A Samurai Game Maker is anyone at the top of their game in the video games industry who wishes to improve, not by developing their skills through additional training or experience, but by better using their existing skills despite conditions that can be unfavourable and unpleasant.
Samurai fighters are elite warriors, fighting with honor and ethics. They are highly trained, physically and mentally prepared for combat, experts with their weapons and have exceptional standards of excellence.
Game developers are also warriors: their battles are against time, budget, bad decisions, technical problems, change, no change, lack of direction, poor organisation, egos, miscommunication; and winning is overcoming it all to deliver quality and excellence while remaining happy, motivated and engaged.
When we are faced with difficult work environments we know shouldn't let this lower our morale, standards or performance, we know that we need to maintain excellence despite frustrating work environments. But it is difficult to prevent our environment from affecting the quality of our delivery when we fight on our own.
By becoming a Samurai Game Maker, we can join a tribe facing similar issues and sharing what works, to develop tactics, maintain a healthy body and a balanced mind to allow us to take on anything.
We can find others like us and support each other to reconnect with our happier selves to make developing games fun again.
The Samurai Game Makers website is a series of principles and ideas to enable you to take on anything that the project, your colleagues and your managers throw at you. When daily issues are no longer a problem there is nothing to get in the way of your technical and creative skills - and you can have fun making games again.
The Samurai Game Makers website is not a rule book, or an operations manual to be memorised. It is not a list of recipes or a set of instructions to follow. It is a series of principles to get you to think 'what if...' so that you can find your own path to a frustration-free team experience while maintaining your motivation, engagement and excellence.
They won't help make better games, but they will make you better at games development - and you can take it from there.
We will not tell you what to do because we don't think these principles are perfect: we want to inspire reflection, action and criticism - as long as you are thinking about it, it's working.
Read the principles, use them, share them. More importantly, we hope that you will break them, disagree with them and improve them. We want you to bring them to work so they can be the start of discussions with your colleagues and managers.
Video game development doesn't have to be punishing and we want you to be part of the solution.
This project will only work if the ideas are shared and disseminated, so feel free to print, email, tweet and facebook the content - but please link back to the website.
If you don't want to read through the notes, here are seven quick tips that will work just as well:
- Seek your own path to greatness, don't follow rules blindly.
- Actively work to improve your physical condition.
- Learn to master self-control.
- Ask questions to understand others.
- Reinforce team interdependence.
- Make decisions that serve the team and the project.
- Inject humour and happiness in your interactions.