Developing a team
Team chemistry is extremely important for any project. This is even more important when the team is made up of strangers on the internet who may not have any communication outside of message boards.
What successes have you had when creating a team?
Have you put much thought into it, or do you prefer to do a project in a style similar to, "Well, whoever wants to help can help, but I'll do most of the work."
Make makes a good ROMhacking team? Does a team consisting of a hacker and a translator work well? Would some projects need multipler hackers, or multiple translators? What about an artist? How small should a team be to be successful?
These days, the best way to create a 'team' is to lead by example. Just start working, make your progress public, and see if others are interested joining in. Certainly a team of just a hacker and a translator can work well. Many projects were completed this way. In fact, more were completed this way then by larger teams. Every project is different. Some projects might fare better with multiple hackers or translators for various reasons, while others might not. It depends on who is doing what and if it can be efficiently and effectively.
It's usually always a poor idea to try to assemble a 'team' ahead of doing any actual work. This usually ends in failure because either nobody skilled wants to join your team (not wishing to commit to some random guy), or people who do join are like minded having done no actual work (and thus the sum of group output is low skill and low output). In a community of strangers that don't know each other, you typically need something to prove your worth first before other people will want to commit anything to you or join you. My advice is lead by example and start doing! The biggest doers typically draw the greatest following and available help.
How do you communicate with your teams?
Are you mostly a solo act, only interacting with people on the forums?
Do you get to know your team? Possibly having phone conversations or even meet ups?
Do you keep in touch with your audience, or do you ignore them?
Communication is typically informal in whatever form is convenient for the participants. As mentioned, any organized meet ups or meetings are usually not possible. Time differences, life responsibilities, and differing commitment levels make it difficult to plan anything specific.
I certainly try to keep in touch with my audience. Often times your audience may become your help pool, or open up avenues you never thought about. Not to mention, simple support from others can go a long way to get through more tedious aspects of the project.
Now here's the big one. While I am excruciatingly inexperienced, I'd venture that this area is the reason why so many projects go into Limbo, fail, or take forever to finish.
Do you appoint one person as a leader for the project?
Is there a schedule?
Do you regularly have meetings with other members of the team?
Do you lose contact with members?
Do you keep in contact with the audience to keep them interested/aware of the project/progress?
I mimic Gideon's words here. Too much structure, schedules, and appointing leaders is a quick way to get others to QUIT
working with you! It just doesn't work when we are across the globe from each other, donating time for free, with varying commitment and responsibility levels. It's a hobby and it needs to stay amicably enjoyable for all parties to succeed. If there's any pressure or stress, people can just walk away.
You have to accept that your teammates may work at different output levels and different times entirely than you. You need patience. You may work on something solidly for a few months, while your teammate is unable to for awhile or vice versa.
Do you think that you would be more successful and enjoy ROMhacking more if you were to be able to form a team that followed some set of structure?
While I'm learning Japanese I'd very much like to start translating ROMs. I know there are several series out there that are lacking translations, and that there are hundreds of enthusiasts waiting for a project to be done.
Personally I'd like to form a team that works well, has a high output, and lots of communication. I'd like to form relationships with hackers and translators so that I can be apart of a project and help to build an audience and community for translated games.
Nope. I think more structure and constraints will push people away and leave you without a team. Even for myself, I donate all the work and time that I can. If you try and push more out of me, make constraints, or call it unacceptable, I will probably not be working with you any longer.
Of course with such limited structure, sometimes people just wander off into space and they may never produce any output. Some of that is just par for the course. There's many flaky, unreliable people out there that are eager to start and never finish. Sometimes people want to commit, but simply can't as their life becomes unexpectedly too busy. It's up to you to keep communication with them and dually determine if they can get the work they need done or you should just find somebody else.
We're all people and working together freely and successfully is a delicate balance! There's no magic solution that works for all!