Arrr-chitecting Games and Game Teams: What We Can Learn From Actual Pirates

Oct 24, 2018

13:30

ROOM 210

50

ALL LEVELS

“… ward us from the dangers of an instable element, and the fatal consequences of anarchy…” — famous pirate speech [1]

 

Legendary pirates, such as Blackbeard, Jack Rackam, and more, spearheaded many practices which, today, we’d recognise as core components of a productive working society: tolerance, equality, workers’ compensation, and a deep understanding of economic forces. This session unpacks the world of pirates, and applies the lessons to a modern career in game development and game development leadership. Learn about pirates. For work.

To start with, we’ll explore how pirates — long before the broader software industry — realised that teams needed to have some form of structure, but also be relatively self-organising, but also knew that someone needed to, at least occasionally, hold the reins. Why did pirates realise this? Find out with us.

We’ll follow up with a discussion of why and how a game developer, or similar person in the field, can borrow the approach of genuine actual pirates from the 1600s and 1700s when dealing with such diverse issues as workplace inclusion, dissemination of a vision, choosing an engine or stack and approach, or designing game mechanics.

The pirate flag — the Jolly Roger — was an an early emoji, used to signal the negatives of engaging with the competition. Pirates were ruthless, successful, and ingenious… and profitable.

You’ll learn to be likewise, via actual, concrete, applicable skills in team management and production, and you’ll find out why pirates attitudes lead to skilful problem solving, team building, crisis management, inclusion, and top-down vision that can be applied to a variety of disciplines in game development today. We should all be a little more piratical!

This session is by an historian (history degree and everything) who also has a PhD in Computer Science. In it, you’ll find out why pirates can help you be a better leader in the industry. [2]

 

[1]: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=DnY0AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=%22fatal+consequences+of+anarchy%22&source=bl&ots=ZuPBy3F6Fa&sig=xCKXhx1VIvEM-d694VvD3qYrzOw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjU1ZDMyLfcAhXFfbwKHenJCtMQ6AEwBHoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22fatal%20consequences%20of%20anarchy%22&f=false

[2]: If you can think of a way to include a “ship” (pirate ship, right?) pun around “leadership”, we’re all ears. Also taking submissions on jokes regarding buccaneers. ❤️

  • Paris Buttfield-Addison

    Co-Founder & Producer

    Secret Lab