Healthy Team Dynamics in Large, Long Term Video Game Production Cycles
What is this?
As part of obtaining my Master's Degree at SMU Guildhall, I'm writing a Master's Thesis. I'm seeking to identify what video game producers and project managers consider to be a good team culture on a large, long term team. For the purpose of this study, I've defined a large team as over 40+, and a long-term team as a team that works together for 1 year or more.
My hope is that my research will result in a statistical discernible trend of what makes a "good" culture on a large, long-term video game development team, and how experienced professionals foster and maintain that culture.
Why did you pick this topic?
I've always been fascinated by large teams. Before I started working on games, I loved that I worked on theatre productions where groups of 40-100 technicians, designers, performers, and managers came together to produce a coherent result. Based on participating and managing those projects, I feel I have a reasonably good sense of what makes a good theatre development team come together, and I know large productions often required a different set of skills and culture than smaller productions. By combining this research with the rest of my experiences at SMU Guildhall, I'd like to achieve a similar sort of understanding of game development teams.
What is your plan?
I have a set of interview questions. I plan to utilize Guildhall's professional network of industry contacts to hold a series of 20-30 minute interviews, asking those questions to as many experienced producers and project managers as I can find. After the interviews, I plan to analyze the results and seek statistically significant trends that arise out of the data, then put those trends forth as best practices for producers on large, long term teams.
When will it be done?
I'm beginning to start setting up my interviews now, and will be interviewing through early March 2017. After that, I'll be analyzing the data and writing the thesis document, then defending and graduating in May of 2017! As I begin to gather data and start making progress, I'll be updating this page with more details.
Can I reach out to learn more?
Of course! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about my project.