- Other Game
Rebouche pointed out that Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers identifies three things people want from their jobs: "Autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward." These are hard to maintain on big projects for obvious reasons. Autonomy is taken by decisions made from above, complex tasks are simplified into small goals, and the connection between the effort made and the eventual reward of shipping a game down the road can be very abstracted.On the other hand, periodic game jams give all of those back, by making all participants decision-makers giving the reward within 24 to 48 hours, and asking them to do a lot of work in a short time. What's more complex than developing a whole game -- even a simple one -- in such a short period? Rebouche noted author Daniel Pink reached a similar conclusion in his book Drive: people seek autonomy, mastery, and purpose in life. "When was the last time anyone in your company talked about purpose, like the reason we make games?"
Rebouche asked. "How about we make games more often? That's sort of the simple proposition I am making here. Let's make more games... something silly, stupid, fun that just might push us forward creatively."Game jams still sounding peculiar? Think about this: large, successful companies have similar policies. Google, famously, has "20 percent time," in which engineers can work on personal projects for 20 percent of their time. One such project was Gmail. The software company Atlassian (which makes bug tracker JIRA, among others) has something similar if shorter -- workers have one 24 hour period to work on whatever they want. Bug fixes, new features, and new software packages have been generated in this time -- things that never would have happened without this opportunity being presented. In fact, said Rebouche, this is a "zero-risk proposition.""Just do a 24-hour jam. Do this before a holiday. Christmas is coming up. How much work gets done on the Friday before Christmas break? Nothing gets done," he said."This is so much better than bowling, the normal team exercise everybody does," Rebouche continued. "
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