As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6, A Thinking Ape live ops art lead Chloe Chan offered top tips on smart ways to improve the performance of artists in game development.
It is a bit of a grind when working as an artist.
As such, it can become "really repetitive."
When artists are constantly asked to produce new ideas, it will lead to creative burnout.
"It is pretty common for artists to feel burned out and like they don't have any good ideas anymore," said Chan.
At A Thinking Ape, the company has embraced various concepts to improve this for artists.
The first of which is buffer time, allowing them to have a breather and a bit of time to "reset."
Moreover, it will allow artists the time for growth projects - "they can pursue any type of growth that they may be interested in."
Next up is the concept of ownership. It is a core pillar for A Thinking Ape, as the company gives the artists a bit of a direction, but artists are then given free rein to be creative and interpret their brief as they see fit.
It can benefit the team as it motivates them. It makes them feel like "the decisions that they make matter." Moreover, it unblocks everyone, meaning projects can move along faster.
"Do not offer the illusion of offering a choice and then take it away," said Chan.
It is also essential for artists to understand their goals. If you want to know what their aim is, "you ask them," then tailor their project to aid with reaching their goals. Through doing this, the artist is likely to feel more motivated, benefiting themselves and the team as a whole.
Artists are human, have limitations, and know their limits better than anyone else, so it is vital to listen to what they are telling you.
"Motivation, ownership, goals and limitations do not mean anything if artists do not feel safe," explained Chan.
They need to feel safe in making mistakes without being punished, able to express their opinions and be vulnerable.
"We want people to be able to have difficult conversations and voice their opinions," said Chan.
PGC Digital #6 will run from April 19th to April 23rd. To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There's still time to sign up - to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.