Positive Ethical & Holistic Production (Or How To (Try) To Be A Good Producer.)

For our final module in my MSc degree, one of our many tasks is to outline a research proposal, which we will be putting into practice throughout the module, proving or disproving our research.

As my work primarily involved production, I decided I wanted to look into how different methods work in production and how to motivate and empower developers to produce successful work, so I can improve my production skills, be a better producer and be able to document this for others to see – hence doing this as a blog. This will additionally help me focus and formulate theories on how a good game can come out of more relaxed development methods.

A lot of the gaming news lately has been highlighting crunch-like working methods and how detrimental they are – I even have my own hastily written views on how they could be resolved. It’s a big issue to think about, from a business aspect, you want to get as much out of what you put in, but from a human perspective you want to have happy, healthy, motivated employees. How do we get the best of both?

Well, it turns out, happy, healthy, motivated employees seem to be more engaged and have greater buy-in than disgruntled, fearful employees.

I’ve been gathering a lot of papers on the subject of employee motivation to begin with, a good deal of a producers work seems to be navigating human complexities, so finding better ways to do that seems like a good start. I found out about the concept of motivational readiness which seems like something to consider in my proposal too.

Motivational readiness is the
willingness or inclination, whether or not ultimately realized, to act in the service of a desire.

Kruglanski, Arie & Chernikova, Marina & Schori Eyal, Noa. (2014). From Readiness to Action: How Motivation Works. Polish Psychological Bulletin. 45. 10.2478/ppb-2014-0032.

It’s not enough to be motivated, you have to be ready to be motivated in the first place – the term ‘buy in’ is often used to describe this within project management methodologies. People need to feel connected to a project to put in their whole effort and feel positive and able to do more, but those that don’t have a connection often conduct negativity and struggle with motivation and workload management.

How do you get to the end goal of a project with a team of numerous individuals, all with different feelings, opinions, skillsets – and do this in a way that is ethical, supporting, empowering?

I have a lot more research to do!