The Importance of Vision, 3 of 3
As a small break while I finish my vacation, I’m going to publish my recent post at AltDevBlogADay in three parts. View it there in its entirety.
Not every studio has these problems (I know because I’ve argued with you about this). And I dare say that studios that don’t have these problems are simply lucky. I suspect that such people are in a fragile situation, and taking away a key player or two would destroy the precarious dynamic that doesn’t birth these problems. If you are at a studio without these problems, ask yourself this: is your setup one that you can describe, export, advocate for, reproduce? How would you do it, without saying “just hire better people?” It is this “coincidence as a solution” that propogates the problems at less lucky studios.
Let’s create real solutions.
We need to create roles and departments that can provide studios with a cohesive tools vision. We need to fill these director-level roles with uniquely qualified individuals who are experienced in art and design, and are excellent programmers. We need to mature our views on tools as an industry, and start looking for concrete solutions for our endemic tools issues rather than relying on chance.
We’re not going to find these people or do these things overnight. We need to, first, decide on this path as our goal. Not just you, but your studio’s management, and there’s no formula helpful formula I can give to convince them. Just nonstop advocacy, education, and reflection.
Then, start discussing what the application of these ideas would mean at your studio. And who is going to fill these key roles? There are people you already have at your studio who just need a little bit of training. Put your tech artists on your programming teams for a bit, or your programmers working on game design or art. See how quickly you’ll find someone with the unique set of skills for a Tools Director position.
We need people who understand how people work and content flows across a project. We need people who are able to guide its formulation/improvement/reconsideration. This is vision. And the lack of vision in tools development is a deadly disease we must remedy if we are to improve the state of our tools across the industry.