A reprint of an article that appeared in the conference proceedings for the 1997 GDC
Conference Proceedings for the 1997 CGDC
by Noah Falstein & David Fox
Webster’s New World Dictionary:
col-lab-o-rate 1. To work together, especially in some literary,
artistic, or scientific undertaking. 2. To cooperate with the enemy.
Back in the early days of the computer game industry, it was not uncommon for the entire development team to consist of only a couple of people. As games grow in size and complexity, tasks are now divided amongst 30-40 people. It is not unusual to have several designers working together on a game. New skills are required to make these collaborations work, especially when those involved have strong personalities.
The best projects we’ve worked on were those in which we collaborated with other people. The worst, most disaster-filled projects were also those in which we collaborated with others. When collaborations work, they can create a wonderful synergy in which everyone creates something much better than could be created by the individuals working alone. When they don’t work, you may find yourself stuck inside a nightmare... We’re going to examine some of the ways that collaborations can fail and suggest ways to increase the likelihood of success, and point out which signs may tell you when it’s time to say “no” or to run!