Marc Mencher has a great article up on, you guessed it, Gamasutra about communication in creating games. Of particular note, he uses the WoW clan system as an example of great communication building. I don’t think it’s an accident that, in an industry where on-site workers are prized, he held up an online communication model as a standard. Even when we have worked on staff, a lot of work was accomplished via IM with the person in the next cubicle or next room.
Besides its effectiveness, online communication adds another exciting feature to working with remote workers — it’s often free! We thought we’d show you some of the free methods we use to collaborate from opposite coasts:
1. E-mail — Free or low cost — For official reports to clients, large reports to each other or clients, and atemporal communication with each other
2. Skype — Free — For online conferences with each other and our clients
3. Yahoo Instant Messenger / AIM — Free — For quick messages and general “office” chat. You can even chat us up. Anne is tisamely on YIM and AIM.
Our other collaborative tools are (not necessarily free, but in some instances, yes):
1. Wiki /Google Doc — For shared documents, checklists, scheduling.
2. FTP — For submissions, internal reviews, any important documentation. It’s like our SourceSafe.
I’m still gunning for a meeting or conference in an MMO, but I guess we’ll have to wait for our next client on that. Anyone up for communicating via blog? If so, drop us a comment!