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Thread: All Staff Meeting Notes - Feb 26, 2011

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cRush View Post
    Mind you that this project is a community project, not a company. When that is realized and reinforced consistently, this project will flourish again.
    QFE because it deserves it (as well as slightly modified for further effect) .

  2. #17
    Junior Member Zalaxy's Avatar
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    What are the team roles?

    Sorry if this has been explained before, and if it has then maybe this can be an updated answer. I was curious what exactly each role on the team is supposed to be performing. It's hard to gather who does what. I realize this is a small team and project; therefore, roles are supposed to be fluid and flexible. Some explanation of what to expect would be helpful so the community isn't so confused. I'm hoping this won't turn into a flamefest.

    I'm going to take the most recent source of the emu team structure I could find which comes from the Staff Meeting Notes thread. The structure in question is the current/proposed design:


    How I'm going to do this, anything highlighted in red could use some clarification.
    • Community Director:
      Why are there two directors? Why do they oversee area's of conflict(support vs. community relations). What happens if these two have a disagreement? Does it get pushed to a single founder, all active founders, or all founders?
    • Support Leader:
      What does this entail? Support in most game's includes broad area's such as CSR, Moderating, Community Relations(more on that later), and technical assistance(site support)
    • CSR Leader:
      This seem's at conflict with support. If support says no on a situation but CSR says yes who over rides who?
    • EC Leader:
    • CR Leader:
      What exactly is this job? More moderating is done in this position then all the other positions combined. Are they supposed to have the voice of the community? Are they supposed to be the voice for the team? Do their decisions conflict with support?
    • Moderator Leader:
    • Site Services Leader:
      I don't get what this position is for? Site development? Site support? If the latter it should fall under support/

    I'm avoiding most of the development side except a few roles.
    • Developer Leader:
      What does this mean? So can a founder say focus on vehicles and a development director say work on cities, but the developer leader and the developers want to work on creatures. Who's decision over ride's all? Is this going to be the voice of the entire developer team?
    • Scrum Manager:
      Since scrum is going to pretty much run the entire development process soon who is overseeing who in this position? Shouldn't scrum and development director be one and the same?

    Just some other things that make no sense as well. As it stands the current proposed structure has

    18 Leaders/Supervisors/Directors
    and only
    17 supporting members working below the above

    The above information was pulled from the chart and excluded founders altogether. If they were put in under leaders there would be 24 leaders and 17 members.

    Opinion:This seem's like too many chief's and not enough workers. A lot of the unnecessary fat comes from the community side. Support, CSR, Community Relations, Moderation, and Site Services seem to overlap each other on area's of responsibility. CSR and site services should fall under the support section. Community Relations and Moderation should be one and the same.


    Any clarification would be a welcome basket of awesomeness.

  3. #18
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    Didn't you get the memo? SWGEmu is now emulating a Bureaucracy with imaginary workers. SWG is so last decade.
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    Zalaxy,

    Those are very good questions and I am sure other people are wondering the same thing. There is more info that goes along with this that explains the purpose and reasoning behind the SPLIT and RESTRUCTURE but it is all still being sorted out.

    That chart is representing the SPLIT between the Devs and Non-Devs to provide a "cleaner" environment for development, but does not show the individual department level setup yet.

    I won't address each of your questions right now because that is certainly not our final structure in full detail. Numerous combining discussions have already taken place, often saying the same thing you have.

    The basic plan we are trying to lay out is the Founders, who are the OWNERS that never change, will oversee the major decisions and disputes but not be involved in day to day management. The Director level handles the coordination of the departments and communication/personnel issues so "the left hand knows what the right hand is doing" along with doing tasks at the department level whenever possible to help get things done. The real day to day work comes from the departments and Leaders, who are simply workers that try to keep organization and coordination in tasks needing to be done. We all need primary responsibilities but we also have secondary jobs too. For example, if an announcement needs made in the next 24 hours, then we need to know who to go to so that is accomplished properly. But that doesn't mean the Communications Member does nothing but that, quite the contrary as they are asked to help in other areas they have skills in, like support or moderating.

    That is a relatively short summary and more details/changes are upcoming.
    Last edited by TAfirehawk; 03-02-2011 at 03:36 AM.

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    What has me curious, after looking at the structure in chart form, is how does a project such as the Emu get so damned bloated?

    My question, after reading the latest in this thread, would be why not simplify it?

    You have, in order..
    1) Founders.
    2) A developer lead. Possibly a qualified backup for absences.
    3) A communications lead. Possibly a qualified backup for absences.
    4) Everybody else, in their respective departments.

    That's 2 people calling the shots for their respective departments, with oversight from the founders. Is that a concept that's just too simple to grasp? Sometimes, less truly is more.

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    Yhor, that is nothing that hasn't been done already....as others have suggested endlessly around here....

    It is like beating a dead horse to say "try just one Community Director" as that has never worked because that person being out of touch for 1+ days creates chaos. Often the public doesn't see the chaos but sometimes when public decisions get made and then reversed quickly, well that is internal chaos spilling over into bad public decisions because person A wasn't around to see it and stop the madness from becoming public.

    Life is not simple and the aspirations of this Team are not simple. But yes we have been trying to simplify for far too long and now we have some velocity behind the simplification. We will not end up with as many departments as you currently see on the org chart, at least not if I have anything to say about it....even though a handful of vocal folks here think I am Diablo incarnate for this project....

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    Yhor, that is nothing that hasn't been done already....as others have suggested endlessly around here....

    It is like beating a dead horse to say "try just one Community Director" as that has never worked because that person being out of touch for 1+ days creates chaos. Often the public doesn't see the chaos but sometimes when public decisions get made and then reversed quickly, well that is internal chaos spilling over into bad public decisions because person A wasn't around to see it and stop the madness from becoming public.
    I'm curious to know when this was done before. I've been here since 2006-07, off and on, and I can't remember the structure ever having been simplified to 5 or less 'leaders', + the founders.

    And to the point of 'public decisions'... maybe you need someone who is able to think things through, before putting them out as a final decision/policy format. I've emailed a few suggestions on how some of this could be handled, but all I got was a scripted response, plus a few (2 staff) that told me it will never happen even though they wish it would. Some of the 'trolls' in the community have once been huge supporters of helping the project in meaningful ways, but it gets met with lip service and egos unchecked and eventually people give up on any legitimate hope of helping out.

    I was thinking of posting the contents of some of the emails in anonymous quotes, but the writing styles are too easily recognizable and editing them detracts from any meaning they might hold. If any Staff or former staff that I conversed with in the past wants to post anything said between us, you're more than welcome to with no hard feelings.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    Life is not simple and the aspirations of this Team are not simple. But yes we have been trying to simplify for far too long and now we have some velocity behind the simplification. We will not end up with as many departments as you currently see on the org chart, at least not if I have anything to say about it....even though a handful of vocal folks here think I am Diablo incarnate for this project....
    I'll start by saying that you are earning some cred here by communicating. I'll give ya props for that. And I understand that you have to be extremely careful in what you do post, in case there's changes and give cause to more fuel for the fires.

    Life is never simple, that's a given. Very cliche, and cheap.
    IMO, there should only be ONE aspiration for the team, and community, and anyone else hoping for this project to succeed. That aspiration: A working 14.1 Pre-CU SWG emulator code base. Once we have that, the rest can and will fall into place.

  8. #23
    Junior Member Zalaxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    Zalaxy,

    Those are very good questions and I am sure other people are wondering the same thing. There is more info that goes along with this that explains the purpose and reasoning behind the SPLIT and RESTRUCTURE but it is all still being sorted out.

    That chart is representing the SPLIT between the Devs and Non-Devs to provide a "cleaner" environment for development, but does not show the individual department level setup yet.

    I won't address each of your questions right now because that is certainly not our final structure in full detail. Numerous combining discussions have already taken place, often saying the same thing you have.

    The basic plan we are trying to lay out is the Founders, who are the OWNERS that never change, will oversee the major decisions and disputes but not be involved in day to day management. The Director level handles the coordination of the departments and communication/personnel issues so "the left hand knows what the right hand is doing" along with doing tasks at the department level whenever possible to help get things done. The real day to day work comes from the departments and Leaders, who are simply workers that try to keep organization and coordination in tasks needing to be done. We all need primary responsibilities but we also have secondary jobs too. For example, if an announcement needs made in the next 24 hours, then we need to know who to go to so that is accomplished properly. But that doesn't mean the Communications Member does nothing but that, quite the contrary as they are asked to help in other areas they have skills in, like support or moderating.

    That is a relatively short summary and more details/changes are upcoming.
    Thank you for the reply. I figured it was still in planning stages, but just wanted to understand a little better.

  9. #24
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    You know what would make this easier? Make the forums private. Take down the public servers. Just have a private forum for developers. I am all for that if it means this project gets to complete its goal of emulating SWG.

    To me the public forums and public test servers are a nice bonus we get to enjoy. Totally unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. Make em invite only if you all want, doesn't matter to me as long as we all get to enjoy the finished product at the end.
    Last edited by Newsound; 03-02-2011 at 08:14 AM.
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  10. #25
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    cRush and Shotter made some very valid points.

    From the outside, it seems to me that you guys are trying to mimic SOE or any other big company, when this should be an emulator project based on the community.
    We've all met the guy who decides to start a business.. he rents an office, buys the furniture, the cool "CEO" leather chair, gets pen with the company name on them, business cards and all the rest made.. but then if you ask him what he's selling, or what is business plan is, he can't really give you an answer.. because he didn't think of that yet.
    And in my experience, those guys don't go anywhere in the business world.

    Now I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but unless you plan to turn this team into a commercial software company in the immediate future, I don't understand some of your choices.
    Not to mention you don't have to coordinate 300 people. If you had to, then all those sub-teams and area leader would make sense.
    The way I see it, you should have dev staff+dev leader, community staff+community leader. Period. And the "leadership" on top should only make sure everything is working as planned and everyone is doing their job.

    And you have to listen to the community and allow them to help when help is needed. As long as the goal is clear, there's no problem whatsoever with the community helping.
    Just keep the goal in mind: 14.1 SWG. So you can and should ignore jedi haters, cm haters, rifleman haters and the likes, because your goal is to recreate a working version of 14.1, with the good and the bad sides.
    Nerfs and such should only take place (if the community so desires) afterwards, on fan servers.

    Also, from the outside, it look like you lack a figure of authority who is respected and appreciated by the whole staff. And you do need one.
    That person shouldn't act as a dictator, but he should be able to mediate between staff members when needed and should keep the strong egos in check.
    From the bits and pieces I got to read in those documents, on the forums and on IRC, it is clear as day that you have some people with a very strong ego that are not being handled properly (don't mean to sound disrespectful, it's the best term I can think of and english isn't my primary language).
    I evaluate and manage people for a living and I think I know a thing or two: from the outside and the limited information we have, that's what it looks like.

    So I hope you have the right person in your staff to step up and take THAT role, which doesn't necessarily involve a lot of power but only works as long as the person has the full trust of the team. If you don't have such a person in your staff, I hope one of the future members will have what it takes.

    So far I've seen a lot of double standards, of Staff members coming out with embarassing posts or remarks on the forum and on IRC, lack of moderation when moderation would be really needed, lack of answers when the community is very confused (answers we end up getting from players who are in contact with staff, most often.. when they want to share the info with the rest of the players).. well, you get my point.
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  11. #26
    Retired SWGEmu Staff Shotter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post

    It is like beating a dead horse to say "try just one Community Director" as that has never worked because that person being out of touch for 1+ days creates chaos.
    I have been a part of many communities and several different projects that involved software development/public relations, and being 'out of touch' for a day has never been an issue. The SWGEmu Team has been out of touch with the community for far longer than that, and I have stated as much in the past. Chaos isn't bred by a small slip up in activity, it's bred from people that speak before they have validation of what has been happening recently. This bleeds over in to the next part.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    Often the public doesn't see the chaos but sometimes when public decisions get made and then reversed quickly, well that is internal chaos spilling over into bad public decisions because person A wasn't around to see it and stop the madness from becoming public.
    As Yhor said, this happens because people don't think, or can't think well enough to even be in the position of power that they are in.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    Life is not simple and the aspirations of this Team are not simple.
    Again, you're making mountains out of mole hills. "Due to our super aspirations we need super complexity to make sure our super aspirations can be met." Life is far more simple if you start saying that it is. The Team needs to stop trying to invent the first airplane to travel to their neighbors house for sugar.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    But yes we have been trying to simplify for far too long and now we have some velocity behind the simplification.
    As Yhor said, I too have been here since 2005-2006 (Although obviously not on the forum until 06), and I have never actually seen 'simplification' of the team structure, I have seen them say they were simplifying it, and when I got on the Team back in 2010, I saw no evidence of any true 'simplification', it's always been getting more and more complex and the teams been having more and more problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    We will not end up with as many departments as you currently see on the org chart, at least not if I have anything to say about it....even though a handful of vocal folks here think I am Diablo incarnate for this project....
    Truth be told you're not a Diablo, but I'm not sure if you're Jesus either. As cRush said earlier, there's no reason a single person couldn't have done multiple jobs. But now there are divisions for different jobs, and there are people in those divisions. Simplification of the SWGEmu Team would lead to firing a lot of the dead weight (Dead weight not meaning they aren't doing their jobs, but meaning that other people could do their job and their own job better than they could) that could potentially cause more 'chaos' for the Team, which it avoids like AIDS. 'Chaos' isn't bad, as long as something comes of it.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAfirehawk View Post
    even though a handful of vocal folks here think I am Diablo incarnate for this project....
    Errhh nope I am Diablo incarnate!
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  13. #28
    Quality Assurance - On Leave fivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaelDiablo View Post
    Errhh nope I am Diablo incarnate!
    That's correct! I thought everyone got that memo!

    Where's your TPS report, maggot!?!

    OTOH to all this drama -- there is enough bull**** for all to eat a little crow. From the perspective of those on the outs I can fully understand the level of incivility they desire because this team has been giant train wreck with communication.

    Everyone yelling wants things to happen to some advantage. I and (I believe) most people I associate with just want 1.0 published.

    Developers drive this project inherent to the design. If anyone ever expects this project to get past the broken code that is Liberator then development has to be placed at the top of priorities.
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivo View Post
    That's correct! I thought everyone got that memo!

    Where's your TPS report, maggot!?!

    OTOH to all this drama -- there is enough bull**** for all to eat a little crow. From the perspective of those on the outs I can fully understand the level of incivility they desire because this team has been giant train wreck with communication.

    Everyone yelling wants things to happen to some advantage. I and (I believe) most people I associate with just want 1.0 published.

    Developers drive this project inherent to the design. If anyone ever expects this project to get past the broken code that is Liberator then development has to be placed at the top of priorities.
    I do not understand how it could be any other way.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivo View Post
    Developers drive this project inherent to the design. If anyone ever expects this project to get past the broken code that is Liberator then development has to be placed at the top of priorities.
    So far no one in this thread has said or implied differently.

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