Building in Teams
Often we find ourselves overwhelmed with the prospect of building a large city, or any sort of building project. One of the best ways to get past a big project is to break the workload down into teams. However, instead of just grabbing a lot of builders and letting them have free reign over the entire area, there are a few things that you need to do to get things organized and working smoothly throughout the duration of the project:
1.. Organize the team. Get people who can do everything, and people who are better at certain things - some people will enjoy making mobs more, some people can whip out objects like there's no tomorrow, and some people love to write insane mob progs. Use this to everyone's advantage and get all types of builders.
2.. Draw out a map. Someone in your team will inevitably be a great cartographer. Draw out a map using a good tool such as Arcanum, or even an image editor. Make sure that the graph contains a block for each room, and that the map makes sense and is well-labeled. The area should ideally be something that can be broken down into different sections for people to write rooms.
3.. Work on different sections at the same time. Split everyone up into groups, and go to town on different sections. Make sure everyone is fully aware of what their neighboring sections are, though, otherwise you can possibly jeopardize the flow of your area. Not only will this ensure that there is no stone unturned and no room undug, but it will also help progress move rather quickly as people will be able to stick to the parts that interest them most, while leaving the things they are less interested in for others who may enjoy it more to work on.
4.. Make sure everyone signs their work. Keeping track of who does what is one of the most difficult parts of team building. The leader(s) will have to know who did what, so if there's ever some way-whacked-out things slipped in, for cheating or just for the sake of not knowing any better, they can know who to address the issue with. Have the name field of each room, mob, and obj labeled with that person's name (okay, so not the mobs.. we all know what happens then. Try an alternate name to use as a signature, etc).
5.. Have a team leader check over progress regularly. As often as possible - preferably every day or two - look over the work that has been done, and see to it that the builders are keeping the original idea of the area mostly intact. There will always be some variation, as with any area, but it is very important not to let the team members go off TOO far in their own direction. Once a room/obj/mob is approved, remove the signature from it, and keep going.
6.. Give credit where credit is due. Once the area is completely finished, have a little extra description tucked away somewhere. Tell all the builders about it, let them show their friends as they explore this new creation. Give credit to everyone who even remotely worked on the project, and even throw in a couple of references to inside jokes that developed in its duration. There is nothing more fulfilling about building than having someone enjoy your work - and give you credit for it.
Melopene has done building, coding, and other sorts of work on many MUDs over the past seven years, and currently makes her home in a beach shed on Feudal Realms. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via personal note to Salja at telnet://feudal.betterbox.net:4444.