Beyond Critical is now available for purchase!
  • Beyond Critical
    Beyond Critical
    by Keith Fuller

    My book on Leadership in Game Development is now available!

Leader of Developers

+1 to Leadership: Workshop During GDC Week

 Join us on Tuesday, March 26 for an all-day workshop in San Francisco. We'll spend the day in this comfy apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge as we learn from the best people leaders in the games industry.

In addition to yours truly, speakers include:

Mike Acton, engine director, Insomniac Games -- An internationally coveted speaker with 17 years of AAA experience and numerous shipped titles on multiple platforms, Mike has great insights to lend when it comes to developing your team. [Scheduling not concrete -- Mike may appear via Skype. But you'll still get a chance to talk with him, regardless]

Bryan Mashinter, producer, Backflip Studios -- Bryan has been the producer on a multitude of mobile and social titles at Backflip, including Dragonvale, the #1 Top Grossing iOS App for 2012.

Josh Nilson, COO, East Side Games -- Josh co-founded East Side Games in Vancouver and has campaigned tirelessly for continuous improvement in the production practices and physical and emotional wellbeing of his studio.


What topics are going to be discussed? Time permitting, we'll hit all of these. If you want to be sure to hear certain ones, register before this weekend (March 9) to give your input on prioritizing which topics come first.

Protecting Good Culture: Nuff said

Shield vs Conduit: Sometimes I feel the need to protect my team to let them continue to work, but I also need to keep them informed as much as possible. How to manage these sometimes oppositional desires.

Leadership Styles: You don't deal with everyone the same way and how to know what works best.

Studio Culture As You Grow: What changes from 15 to 75 developers. How things change in growing from a startup to 50+ people.

Ramp Down: We spend a lot of time on hiring and ensuring people are a fit for our organization, we need to spend equal amount of time on the transition out. This cannot be farmed out to HR and we go on with our jobs.

Mentoring: Mentoring done right lasts well after people work for you. The fact that people join your organization is just the start of the relationship and you need to continue to mentor. Mentorship goes both ways.

Knowledge Sharing: Knowledge sharing is good. We have no NDAs, we show our financials to our team, we move fast and are open and honest. Not perfect and works for us but the point is the more people know, the more they can be better informed in your team and inspired to step up and fix things.

Working With Adults: Why you're a big fat jerk when you treat employees like children.

Personal and Professional Growth: Why you're also a big fat jerk if you don't put at least as much work into your team as your team puts into their work.

Working At Will: People will want to work with you if they can grow as people and professionals and their goals and ideals line up with yours. If those things don't fit and you don't help them find someplace better where they do, do you know what that makes you?

Singularity Post Mortem: This project went from challenging a team to challenging an entire 150-person studio because of deficient leadership. Learn about where it went off the rails, what I should've done to prevent it, and when and why the project should've been cancelled.

Trust and Motivation: Why you need them, how to do them right. Good and bad examples from AAA projects. Why Valve's greatest value isn't Steam, Portal, or anything else they've built.

Internal Leaders: How do you get more leaders without hiring them? Suggestions for raising up leaders internally. Comparing and contrasting the efforts of several studios.


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me. I hope you join us!