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Production Essentials Summit: No Mavericks, No Martyrs: Sustainable, Collaborative Production

Carrie Patel  (Game Director, Obsidian Entertainment)

Location: Room 301, South Hall

Date: Monday, March 21

Time: 1:20 pm - 1:50 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

Most game teams have mavericks and martyrs--devs who work outside of normal pipelines and hours to get additional content and features into the game. Driven by "passion," they're often seen as leaders and MVPs.

However, the habits and attitudes that martyrs and mavericks instill have long-term consequences for team and project health. Their work often leads to scope bloat for downstream departments, shortcuts that accrue bugs and tech debt, and mistrust between "less committed" devs who resent the scope creep on the one hand and rogue agents hacking in risky and unaccounted-for content on the other.

This talk will examine how the unchecked enthusiasm of mavericks and martyrs can sabotage a team, healthier approaches that can foster sustainable and collaborative passion, and practical steps leads and producers can take to steer devs in a more productive direction without squashing their joy for their work.

Takeaway

Attendees will gain a concrete understanding of how seemingly innocuous individual behaviors can drive a team and their game towards disaster, a healthier mindset that can temper passion with collaboration and discipline, and practical tactics they can deploy to steer a team away from the brink.

Intended Audience

This talk is primarily directed at producers, directors, and strike team leads--leaders and managers who are responsible for team health and productivity. Other devs will find useful takeaways to inform their work habits. No prior knowledge is necessary, though production experience will give attendees useful context.