Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
Building A Great Game Team: Measuring Progress
View All     RSS
March 7, 2021
arrowPress Releases
March 7, 2021
Games Press
View All     RSS

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Building A Great Game Team: Measuring Progress

October 15, 2008 Article Start Page 1 of 6 Next

[When building a great game development team, how do you keep everyone on track? Game HR veteran Marc Mencher continues his in-progress Gamasutra series, discussing how to meet goals and reward top employees.]

Set and Maintain Team Standards

A team is made up of individuals who perform unique tasks, and when combined, produce a finished product that is greater than the sum of its parts. You want team members to do their best and be ready to help others, so you need to promote a sense of cohesion; the team will only succeed if everyone works together. Your team should be able to generate their own tasks, tackle problems, agree on solutions and implement their decisions with confidence.

Challenge perceived assumptions to improve team productivity and effectiveness:

  • "Problems and their solutions are always isolated." Being part of the solution sounds trite but it works.
  • "Quality comes expensive." Improving quality makes sense measured against the direct (and indirect) costs of failure.
  • "Tackling the symptom cures the disease." Problems will recur if not addressed at the root level.
  • "No one cares." Whether upper management cares or not, the team has to care, or the results will suffer.

Conduct Regular Team Reviews

Review your team's progress regularly to help them define and refine specific aspects. Regular team reviews can be conducted by the entire team or by key team members. Use them to check team performance against team objectives and valid comparisons like the competition. Make sure work methods are on track and be ready to make changes as needed.

  • Be sure that the entire team is aware of individual responsibility and is challenged (positively) by their work.
  • Inspire team members to contribute their best to both the team and the task at hand.
  • Oversee work practices to ensure everyone is working toward a common goal.
  • Assess and revise goals to motivate the team.
  • Watch for overlap between team and individual responsibilities that cause redundancy.

Choose Appropriate Measurements

Life is easier when all of the measurements of your productivity are laid out before you. In the game world, this can be as simple as putting a new game in your Xbox 360 and checking out what the Achievements are. In order to improve your Gamerscore, you will need to complete various tasks throughout the game, but having a look before hand will certainly open your eyes to some things you may want to do to rack up points and impress your friends.

Without knowing these objectives beforehand, you could pass up on various encounters that were all part of the complete game experience. Unfortunately, in the real world, you don't have the option to pass up on various milestones or skip steps, so be clear to identify everything that will need to go into the game from the get-go.

When you're analyzing team performance, use an objective, quantitative measurement system. Outline a system of metric goals that analyze quality, quantity and cost effectiveness.

For instance, if a call center team is measured only by the number of calls handled per hour, response quality will probably suffer. Setting a quota of calls per hour, a wait time target, monitoring a percentage of calls and surveying customer satisfaction by making follow-up calls is a more effective way of measuring team performance and treats the team as if they were individuals instead of automated answerbots.



Team as a whole: Overall progress vs. budgets, schedules, milestones and goals

Finance: Actual costs vs. projections
Time: Milestones completed vs. schedule
Development: Investment in team training
Quality: Accuracy and customer satisfaction

Leader: Your ability to provide support, direction, mentoring, etc.

Control: Achievements vs. budget and morale
Team: Rating by the team members
Management: Rating by superiors
External: Rating by customers and/or suppliers

Subgroup: Effectiveness of each subgroup as a unit and as part of the overall team

Finance: Actual costs vs. projections
Time: Milestones completed vs. schedule
Development: Investment in team training
Quality: Accuracy and customer satisfaction (including other subgroups)

Individual: Effectiveness and contributions of each individual on personal merit, as part of a subgroup and part of the overall team.

Output: Performance vs. target goals
Appraisal: Rating by superiors, peers and customers
Self-Appraisal: Accuracy and honest of self-evaluation vs. actual performance
Added Value: Contribution(s) outside specific goals and assigned tasks

Article Start Page 1 of 6 Next

Related Jobs

Bitwise Alchemy
Bitwise Alchemy — Austin, Remote, Remote

Senior Software Engineer (Remote)
DigiPen Institute of Technology
DigiPen Institute of Technology — Redmond, Washington, United States

Curriculum Developer in Visual Effects for Real-Time Engines
Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States

Audio Programmer
Airship Syndicate
Airship Syndicate — Austin, Texas, United States

Senior Gameplay Programmer

Loading Comments

loader image