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Best community project leader?

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Who is the greatest at managing community projects? Who made you feel like they really know their stuff, have a clear vision, can keep the team together and make sure that everything stays on schedule?

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Only contributed to DWMP 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 so I can't say I know anything about how the project management went for other projects but I'd say ToD has been a great project leader, haven't felt any pressure when working on maps for these projects, StormCatcher.77 deserves a honorable mention for 2017 DWMP :P.

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What NIH said, though I might add Mechadon and Gusta. Both where the major force behind their respective project's (D64D2 and PL2) success (I dunno how much leading Gusta did however, it was probably split with t.v. and Vincent Cataalá)

 

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The Green Herring, no doubt, CC4 is still among the very few community projects to have an undeniably high level of polish and consistent quality through and through while featuring a wide variety of mapping styles and gameplay approaches. In my eyes, the best CP is the one to have strict guidelines and quality threshold, and the best leader is the one who's got guts to enforce said guidelines and quality threshold and isn't afraid to reject stuff or demand additional work for a map to become up to par (and that really requires some courage, seeing that at this time and age it's so damn easy to hurt someone's feelings). It's understandable that the development cycle can become way longer than it was originally planned, but the end result is well worth it if you ask me.

From that perspective, most CPs are very inconsistent, and most leaders feel merely like compilers as opposed to effective managers.

 

Franckfrag also deserves some praise for his management of Tangerine Nightmare, my guess is that it's also been made according to the policy described above, then again - an attitude I totally approve, the resulting release certainly feels like labor of love and care and not yet another careless mishmash of everything at once like DMPs.

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This is a pretty interesting topic, but I think you missed the more interesting question:  What makes a good project manager effective?

 

Especially in the realm of a creative, voluntary "workforce," that shit is difficult.  Gonna toot my own horn for a sec and talk about a massive project I was involved in, because I think it hits on all that stuff.  (this is gonna get long.  No TL;DR for you.)

Back in 2009-2011, I worked on a project called Newer Super Mario Brothers Wii.  In a nutshell, we set out to create a complete sequel to NSMBW, but "bigger".  New levels, assets, world maps, music, enemies, the whole shebang.  (horn tooting: I did roughly half the levels, and a great chunk of the custom assets)  This was way before Mario Maker came along, and our tools were made entirely in-house.

 

Why's that matter?  Because my dudes, it was truly a massive undertaking- we had no idea how big a bite we were taking until we were choking.  The project went through dips and peaks, bursts and lulls, and a ton of drama.  People shuffled in and out (including myself).  Key figures just vanished halfway in.

About halfway through, we were down to a pretty small core of 7ish people.  A *lot* wasn't even started- we didn't have any custom music made, no custom worldmaps, barely any custom "stuff" at all except levels.  Focus was kind of blurry.  Then, one of our longtime members stepped the fuck up, and started really managing the project.  He was pretty effective too- there were a lot of disagreements about the music that was being discussed mainly by the non-musicians of the group (I play bass.  That doesn't count.) which was really asinine when you think about it.

This is where he had to get a bit forceful. 

 

"Look, we need to get this shit done before we all lose interest and this becomes vaporware.  Here's our musician.  Let him work and unless it's truly awful, shut the fuck up and do what you do best.  We don't have a 3d modeler anymore, so lets do 2d 'tileset' worldmaps.  It'll be fine.  Shut the fuck up and do what you do best." 

 

And so on, and so on.  You know what?  That really did get things moving.  *Sometimes* a creative bunch needs a ruthless (but still humble and likable) taskmaster to get things moving.  We were a mess- our workflow consisted of "what do I feel like doing today, regardless of whether it's *needed*?"  He gave us focus, and shit got done.

But there's clearly a balance that has to be struck.  We all do this for fun- right?  There's only so much dickish, top-down stuff you can take before you realize that you don't have to do any of this.  People have to be reminded that what they're doing is worthwhile, and the result will be worth the effort.

 

Sometimes, it has nothing to do with the project manager itself... sometimes the group you put together just wasn't going to work well together in the first place.  We had plenty of personality clashes in our project.  Our main musician was insufferable with regards to his (honestly, crappy) ideas- none of which had to do with music at all.  He ended up leaving on his own accord, but my god he left so much strife in his wake that I'm shocked we were able to push past it.

You really can't control things like that.  A good project manager *might* have said "look, you have to go" a lot sooner, but again we all do this for fun, and creative people tend to bristle at the idea that they are "under control."

Yep, this got long and rambling.  But It's something I like to think about (and I do project management stuff at work).  OP, I hope this sparks a lot of good discussion.

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i feel like Kore and Antnee for the Doom 64 chest are pretty good leaders, (we probably wouldn't of gotten a scrap of progress if it wasn't for them)

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While he hasn't led a 'community project' in a while, Dragonflys management of skulldash  was incredible.

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Something tells me this thread was inspired by a certain recent little bout of drama...

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50 minutes ago, MFG38 said:

Something tells me this thread was inspired by a certain recent little bout of drama...

 

Can you give me the quick rundown?

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3 hours ago, Mr. Freeze said:

Can you give me the quick rundown?

 

The Infernew project. That's as much as I'm willing to disclose.

 

If you want to take it upon yourself to dig into it, I ain't stopping ya.

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10 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

I don't think this thread is such a great idea in the light of recent events, but to answer the question: I think Obsidian, Marcaek, and ToD have been doing a good job lately, but I also need to mention Jimmy because of the JOM sessions. I don't think I could pick anyone who's "the best", and even if I could, I don't see the merit. Anybody who puts together a CP in which the involved mappers, modders, and composers enjoy themselves is doing it right.

 

I mean yeah this comes across as a subtweet of the Infernew drama, but really, isn't a relatively high-profile incident of questionable project management a good time to talk about good project managers (and why they're good and what that says about good project management)?

 

But anyway I really agree with @Phobus on this.  Especially TGH, not necessarily because the actual project was better than any other (it was certainly excellent but I'd put the two released BTSX episodes a little higher, for instance), but rather because of what a good salvage job it was.

 

As far as project managers I've personally worked under, well, there's only been one successful project that I've tried to contribute to, namely the pcorf community project.  And pcorf managed to put everything together in a reasonable amount of time, with decent quality controls, and without ruffling any feathers as far as I could see.  I'd definitely "work for" him again.

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8 hours ago, Thedoctor989 said:

i feel like Kore and Antnee for the Doom 64 chest are pretty good leaders, (we probably wouldn't of gotten a scrap of progress if it wasn't for them)

 

I'm flattered but I'm definitely not leading that project in any way.  That's all @StevenC21 afaik

 

Quote

The Infernew project. That's as much as I'm willing to disclose.

 

Man, that's sad.  I was looking forward to that- at the very least I'd think no one wants to see dirty laundry aired like that.

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I'll say Jimmy, I've been involved in a few projects this year and he's been there for every one of them. He's excellent with all the difficult stuff (difficult to me, at least)- the compiling, and determining when what's done is done for good. 

I'll also say, though not the official leader of one of the projects I've been involved in, Pegleg has an excellent way of really sitting down and figuring what's done, what should be done, and what steps need to be taken next. 
I've found many community projects really only get hard when it comes time to finalize everything. It's hard to keep everyone on track, especially when there are many voices that wish to be heard. Much of what projects involve is organization and thesis- the concept and rules should be rock solid and agreed-upon before the mapping period starts. It's tempting to finesse rules to fit a certain idea, which can cause a lot of rift, and while it's good to be flexible as new ideas are brought in, a good project leader should ensure that the foundation of the concept is solid and can be built upon without being destroyed. That way, when all is said and done, the project is cohesive, solid, and therefore pleasing to players. 

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Best leader, hmm. Not many. Jimmy, Green Herring, Hellbent, Christian Hansen etc. It takes a lot of patience and for it to be successful you need to be on constant contact with your members and need to be prepared if anybody decides to drop out and the rules must be no fuss such as NOT including a demo because Doom's demo system is so flawed due to version incompatibilities. My rules would be, make a limit removing map of any style, use doom 2 standard textures or the textures the texture wad included if you want to. If you want custom music it is your choice and just have fun.

 

I wish there was a Community Chest 5. It may take a few years and change leadership, but it often is completed.

 

I also liked the Doomworld Mega Projects up to 2017.

 

My own Pcorf community projects Doom 2 Unleashed and 2048 Unleashed were fun, no fuss projects where I accepted all maps within a strict deadline over the course of roughly a year. In the end the maps were rearranged by me into order according to theme and amount of monsters and I took down notes of any problems found by play testers and they were fixed by me. Less detailed maps went into an overflow episode starting at MAP33. I remember once I received an awful map but instead of rejecting it I decided to face the challenge of tuning it up myself, good fun indeed.

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