You've heard countless studios and dev teams say "We're not the average game studio, we're unique in our own way, blah blah blah...", but in reality, we are truly different! We're not some greedy corporation treating our team like numbers; each and every team member is valued as family. Our unique approach to many things makes us so much different than most game development teams, and one of our goals is to set an example to other developers. We want to prove naysayers wrong: hobbyist teams can make a difference. That's all fine and dandy, but what really makes us unique? Read on...
We operate completely from the comfort of our own homes. While this can be sometimes a challenge on larger projects requiring cooperation between team members, because of our unique development approach, we are able to make it work. We do not do traditional design documents or development processes. Instead, we have eliminated the unnecessary bureaucracy and made it simpler for the team to get their ideas out there. We do our own version of the design document (simply dubbed "Blueprints"), where team members fill in a template with as much info as possible, then present it to management. If management believes it's a viable idea, they'll give it a green light and development will begin as soon as possible. We believe that every team member should have the opportunity to get their idea into development.
Our management team does not function as the "dictating force" of the team. Sure, they have the authority to do so and will be firm when it's needed, but the primary role of the management team is to responsibly lead and mentor the team in their pursuit of the creative and innovative approach. The management team is responsible for making sure the whole team is playing their part, but is also responsible to make sure the team has the resources to do what they need to do. We approach cost efficiency differently than most, if not all, other development teams. We use free tools/engines and web hosts, and our team members do not work for a salary. To this date, we have not spent a penny on our tools/engines, nor our web hosts. While this may seem as if we're simply cheap, it allows us to avoid losing significant money on projects that could cause us to possibly have to shut down or remove people from our team. And get this: we promise to never establish ourselves as a business. We hope to eventually become a registered non-profit organization but as for now, we are merely a hobbyist team making games because we can!
Team members in YGS are like brothers and sisters in arms. They work together on projects, mentoring each other, giving each other advice, and offering encouragement and motivation. Part of what makes us like family is that we don't leave everything within the confines of our projects. We work together inside and out - some of us even play games or participate on social networking together! Your future comrades-in-arms here at YGS tend to be more like friends, than people you simply work with and never interact with outside of the workplace. The nice part about our collaboration and operations is that there are usually no strict deadlines for when things must be completed, so we are able to maintain a relaxed atmosphere, and have fun in our work in addition to our lives outside.
We believe in being transparent and upfront with our users and other team members. If anything is kept a secret, it's most likely because we wish to keep it a surprise! We do not tolerate any dishonest activities within the team or our player communities whatsoever. While we love everyone and respect everyone, we try to remain politically neutral except in the case that politics directly challenge the games industry or our operations. We do, however, support causes and charities verbally, and if we register as a non-profit someday, we will donate to various charities and redefine the interaction between the player and charity. After all, one of our core values is to help those in need! Outside of the team itself, team members often support each other and encourage each other when life takes its toll on them. We advocate loving others, supporting them when they need it, and being encouraging to all people.
While our cost efficiency policies do unfortunately limit the tools we use and people we can bring onto our team, we strongly advocate working with what you have, and being creative. We view game design like we would any form of art: a creative process built via the imagination. We want our team to use the best of their imaginations and come up with ideas and processes that no one else would think of. We aren't content with simply ripping off the ideas of other developers. We believe the best products add to the successes and avoid the failures of their predecessors, but the key to keeping people interested is, put simply, creativity. You've heard it countless times before, but we want to do things differently and make a big impact on the world by combining our creativity with the previous four factors to make a truly unique games organization with a bright future ahead of it.
Still not convinced? Continue reading on, because below are a couple messages from our current staff, telling you why we believe you should join our team.
Being a part of DynaDim/Yokaan has been, so far, a great experience to me. I feel that the community will grow to its greatest with our game development process and engagement. So far, the games are only 2D, but in the future we are looking into 3D game development. I also feel that enjoyment is what a community needs to stay together, and DynaDim/Yokaan has even more of this. We engage with the community whenever opinions are said/problems are presented, we work quickly to engage with them.
Also, DynaDim/Yokaan's team work together very well. When we decide to create something, we come together and discuss opinions. All ideas are looked into and never thrown aside. We understand that our "Team Ideas", when brought together, can make great things: things greater than just one man's imagination.
- Ollie McGee
Content Development; Coding
Working from home is fun, but also a great way to learn new things without having to spend money on transportation or worrying too much about resumes and bureaucracy. Working together with this team is no different. I do what I can to ensure everyone is given independence, but I also encourage them to work with the other team members. Two minds are often better than one, but if you feel more comfortable working on your own, you can do that with us. We don't push deadlines very often, and unlike most teams, you can feel free to approach me or any of the other team members if you have questions or comments about your work. While we understand many want to make a living through game development, we personally do what we do because we have a passion for what we love. We may someday try to establish ourselves as an actual non-profit organization, but in the meantime, we'd much rather create great games and keep money out of it. If you're sick of game developers letting profit come before the players, then I think you'd fit in well with our team. No smoke and mirrors or cheap tricks here. Everything we do is genuine, mostly because we all genuinely love doing what we do.
- Jacob Fields
Founder; Prime Director of DynaDim Media and Yokaan Games Studio