to help them understand our creative vision by presenting it in a visual form; utilising images and videos which closely represent our vision and can be referred to as inspiration for our game/project.

Finally, one of the most interesting elements we discovered is that the roles we started out looking to hire people for aren’t necessarily the reasons we ended up hiring people for. We spoke to a number of people and, while some of them didn’t have the exact skills we were looking for, the skills they demonstrated solved problems we didn’t realise we had or would need solving. Because we remained flexible as a team throughout the process, it meant we were still able to consider and even choose these people. We found that being open to everything us afforded us the luxury of choice despite stringent requirements for our game.

Through our searches we’ve found four people we’re hoping can bring our vision to life, and we’re excited to share more info about them and their work over the coming week. Of course, if you aren’t following @_HTBM you aren’t going to know about it! Stay update to date and follow us on Twitter, and I’ll update you again same time next week.

Happy sailing,

Adam

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