America's Army Dev Studio Closes Doors

June 19, 2009

Well here's a non-shocker. The dev team was a great bunch of hard working guys, but there's just only so much a group can do against the tide of bad management. I have no doubt that the GAME dev guys from their producer on down will be able to find jobs quickly. If any of them are reading this, I know they do, I'll be glad to help in any way I can so shoot me an email.

America's ArmyImage via Wikipedia

Above the producer level was a layer of folks who had no business working on a game. I'm sure without a doubt that they were talented folks, but their focus in life was not to make a great game. When the ultimate person in charge was/is the Chief Accountant for the Army, there has to be a problem. What they needed was a very strong buffer between him, and the team. I never met the man, but my understanding from the team was that he was the yelling screaming motivator type. All my years of experience tell me, that type of manager fails to bring out a teams creativity.

Once you have an anchor to creativity, the game has no place to go but down. Even with great effort from a great team.

I felt sorry for the team when I was there. But after talking to a couple of team members long after my 7 hour stint there, I'm glad that I did not become more involved. I walked away thinking: "Great job, but wow what a challenge. I feel so sorry for whats coming...".

Lets keep in mind, that due to government contracts... they couldn't get a coke machine in their office!

Good luck to you guys and keep in touch.



Anonymous said...

--What they needed was a very strong buffer between him, and the team.

When things go pear shaped, a strong buffer is required. Software engineers, architects, quality assurance, configuration management and others are dragged through the red clay. Developing a proper product with limited functionality is better than delivering on everything in the statement of work with Category I issues. Yeah, taking the challenge is only half the battle. Hopefully, there's a glass bottle Lipton Green Tea machine at the next office. Stay away from the sweet tea. Cheers