Leadership and Feedback

Leadership and Feedback

Some time ago I sent out a tweet extoling the virtues of timely, concise feedback as a responsibility of leadership in game development. This is absolutely not a reflection on any specific person I’ve worked with and more an overall topic I’ve been stewing on over my years in the industry – and what I’ve seen to be good, and bad in leadership roles. In Short, Director and Lead roles aren’t collectibles, they aren’t some magic threshold where you get to start doing the “cool stuff”. You have a lot of responsibilities in these positions, one of the most important is feedback. I’d argue that often in these roles your highs and lows are more pronounced. A good day can be a truly great one, but a bad day is crushing. You often make no, or reduced commits in regards to your own project – your focus shifts from direct tangible contribution that comes with a revision number towards more people management, expectations, and giving clear, concise, and ON TIME feedback to those working under you. Leadership roles (And in my experience especially Director roles) aren’t a license to just waive vague opinion around, or for your opinion in meetings...Read more

Atari v Meteos?

I think the important takeaway here is that Tim (as intelligent a person as he is) is off the mark with any swipes taken at PUBG. It is subjectively undeniable that the foundation of the Fortnite design pivot was inspired by the success and/or design of PUBG. The core mechanics of PUBG itself can be traced back to countless gaming experiences, even within its own genre to the @Survivor_GameZ series of events. US Law (to the best of my non-lawyer knowledge) is fairly clear in Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act that “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work”. (Lawyers, feel free to tell me if I’m wrong). Note: It seems my anecdotal knowledge comes primarily from the 70s and 80s, wherein Tetris Holding v Xio Interactive may flip the script – who knows. At this point in the genre especially, no one person or group can claim ownership or moral genesis of the pillars of Battle Royale, nor should they. I’ve gone through a...Read more

Coming Home

Last night I accidentally streamed. Well, not really – I intended to hit the Stream button in OBS, but it wasn’t really to stream as much as it was for me to check how my home internet would hold up to streaming during this COVID mess.I haven’t regularly streamed since 2013, and haven’t streamed at all since 2016 (Maybe 2017, I don’t recall?). I’m not really sure why I haven’t streamed. To be honest, looking back I’m not sure why I stopped streaming in 2013. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/48063242 Aside from the obvious – focusing on DayZ’s development. I suppose I had it in my head that proper public facing game developers didn’t stream. They were busy with serious stuff, maybe? Maybe I just didn’t want to deal with questions about DayZ. Either way, despite not streaming I maintained a very close connection with Twitch into 2016. Over the last three years I’ve had a lot of success career wise and in my personal life. Bought a house, got married, helped facilitate an acquisition. However, as the years have gone by – and especially after leaving Bohemia I suppose I’ve felt I lost a bitof who I was. Maybe its all in my...Read more

Design vs Dollar

Disclaimer: It should be noted that these are my personal musings and reflections, and do not reflect the official stance on design for any project I am associated with, nor the official position of my employer. Years ago I had a gaming experience that has stuck with me to this day. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that said experience informs my decisions on an almost daily basis today, and probably accounts for at least half of the reasoning behind leaving Redmond and coming out to Prague. I know I talk about Ultima Online fairly often, so I’ll have to ask you to bear with me a little longer as I talk about it some more. While you could probably attribute a lot of the design decisions made early on to Ultima Online to a general lack of industry knowledge on how the then bleeding edge MMORPG space (Meridian 59 was just about the only other thing out there – unless you count The Realm of which I do not), I tend to look at a lot of them as bold and counter to the more commonly accepted norms of AAA design doctrine these days. While leading designers such...Read more