A few days ago, I was talking with some friends about their current small scale project and an all familiar issue came up, the “Idea Man”. If you have been doing game, software development, or business development in general on any level you know what I’m talking about. This is the guy that sits around and brainstorms ideas for you. They are the one who always has the best game design ideas and will take over the world with their great ideas. You know the one “It’s gonna be like Call of Duty and Skyrim but better”.
Anyhow, they begin to tell me that one of their members simply became the Idea Guy and started explaining how they felt he was avoiding doing any of the work that required him to get in the trenches. At this point my friends team was made up of two artists, one programmer and a Idea Man. You can already see the imbalance.
They begin to explain that he would continue to come up with more and more ideas for the project but would expect the other team members to implement them. When asked if he could help, his excuse was “I’m busy” writing up more ideas. After this continued for about 6+ months or so he dropped from the team. It was not until that moment they realized and asked themselves “What did he do?” The realization that he didn’t do any work or bother to help the team the whole time he was there. Other team members had 3d models to show off, a working demo that the programmer got up and running in an engine or language he never used before. The Idea Man had his…Ideas. On a team of four people, their is simply no room for someone who wants to be the Idea Guy. Everyone must wear multiple hats and equally pitch in so the other members are not carrying the weight.
When working with a team people need someone able and willing of doing the actual work. They need programmers, designers, and eventually folks to do marketing, support, and more. What they don’t need, though, is someone who’s just going to be The Idea Guy. The truth is that most everyone has plenty of good ideas that could work out to be great. The value of The Perfect Idea is very small indeed. That doesn’t mean it’s useless to have big ideas and plenty of enthusiasm. If you’re that guy, you’ve got a great start. Now pick up a functional skill and help build it your damn self.