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Memfis
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inspired by some recent events... :\

I think it's undeniable that a big team of mappers can't agree on everything. So if you're a part of a large project you just have to accept the fact that you will not be 100% satisfied with the result because others see some things differently. But just how much freedom should each member of the team have? When a big dispute arises and the team just can't agree, is it better if some contributors leave the project? How to approach such conflicts? Talk about your experience of working in a team: how did you deal with all this? Don't tell me that you're fully satisfied with all your collaborations, somehow I don't believe that that's possible. If you say that you're probably lying: either to us or to yourself. Or not?

Old Post 06-02-13 17:05 #
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40oz
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I don't have much experience working with a team, but my involvement in community projects was usually about me keeping to myself and submitting a map that I thought was good, then staying away until the whole project was finished, unless of course someone reported bugs to me.

My collaboration with Super Jamie went really well. We generally agreed on lots of stuff, especially since he was good at the things I didn't know much about, and I was good at the things he didn't know much about. There were some minor disputes here and there when working on UAC Ultra 1. I think he wanted to use mancubi and archviles and stuff on MAP01 while I wanted to save them for the later maps. We agreed that we would leave them in for coop mode so that you could still fight them if you play in -solo-net.

Sometimes you gotta make compromises I guess.

In UAC Ultra 2, I'm pretty certain that I'm going to have a hard time finding anyone who sees eye-to-eye with how I want it to be. I'd love to have someone to work on it with but I think I'm just too different and so I kinda have to take on the project on my own.

I don't know how helpful this is because I'm not sure what "recent events" you're talking about and if my experience really applies here.

Old Post 06-02-13 17:25 #
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ComicMischief
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Posts: 477
Registered: 06-12


I'm actually terrible in team collaborations due to this. I get so wrapped-up in second-guessing what others will think of my work that I procrastinate and get less and less eager to start work; and then, nothing.

I have no idea how I'd be as a general creative team leader-type, that's a thing I've yet to do -- but I like when people surprise me with interesting things, and don't like to tinker too much with their creative visions. I guess I'd be the boss I'd like to work under.

Old Post 06-02-13 17:54 #
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hex11
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This is just a hobby, so I can't really take things too seriously. There's no money changing hands, no customers to deal with, no government regulations, etc. Even if someone makes something you don't like, makes choices you don't like, it's better to leave their map as the author intended it, unless it's completely broken/unplayable in some way. It's cool to have discussions, to get an idea of what people think, to make suggestions, but ultimately nobody should tell the author "do this or else!" because that makes things too much like real life (more stressful, less individual freedom, less fun).

That said, if someone joins a project that has predefined rules, then he's obligated to follow them. If he doesn't like them, he can join another project instead. It makes sense that some projects have very rigid rules, and others are more relaxed. But it's important they be stated up-front, and not arbitrarily changing mid-stream, unless there is 100% agreement from everyone.

Old Post 06-02-13 18:19 #
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purist
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There's a lot of variables to this question but as a general rule - the parameters of the project should be made clear and then it should be down to the project leader's discretion whether map submissions follow them or not.

If there's a conflict the team's leader (if there is one) should endeavour to provide enough leeway as is feasible while remaining within the projects goals and where this does not satisfy the conflict should offer alternatives or a compromise. If there is a stalemate the leader will need to consider whether it is worth losing the work/contributor over and decide accordingly.

If there's no leader than the same process would need to take place by group discussion and then vote.

If you've signed up to a project or joined a team you should expect to be to working to spec and not be precious over your maps. I would expect to be able to voice my opinion and the team to accommodate reasonable requests but if they are not met I know my options are to fall in line or take my work elsewhere. Unless I had an unresolvable issue that was fundamental to my work I would be unlikely to pull work from a team project.

Old Post 06-02-13 18:41 #
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Death Egg
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Probably among the things I am not good at dealing with. I like to end up with everyone on the team being happy, and whenever something comes up where only one half of the people working on the team will be satisfied with the resolution and the other will definitely not be, and it comes down to me for the final decision, it can be difficult for me to decide. I usually wait out to see if another option can come up first or things get solved on their own. (Which it sometimes does, sometimes doesn't.)

Old Post 06-02-13 20:34 #
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Obsidian
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I was half expecting a map. You and your weird map names! :P

Old Post 06-02-13 23:46 #
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Capellan
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I think a strong and engaged moderator/leader is a useful thing.

In MM2, the Mollers were the final arbiters of everything. That seemed to work pretty well, because they weren't afraid to make decisions (and probably because they knew that if anyone quit, they'd easily be able to get a replacement, which made it easier to say things like "this level isn't good enough"). They were quick to respond to questions and submissions, and frank with feedback. The project was a good one to work on.

In Requiem, Chris Thornton struggled to communicate and keep people engaged and on-track. He had a tougher environment to work in than the Mollers, since Quake was out and many people were drifting away from Doom. But he also let things slide a lot, or made decisions in private with one or two other people and surprised the rest of the team with them (there was some pushback about "Hatred" featuring an Icon and Nazis, for instance, but by that time the map was finished and submitted and no-one cared enough to fight about it beyond a few "WTF?" emails).

Old Post 06-03-13 00:00 #
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schwerpunk
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Throughout most of the Monochrome project's history I thought of myself more as a facilitator than a whip-cracking, wad-smashing 'leader' (hyperbole, but you know what I mean). This worked because of the very lax restrictions on entries for that project, and we got a lot of great maps out of it. But that was my goal - not even to make a megawad, but to provide a thread to explore the fundamentals of mapping in a new way. Now, I kind of got lost in the doldrums a couple of months in, and probably wouldn't have even been able to finish the megawad unless pfl came along, like some kind of cheerleader in shining armour. His style was much more, hmm, 'insistent' than mine, but it worked beautifully. He really got things rolling, and thanks in very large part to him (and of course everyone else who contributed maps, bug-fixing, and/or testing) we're on our way to releasing this pot-pourri assortment very shortly indeed!

It's made me reconsider my approach for next time. As was mentioned earlier, it's important to set the ground rules at the beginning, because if your expectations aren't written down then how are people supposed to know they're breaking them? Confusion ensues, and people will rightfully become upset. So yeah, I like the loose, all-are-welcome approach that we went for with the Monochrome project, and I do intend on facilitating a second one of that kind, but I also want to make a "proper" megawad with hard-and-fast limits and definite end goal, because while a grab-bag of fun, random maps is a blast to go through, it really doesn't have the same staying power over the years.

Old Post 06-03-13 00:14 #
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Unholypimpin
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Posts: 436
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When the team cant agree then you gotta keep your pimp hand strong, and this is one of the main reasons I like to map solo.

Old Post 06-03-13 07:10 #
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bcwood16
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Posts: 413
Registered: 08-11


I cant really say I have ever had any major conflicts with project team members.

I usually like to just get on with what im doing and am not interested in any leadership role. I join a team because I enjoy mapping, modelling, texturing....what ever it is im doing, its my hobby and passion so thats what I stick to doing.

Having said that, I do make sure any team I join does have a knowledgeable and decent project leader who has also set down guidelines. This is essential or the project starts to flap all over the place.

I also only work on things I am confident about so I know what I produce should be good. Im open for suggestions and feedback....you have to be. Often these suggestions make things better :)

If on the other hand you produce something that team members just dont like (as in its not little things they are feeding back on) then it could be that your skill set is not quite at the level needed, or maybe you got too enthusiastic and rushed on doing something new without really understanding the direction or future plans of the project?

At the end of the day though, have fun!! If a project is stressing you out then its not fun! Time to think 'why' ? Are you being pushed to dead lines, are the guidelines not very clear causing conflicts, is the team leader a over critical idiot who has no skill set and expects everybody else to create 'their' mod for them!

This is why I love working on Doom Ascension, NiuHaka is a blast to work with, very knowledgeable and we just have a fun! - yay

Old Post 06-03-13 09:27 #
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Ragnor
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Death Egg said:
Probably among the things I am not good at dealing with. I like to end up with everyone on the team being happy, and whenever something comes up where only one half of the people working on the team will be satisfied with the resolution and the other will definitely not be, and it comes down to me for the final decision, it can be difficult for me to decide. I usually wait out to see if another option can come up first or things get solved on their own. (Which it sometimes does, sometimes doesn't.)


I guess I'm partially to blame here with the D64 thread. I put a lot of effort into helping you get the basics sorted out, but in the process got a whole pile of people arguing over...everything.

Old Post 06-03-13 10:51 #
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DeathevokatioN
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I've had a few great collaborations, like for instance I love working with Christian Lian (Darkreaver) on Revelations of Doom, and although we had a few arguments we've both helped eachother alot in terms of advice, while also learning to respect the fact that each of us has a different vision and different preferences to what makes a quality map, because these different preferences lead to more variety, there is no chance in hell I'd ever be able to make a 32 level megawad by myself and keep it interesting throughout, at the same time. There were a few maps that I considered "write offs" where I hit a dead end and every change I made it look worse (for example a map I started for the PRCP, and one I started working on after I had just completed AV and was so blown away that I just had to try capture some of the atmosphere that Kim Malde put into his masterpieces), then Christian would come a long and add a small area or two that breathed new life into said levels and give me a whole new perspective and inspiration on said map to complete it in a way way that would be far superior to what I had originally envisioned.

My collaborations outside of RoD has had it's pros and cons. and although it's been great to work on professional megawads like BTSX with a group of amazing mappers, where I have gained a lot of experience from feedback from working with them that I can take back to my everyday map designing, it has also made me appreciate working on RoD where I can be my own boss and not have to go along with design choices that take away from my intended vision etc. But when you think about it, it's totally understandable that working with an advanced team means having to keep up with the quality standards that they set, especially when they've put years into designing the project and have a high emotional investment into the project.

edit:
And then there's the collaboration map with Snakes, Valkirforce, and I, that's been in the making for 2 years where I'm starting feel like I'm becoming a little bit of a tyrant on because I've been trying to get our conflicting styles to melt into eachother to create a coherent map, and not be like "oh here's Snakes' room, here's Deathevokation's room" etc. It doesn't help that I'm getting impatient and just want to see that POS get out the way. haha :P

Last edited by DeathevokatioN on 06-03-13 at 11:01

Old Post 06-03-13 10:52 #
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