TLQ: Group LF Juggernaut, off-spec Cheerleader

I need to recruit a juggernaut.  Why do you ask?  Because I need to break through a brick wall.  The wall that my Hunters game project had run headlong into.

Well… maybe not just a juggernaut.  A juggernaut that can crash through a wall and then perform a motivating cheerleading routine complete with pompoms afterwards?

Perhaps that would prevent people going inactive from the sheer hilarity.  But in all seriousness, most of the members (including myself) have gone inactive, some with explanations, some without.  That initial buzz about the project has well and truly died.

This is where the cheerleading routine would come in.  Ridiculous and energetic, it would pep up people and get the ball rolling again.

But unfortunately I don’t have a thickly muscled man in an iron helmet and cheerleading outfit.  This lull in activity – I’ve come to the conclusion that this is part of a project’s lifecycle as well, as I’ve experienced these during university projects.  As a project leader, I’m not yet experienced enough to navigate myself and the team through them, especially when I have nothing but blind faith to motivate them.  This situation is the same as university, and on a lovely gaming tangent, the same as being a raid leader/organiser on World of Warcraft.  There’s a goal you want everyone to achieve – sure that at the end there is something that everyone will gain from it – but you can’t threaten people with loss of job or docking their pay to motivate them.  This is, and no doubt will continue to be, one of the biggest hurdles the project will have to face.

Now, let’s find the root cause.  In essence, why did this happen?  Well… I lay some of the fault at my own feet.  I was too slow to get material to my team – things they actually needed to progress in the development.  Pretty much I severely underestimated or just didn’t know what the team would actually need to start.  As if to compound it all, I had that dark fog of depression and anxiety hindering my contributions or even answering questions/emails.

As for the others, I’m not really sure.  II know one of my members had to finish his university exams at the end of last year.  And I thought it would be nice if we had a break over the Christmas/New Years break (though I’m pretty sure I was using that as an excuse not to do anything).

And boom, it’s February!  A few months and the project has been stagnant.  I want to crank those cogs back up.

Will I be able to?  With the same people?  I’m not sure.  I want to rally the troops and get this epic campaign back on track.  My anxiety tells me no, and my depression tells me to give up.  But I won’t bow to them.  Like my logo for Retridemption, the phoenix – I’ll rise from ashes all the better from the experience.

So here’s my plan of attack: first of all, I’m going to respond to the Trello board where one of the team posted up on and see who is still active.  For those who don’t respond, I’ll send a personal email to.  Next, I’ll look over the board and revise where we were at as a project.  There are a few things that I know I need review as the game designer, which I’ll do.  Then I’ll confer with my only active member for the moment about the dialogue system example he’s made.

A lot to catch up on, but soon it’ll be a charge forward through that brick wall.

There are 5 comments

  1. parjude

    Have you a scheduling software resource that lays out a timeline for you & your group? That’s a great tool for a.) setting out a timeline for each member of the group, and the exact task they are to do; b.) it says you are in charge. Unless you are on deadline, add some wiggle time to the schedule. The down side? You have to stick to it, also, if you do that, then people take you seriously. Never plan a meeting without a well-prepared agenda: the what, how, when where, but not necessarily why; & follow it to the T, no digression allowed (if you watch the “Special Features” on the last Star Wars, you can see George Lucas at work-he’s a good example) . That will get everyone on the same page. If you want a meeting to discuss creative ideas, set time limit, but try not to exceed 2 hours, as that is about the length of time for people to stay focused (college age or over 30, 80, any adult). Break down the tasks into steps – it’s easier for people to grasp, and not breaking it down makes it look like an impossible wall, & assign the tasks & the deadine. Be upbeat & your team is more likely to become upbeat too. These were some that a kind engineering professor who mentored me taught me. It works. Oh, the setting to accomplish the agenda should be held around a long rectangular table, to enable people to take notes, and with you at the head of the table, it is a clear message of who is in charge. If you want a creative idea meeting, it can be held in a circle: that sends a message that everyone can have a chance to pitch-in, & snacks & drinks (non-alcoholic) are appropriate, unlike the formal setting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Retridemption

      If only we could meet in real life, it’d make things a lot easier. Alas, the team cannot as we’re spread between Australia and the US at the moment.

      I have thought about doing a project plan, complete with schedule, but in reality, I can’t force them to work on it as it’s a completely voluntary project (even if it is close to my heart). So far only two guys have responded to my messages. I’m really hanging on one of the guys to respond as he’s a good graphic artist and also loves the genre. Desperately hoping he’s sticking around.

      And now you have me interested in how George Lucas works. It’s always interesting seeing how others work in this kind of field.


  2. Phil N. Schipper

    I like the fact that you included a plan of action at the end here. Now that you have that, sticking to it faithfully will go a long way toward the project’s recovery. I know from experience that this stage comes not only to group projects but individual ones as well. Usually what happens is that you expect that brick wall to be hiding more layers, but actually it leads to a nice new road with a great view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Retridemption

      Well I’ve done almost all that I said I was going to. Plucked up the courage to write back and I’ve had two guys respond. Have yet to send personal emails to those who are still inactive (that’s today’s job – needed to give them ample time to respond). The one guy who has responded, he’s linked me the dialogue system he’s been working on. Downloading it and having a gander at it – I just hope my laptop can handle it, as well as my internet connection.


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