Pros and Cons of working alone vs with a team

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Pros and Cons of working alone vs with a team

#1 Post by Fisseha » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:13 am

Alright. The title says it all.

I can see the general pros and cons, but maybe I'm just looking at it shallowly, so I'd prefer other people's opinions.

Enlighten me, please.
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Re: Pros and Cons of working alone vs with a team

#2 Post by parttimestorier » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:36 am

It probably depends a bit on where your skills and interests lie, but here's my perspective as someone who's primarily a writer.

The big pro of working on something by yourself is the creative freedom. I can come up with whatever weird ideas I want and just decide they would be cool to make into a game, and nothing is stopping me but my own motivation and abilities. The con is that it's a ton of work and I have to do it almost all by myself. I have to do the programming, and I have to find creative commons music and art assets and/or handle commissioning other people to make those, and I don't really like doing either of those things - they're kind of stressful. And most of that also has to take place after I've already at least written a draft so that I know what I need, so it's like I do the fun part I actually enjoy first, and then I have to deal with all of the less fun stuff that's required to make it work.

If you work with other people, you lose some of the creative freedom, but you also don't have to do nearly as much work. I can be just the writer for a project, and stop worrying about all the other elements of the game, because someone else will handle them. I can also make a bit of extra money as a commissioned writer instead of spending money on art assets and stuff. But that's the ideal, and that doesn't necessarily happen every time when you have to rely on a group of other people. Things might change in the lives of other people in the group, they might not end up being able to do what they said they would, and the project might fall apart. And if it doesn't fall apart and it does get completed, other people on the team might have their own different ideas for what it should be like, and it might not end up how you imagined it. There's less of a guarantee that you're going to end up with a finished game you'll be happy with because you're not in control of it anymore.

So I guess the general summary would be that when you work by yourself, you have a ton of work to do but you can make sure that the finished product is as close to what you envisioned as possible, whereas with other people, you have less work to do but you're not in control of how it turns out.

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Re: Pros and Cons of working alone vs with a team

#3 Post by Holland » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:55 pm

Solo Developer (no commissions)
Time is spent learning new skills, doing multiple jobs, and piecing everything together. Using pre-made assets and less complex stories will reduce the time spent learning/developing. Some money will need to be invested in equipment for higher scope games.

Pros: most control, least drama, learning is fun
Cons: most control, takes forever to get anything done, nobody to stop me from putting RPG mechanics in my otome games

Solo Developer (paid commissions)
Time is spent planning, piecing assets together, and managing the project/team/budget. Money invested in freelancers will be proportional to the game's scope. Hired people should have their own equipment already.

Pros: some control, saves time, networking opportunity, feeds somebody
Cons: most expensive, some potential for drama, beware of scammers

Team Development
Time is spent learning whichever skill you're contributing and doing the associated work. You may or may not need to invest in equipment related to your role, depending on what it is and the scope of the project. The team leader will need to spend time organizing the project and managing the participants. In a commercial project, the team leader will need to handle the budget, distribution of finances, and legal matters.

Pros: have people invested in the project to work with and bounce ideas off, networking opportunity, potential for fun, potential to save time
Cons: very little control, most drama, an inexperienced project leader can kill the whole thing by gently breathing in its direction
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Re: Pros and Cons of working alone vs with a team

#4 Post by Bill_Ames » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:52 pm

The more people that you can get involved the better. Focus on what you are best at and find those to help with everything else.
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Re: Pros and Cons of working alone vs with a team

#5 Post by cervineprince » Sat May 11, 2019 2:34 am

I think a major pro in solo dev is learning and seeing through the whole process of the game
and you learn some leadership skills like decision making and time management
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