What is it really like to work in a large team to make a computer game?

Tempest - Computer Games Design

What is it really like to work in a large team to make a computer game? What are the problems? The obstacles? The challenges?

The only way to know if you can cut it as a cog in the AAA machine, or a fierce Indie in the mobile app store market, is by trying to make something beyond any individual student assignment. However, there are going to be a lot of broken eggs on the way to making that omelette.

By providing a ‘safe to fail’ environment with stupid deadlines and self-set expectations, working in a large team can provide excellent opportunities to learn by trial and error, overcome individual failings through the support of the group, and how ‘train wreck’ learning experiences can truly teach what can go horribly wrong (and right!) in working with others on a greater goal. Technology can help such chaotic collaborations, but it can only go so far. After that, systems thinking and discipline, respect and communication are vital.

If all else fails, doing meaningful group work can magnify and make real the very issues that cause companies, large and small, to fail. Forewarned is forearmed, they say, and it’s only when you have to put together a wide range of different skills to achieve a final product that you can really say you understand it all. Integrated thinking requires integrated training/teaching. It is how the professionals work.