Thursday, October 25, 2007

Videogames for the Development Team - Updated

This is just a slightly different version of an old post...

I’ve got this stuff bouncing in my head, right after reading this
Joel Spolsky’s post trilogy about project management. You’ll realize that my head is pretty foggy lately…

The average developers attitude is best expressed by 1st person shooters, such as Quake. A developer has a dirty job to complete, and has not to be afraid to dig into a bloodbath to finish it. Collaborative teamwork is encouraged for better result, but in the end it’s you against the enemy.

Team leader’s attitude is best trained by strategy games such as Warcraft, or similar. You organize the teams, assign task, and make characters’ experience evolve, so they can perform more complex task. Controlling parallel activities is just the nature of the game.

A project manager perspective is almost the same that a game like SimCity can give. You don’t control characters anymore, but create conditions for them to do stuff, such as provide houses, roads, and so on. And watch interesting happen: if your city is a nice place to be, then people will be glad to join your city, otherwise they will leave.

You might be tempted to choose a different approach, Sims-like, but as Joel’s article explains pretty well, it’s just pretty fine grained to work effectively (to be honest, I always have flies over the garbage can...).

The perfect game for the DBA is Dungeon Keeper, well... you might guess that I am not a DBA, but the whole game is defined in an access provider perspective.

Ok, somebody might be curious about my favourite game… well, I’ve always been a Civilization’s fan, from version 1. But the one and only that really pleased my ego was Populous II, the moments I could send a tidal wave and watch poor innocent human beings drowning in a tidal wave… Does this mean something?

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