Looking for an innovative gaming studio? Look no further than NextGen Gaming Studios. Their newest horror game, Something In The Dark, has garnered significant attention and was recently approved for purchase on the popular platform, Steam. A team of in-house and remote experts worked together to develop this thrilling game.
During our meeting, Kody Stone, owner and lead programmer of NextGen Studios, shared effective strategies and techniques for managing and motivating their team. Evaluating the productivity of remote developers was also a key topic of discussion.
Introducing the Future Workforce to Their Remote Counterparts
While the creators of Something in the Dark originally started in one location, they have expanded their horizons to include talented individuals from all corners of the world. Currently, only four out of twenty-three team members are based in the original location.
NextGen demonstrates a preference for simplicity by using the popular gaming chat platform, Discord, as their primary method of internal communication. While Slack is often compared to Discord, the latter’s free structure and wide range of features make it the ideal choice for online gaming communities.
During the daily NextGen team meeting, Cory stressed the significance of being well-versed in the project management procedure and the necessity of accommodating the busy schedules of our part-time team members. Our primary means of communication is the voice chat service Discord, with plans to incorporate video capabilities in the near future. The objective of these meetings is to ensure that everyone is informed and working together.
In cases where a team member may require additional guidance, Kody arranges one-on-one meetings.
Revamping Project Management and Performance Evaluation
The team’s project progress is documented in real time through their Trello board. Kody’s preferred method of evaluating their work is through industry benchmarking, so he facilitates regular reviews of their output by experts in the field. As Kody states:
At Works, we utilise Focus Groups to obtain valuable feedback from our customers. These groups are made up of select members of our customer base who receive our products, stories, artwork, and games during the development process.
Remote employees commonly experience feelings of isolation, making it particularly heartening to see the initial enthusiasm from colleagues. This approach has proven to be more effective than traditional methods of team motivation, as it fosters a sense of togetherness and provides regular positive feedback that helps alleviate those feelings of solitude.
Kody is committed to supporting and valuing his staff members’ personal lives outside of work as well.
At Works, we cultivate a nurturing and supportive environment that empowers our employees to pursue their creative and imaginative ventures. We are dedicated to providing unwavering support to our staff members who create content for platforms such as YouTube and Twitch or perform music for audiences, fueling their enthusiasm and eagerness to contribute to your project.
What to Do When Remote Work Isn’t Working
After launching their game, NextGen discovered that not all team members were suited for remote work.
For instance, based on a recommendation from a colleague and a strong portfolio, we brought on a new candidate. However, over the following three months, the individual failed to meet any of the established milestones and submitted very little work.
Kody identified the employee’s insufficient self-motivation, which is essential in a successful remote worker, as the underlying problem.
It became evident that the employee lacked motivation beyond financial incentives and was not taking charge or guiding the team. I offered the opportunity for dialogue but was ignored. Consequently, we had no choice but to relieve him from the team.
Kody clarified that those who are unresponsive or fail to meet their commitments are met with both kindness and firmness. Specifically, team members may receive up to three warnings from senior management if they are chronically unresponsive or do not complete tasks. If these warnings do not result in improvements, an individual meeting will be arranged with the employee to discuss the issue. In the event that these measures do not resolve the problem, termination may be considered.
The good news is that you can enjoy all the benefits of NextGen’s virtual team without experiencing the initial setup issues. Works has extensive experience in sourcing highly skilled professionals who are adept at working autonomously and in virtual teams.
If you’re interested in learning more about how virtual reality can enhance efficiency in distributed teams, be sure to check out our blog post on the topic here.
Don’t hesitate to contact us right away to expand your team locally with our assistance.