The team is dead. Long live the Team!

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The team is dead. Long live the Team!

Postby Tom » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:16 pm

Last week you might have tried to get in touch with us, and we probably didn't get back to you. Sorry about that - we were all in Heidelberg, Germany, for a training session.

Yes, we too were a little surprised to actually find ourselves there, having loosely agreed that Marks' idea, 3 months prior, sounded like a good way to pass the time. So having probably invalidated our key persons' insurance by all climbing aboard the same plane, we looked forward to sharing some Wurst and Weissbier with our instructor Issy!

In fact, 'training' probably isn't the right word. 'Team building' or 'Vision alignment' might be a better way of detailing what actually happened. Also, it turned out to be surprisingly enlightening…

One of the first activities we did, was to mark the highs and lows of the last 6 years, each from our own perspective. Interestingly enough, the only point on the resulting graph that correlated between us all was the winning of 2006's IGF - result! We found that we did actually have something in common, so we were off to a good start. Next up, the Myers Briggs personality test. Perhaps not surprising, given the name of our company, 4/5 of us (the 5 of us were Tom, Mark, Vic, Chris, Johnny) were introverts (Mark was the extrovert). Mark, Chris and me propped up the thinking side, whilst JK and Vic propped up the feeling side. Call me cold-hearted, but I ended up with no feeling points on my test… This earned me the name 'the Teejoid' - opposing negotiators beware - I come armed with a fully loaded 6 minute silence!

This was the easy warm up - the next step was to tackle the hard issues that have plagued our team for nearly 6 years. The first tough question was to figure out why we all bothered to come to work in the morning? Whilst we all have an interest in games, we would have to be honest that some of our fodder are certainly more passionate about gaming than others (though the 360 (and Crackdown in my case) in the Flying Hamster (our London pad) is definitely working to address that). Interestingly enough it turned out that the two major reasons for sticking it through the tough times, were that we all felt we could achieve something special if we worked together, and retain our freedom to explore. Freedom in its various guises it turned out was a major source of energy for the 4 introverts.

Feeling a moral boost, that we weren't actually that differently motivated from each other after all, we set about tackling the big one. The aim / purpose / core values for our sometimes neglected baby, Introversion. Every time we tried this before, it ended in tears, so at some point in 2003/4 we gave up trying - we focused on keeping the company afloat - promising to return to the crux of our mission at a suitable point.

With that in mind, we spent nearly 2 whole days focused brainstorming. Inside, outside, on the loo, over dinner, breakfast, lunch, whilst we were walking, cycling, eating, dozing and quietly whilst we were watching 'Some kind of Monster' or playing Wii tennis.

This is what we came up with. Of additional interest was that strategically we agreed for the absolute need to develop two new games in parallel at any one time. Also it seemed to be accepted that we might need to grow in order to accommodate this - even if it came to having to co-locate in an 'office' (read Valves Half-life style offices meets 19th century Cambridgeshire manor house), so long as bedroom spirit wasn't lost. Industry veterans may well be cynical - we'd say, things are a bit different now granddad…

Our core purpose:

'To challenge perceptions, push boundaries, through the release of outstanding video games - to be free to explore.'

Our long term goals:

• To be the Kubrick / Tarantino of the games industry.
• To show people what videogames could be.
• To become one of the greatest games companies that has ever existed & to trigger a videogames renaissance.


The team is dead. Long live the Team!
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Re: The team is dead. Long live the Team!

Postby Xocrates » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:23 pm

Tom wrote:Our core purpose:

'To challenge perceptions, push boundaries, through the release of outstanding video games - to be free to explore.'

Our long term goals:

• To be the Kubrick / Tarantino of the games industry.
• To show people what videogames could be.
• To become one of the greatest games companies that has ever existed & to trigger a videogames renaissance.



Hear hear!

Best of luck on accomplishing those goals!
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Postby martin » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:59 pm

they've already achieved the first part of the last objective :D
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Postby elDiablo » Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:04 pm

Awesome! That's about it really!
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Postby xander » Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:55 pm

Screw Tarantino! Be Kubrick!

Long Live IV! \o/

I would say something serious and supportive, but it is in my nature to be trite and/or irreverent. At any rate, it seems like y'all had a good time, and did something productive. Kudos. This can only mean good things for IV.

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Postby Darksun » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:33 pm

Yeah, Tarentino is overrated, Kubrick is a legend
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Postby Nutter » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:08 pm

It sounds like some good lofty long term goals. Its good to set the bar high.

I'm still working on my own "world domination through design", still ironing out the kinks in my army of super snazzy robots that shoot crocodiles from their eyes... but any day now :wink:
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Postby illustriouschin » Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:02 am

• To be the Kubrick / Tarantino of the games industry.

So does that mean your games will be either intricately perverted or nauseatingly verbose? cant you make some more cool hacker games? that would be cool
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Postby KingAl » Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:38 pm

All in all, those are exactly the goals I believed and hoped IV has.

xander wrote:Screw Tarantino! Be Kubrick!


Just don't make something involving a tenuously linked series of orgies as your swan song. IV deserves to go out in better style.
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Postby Greeba » Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:57 pm

I have always violently despised mission statements and have been dragged to a few flowery storming events in my time... ("it's lovely that you'd like me to stay for a fondue, now where's the fucking taxi?") But I have to admit that the results of yours portray, as your fans might expect, a far more attractive mindset than that of your average corporate entity.
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Re: The team is dead. Long live the Team!

Postby desktopsimmer » Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:02 pm

Tom wrote:• To be the Kubrick / Tarantino of the games industry.
• To show people what videogames could be.
• To become one of the greatest games companies that has ever existed & to trigger a videogames renaissance.



1 - good, reasonable iconic people of the 20th/21st century. However, Don't be a Cameron or a Lucas (sell outs IMHO)
2 - To show people what videogames Should be. - I think too many games are either sequals, or copycats. IV have shown that games can be almost just about the gameplay and fun, isn't this what games truly are.
3 - think its started already, a journey of a thousand steps, starts with one.
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Postby prophile » Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:28 pm

Screw Tarantino and Kubrick, be Introversion.
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risky

Postby zoombapup » Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:17 am

Of course you already know this. But the vast majority of successful independant developers who have tried 2 projects at once always have a hard time managing it.

I've talked to so many people who say its just too much to control. But then, they were working with publishers, so maybe your situation is different. Not convinced though, but its YOUR risk so hey ho :)

Wish you luck.
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Postby KingAl » Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:19 am

I think the premise is this: in the past, most of the time spent on a game involved nutting out exactly what the design was, rather than production time. With Multiwinia, they've already got a fairly concrete concept, and they might as well use the time doing the nitty-gritty stuff well by allowing Chris to prototype the next game at the same time - the benefit on top of this being that there's a source of money to rely on during the development of Subversion. Essentially, this avoids the scenario experienced during the development of Darwinia - even if Subversion isn't working out quite how they envisaged, there's still another game to fall back on.
Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but it'll give them experience in future regarding what the best approach is.
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Postby trickfred » Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:09 am

...Plus, there's the whole "I'm sick of looking at this game, I'm going to work on this other thing for a while" change-of-pace thing.

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