Team ‘TAJJS’! Our Team Norms

TAJJS: Tyler, Anastasiya, Jean-Raymond, Jung-Won, and Shane (yes, we do wish our team had a better acronym…)

“shared goals”

🏆 Shared Goals

We started by discussing what we wanted to accomplish with this project, to see where we aligned. From there, we came up with the following guiding goals:

Create something tangible and playable

  • We previously thought about coding something, but the time spent building that out would detract from the design process and not be feasible in our timeframe
  • All agree that a prototyping tool (e.g. Protopie) will be the right fidelity for a tangible + playable final project

Go through the whole design process

  • There might be dissatisfaction around what parts of the process people were involved in
  • May be unrealistic to expect every person to contribute equally to every part of the process
  • We probably collectively go through the process due to the structure of the class, might be more tension around individually going through the process
  • Be more cautious and check-in about responsibilities, how people feel about the work they are doing, if they want switch gears, etc.

No one takes on more than they can handle

  • Setting clear expectations about what one can handle
  • Set clear expectations and/or come to an understanding around what others can contribute
  • Communicate what is going on in your life with others in the team, so everyone knows what other priorities or other commitments you have

Care deeply about creating a high-quality project

  • People have fun and find the idea is unique and creative
  • Playable without guidance
  • Something that runs smoothly without bugs and ultimately feels as close as we can make it to an actual phone experience (within our/Protopie’s limitations)
  • Clear and compelling documentation/write-up that shows the time and effort we put into the game
“growth”

🌱 Our strengths, and where we want to grow!

Next, we took some time to discuss our strengths, weaknesses, and where we’d like to grow.

  • Jean: “I’m a PHD in CS/AI, I’d love to learn more about art/storytelling/audio, and I’d say I’m pretty confident in CS/AI and can support people on that front. That being said, I also care about a high-quality project, and would love to lead where I can contribute the most. I’d still like to be involved in the decision process of other aspects or learn from others so I can take that beyond class.”
  • Anastasiya: “So much of my experience is in CS theory, so I don’t have many practical skills yet in software tools for game development. I’m really interested in learning more about the prototyping/software and also art/visual design, I think those are skills that I would take with me after this course.”
  • I have prior experience writing and making stories and that’s really fun for me, and I’m still interested in art/visual design but there isn’t as much space to be creative there. I think I’m still interested in learning prototyping tools and writing stories. My goals with the narrative is to give the player the feeling that they really are going through someone’s phone toe tie back to our immersion goals.
  • Shane: “I think I prefer to maximize the quality of the project over individually learning something new or just playing to my strengths. I’m willing to help wherever I can and step out of my comfort zone to create a high-quality project. I have experience in CS/design and can support with art/design and also cs/development!”
  • Reiterate main focus on high-quality project, less on learning. Might be more beneficial for the team if I do less of the storytelling/narrative since I’m not as interested in learning those aspects
  • Jung-Won: “I’d be more than willing to go outside of my comfort zone! To echo Shane’s point, I’d like to play to each other’s strengths and make a quality project, whatever that takes.”
  • Never used design prototyping tools before, so I still agree that I’m willing to go outside of my comfort zone to make a high-quality project.
  • Tyler: “I have a design background and feel comfortable leading all aspects of design! I think design is better as a democratic process that everyone is involved in, and would love to support that front but work with anyone who’d like to be more hands-on. I’m very interested in learning more about storytelling.
“establishing norms”

🤼 Establishing Norms

Our team came up with a lot of norms, which we were able to categorize into a few key themes:

The key themes of our team norms

💪 1. Understand Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Starting off with talking about strengths and weaknesses
  • Discuss each other’s interests and dislikes
  • Make note of where other’s want to grow or how you can help others grow

⛳ 2. Take ownership

  • Feel strongly about your work and individual contributions
  • Feel comfortable guiding a key part of the project
  • Dedicate energy to components that you are most excited about
  • Leverage your strengths to help your team succeed

🤝 3. Lend a Helping Hand

  • Being willing to make up for missed work or meetings
  • Being upfront about our other commitments and collaboratively assess how much time we collectively have for the week
  • Being more intentional about carving out time and communicating that to other team members
  • Kicking it into “over-drive” if work gets missed to acknowledge or make up for it
  • Continually checking-in and revising expectations when things inevitably do or we can’t plan perfectly
  • Trying to let people know as early as possible if something comes up
  • Communicating clearly to others if you are blocked
  • Be open/adaptive to changing plans

💬 4. Practice Clear and Honest Communication

  • When collaborating, making sure everyone is still clear about individual responsibilities or tasks
  • Bringing up problems with grace
  • Let team members know of what you’re working on to open up for possible collaboration
  • Addressing issues head-on if (or when) they arise
  • Be able to receive constructive criticism and feedback without taking it personally

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The focus of CS 247G is an introduction to theory and practice of the design of games. We make games (digital, paper, or otherwise), do rapid iteration, and run user research studies appropriate to game design with the goal of improving and refining our design instincts.

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Tyler T. Su

Tyler T. Su

Design + Engineering @ Stanford | Incoming Product Designer @ Roblox

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