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  1. #1
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    Apr 2007
    Toronto, Canada
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    Team Chow :: Feedback/Discussion Thread

    Team Chow :: Feedback/Discussion Thread


    Hey Guys, this thread has a very simple purpose. Since Team Chow was a Beta run - Our first team-based chow ever! - I need to know how it went.

    So, I want to hear about everything! How your experience was, did you get along with your teammates, if you got randomly assigned how did that go?

    Was 6 characters too much? Too Little? Did the brief have enough leeway?

    For those that didn't finish, you're the ones I want to hear from most! Did Real Life hit you too hard, or did you have problems with your team? Was procrastination a killer? Or were there other issues i don't know about?

    Your feedback will really help me decide if I will run another one, so even if you didn't participate at all but now wish you did, let me know!

    Also, please post your suggestions for future rounds here! Not topic suggestions, please. :]

    Thanks guys!

    edit: Also, if you want to tell me anything that you'd rather not post here, feel free to PM me. Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2004
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    Unfortunately our team couldn't complete. But I don't think it was any issues with how the event was setup. Two of our four members just couldn't get their work in. If we were a bit more aggressive with our in-team deadlines we might have had a better chance but I think that kind of success will come from experience.

    As far as the descriptions go I thought they were really good, I enjoyed the open visual interpretation but having personality descriptions to provide vision.

    If the next round were to be setup exactly or similar to this one I'd probably still participate!
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  4. #3
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    Jul 2008
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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    I was in assigned to a random team. I did it because I don't know a lot of people on the forums so it seemed like a great way to get to know some more people. I ended up in Random Team #1. All was fun and game in the beginning. We were all happy to know each other and we came up with a brief and we started. Like after a week we had out first deadline and I was disappointed to see there was one team member that didn't make it due to school obligations. Basically that was the last time we heard anything of him. I think it was too much to do it with his schoolwork.

    We had to make some radical decision and drop him out. By that time we only had about a week left. AhChu was so cool to take almost all of the extra work. He really was our backbone. We just pushed ourselves trough and made it with a day to spare. Six characters were a bit too much in my opinion. Drop it down a character or two. Five characters should be fine. Heck it worked with six characters too... xD I think I could get better results if I got a bit more time to work on a character. But that's really personal though. The briefs were really great and I think we all could appreciate it. The length was good, the information was good and the room for own interpretation was great.

    I urge all the other teams in the future to keep communicating. Personally I don't mind to get 10 PM's a day about the team and such. It's essential that the others know what you're doing.

    The random team idea was great, daestwen. I got to know two really kind and great artists and it was fun and a bit of a challenge to make something out of this CHOW all together. It would me really great to have another team CHOW where we could design the bad guys. I'm looking forward to it and I think my team is too.

    just my two cents, all in all a great experience and I've learned a lot!
    Last edited by LostFayth; May 3rd, 2009 at 02:45 PM.

  5. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    i think the most problematic issue was the times zones, when i was sleepin' , my teammates were awake XD.....

    and maybe 2 months could be better...
    "dear diary:..jackpot" my sketchbook

    team chow

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  7. #5
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    Jan 2008
    Lyon, France
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    In my opinion 6 characters was a great choice, because it has to be a full team, universe, with its story, interactions between them. So it was really cool to have all these chars to do with their own backstory which was really well done. Not too alien, believable, and still original and inspiring. I especially liked the little anecdotic touches in the brief, that gave so much personnality, and helped us, at least me, to have an idea of a real person for each char.
    So, if you bring it back to 2 chars it becomes very less interesting i think. And it would encourage us to spend endless time on rendering instead of searching the more acurate design. (that's a very personnal thought too ).
    About my team, well i already knew them or at least their work, and i had no problem to feel good! Our ideas worked pretty well together, and it was fun to make the multpiple conversation on msn to brainstorm together, and collab, and use the others's ideas trying to make them even better and all that ...
    Tho team work is not always easy, and we all had to make a cross on things we liked, but it was the point.
    So, overall and in detail, it was a great experience and i hope there will be new topics!
    Sketchbook :: Blog :: Gorilla Artfare :: Prints :: my Etsy
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  9. #6
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    Apr 2008
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    I have to say that I really, really enjoyed this challenge. My team was people that I knew, but who I hadn't actually worked with before. I'd work with them again in a heartbeat, though. We got together early, had weekly chat sessions to iron out details and work on character development, and kept in touch via Twitter and IM whenever we had problems.

    I also liked how we all had a chance to work on every aspect of the project. I feel like that tied all of our characters together really well. We took turns on the background, (the combined background was planned in from stage one), then each worked on developing sketches and concepts. Those were meshed together during one meeting, and then fleshed out, and passed from person to person until they were finished. We kept our deadlines pretty firm, but it meant that if one person was having a bad day on one character, it could be caught quick on the next round of switches.

    Overall, I'd have to say that hitting deadlines and working on so many characters, for us wasn't really a problem.

    What I was disappointed with, and would like to see changed up in any future versions, was the sketchbook threads. Because of how huge the sketchbook forum is, Team sketchbooks were hard to hunt down. They often got pushed off the page as fast as they were updated. Having to go back to the main topic thread and try to find the links was problematic, too. I would have loved for our team to get some feedback earlier in the month, but we didn't get more than two, maybe three outside comments in our entire thread, and those mostly at the end when they weren't particularly useful.

    I think either a dedicated subforum for Team Chow sketchbooks, or a thread that explicitly lists all the sketchbooks (like the one in the Final Burning thread), would have been preferable.

    Still, I thought the entire thing was really fun, and I'm looking forward to another one. The brief was great, gave a lot of detail but with so much room for invention and world building. We liked our world so much we've been talking about writing stories in it or trying to develop a game out of it.

  10. #7
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    Jul 2007
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    i though it was rad sssooo much fun an' i think every body did such a great job!!! thanks daestwen for all the great ideas an hardwork

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  12. #8
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    Jul 2008
    Oklahoma, USA
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    My team, Sugah Face, got along really well. I had a blast working with them. I knew of them beforehand, but hadn't seen too much of their work or had talked to them or anything. So, getting to know them was a great experience and that in and of itself was worth all of it.

    I really enjoyed the way the Team CHOW was set up. The open visual with the personality descriptions was awesome. Our team had so much with these characters and the world that we had created for them. By the end we were coming up with stories for them and wishing we could do a comic or something just to continue playing around with them.

    As for the deadline and real life interfering, I'm not sure that was a big problem. Sure, we all got behind because of different things we had to do, but we also found different things we should have done or things that would have made it a little faster and easier had we done that.

    So, if we had another Team CHoW set up the same way, we might have a better time managing it. Real life will get in the way, no matter what, and most of the time we can't really plan that out. Although, it would be nice to maybe have the characters cut down to five maybe.
    Last edited by MJ_Alcazar; May 3rd, 2009 at 02:25 PM.

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  14. #9
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    May 2005
    Montreal, Quebec
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    It was a really cool project. I was very motivated to work with my teammates. We communicated mostly by PM and with the sketchbook, because we were all in different timezone and one didnt had msn. If I was to do it again maybe I would put more emphasis on communication. But I had a lot of fun. Thanks DanielC D@niel and Smokenmirror!!
    6 characters was a lot. Considering we were all very busy maybe 4 or 5 characters would have been better.
    I liked the description, it was precise but still open.

    Kudos to you Daestwen for setting all of this!

  15. #10
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    Jan 2003
    Hotlanta GA
    Thanked 554 Times in 191 Posts
    i loooooved this
    and i dont think the month deadline for 6 characters was even remotely harsh
    marco and i did all of em in 5 days i think (we found out about this a bit late so had to rush)
    i think with 1 month timeline 6 characters shouldnt be a problem with a team
    with 3 people thats 2 weeks per character
    if you do this again marco and i WILL sign up
    and damn i really hope it is the bad guys

    and finding folks SBs was a bit problematic but once i found em....i saw so much growth in this competition

    the only thing i would like to see is either enviro creature or ID chows to go with this same topic
    it would be soooo cool
    maybe i will just do it anyways hahah
    Last edited by trevor; May 3rd, 2009 at 02:32 PM. Reason: i cnat splel

  16. #11
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    Oct 2004
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    Okies.... a short (cough) summary of my thoughts after being in a group that didn't make it as well as watching the other teams:

    - Six characters were good. Too few and it's hard to get a theme going, too many and you have too much work.

    - The briefs were good. They had enough to build up an idea around each character, but were loose enough that people could go a bit wild on them.

    - It lacked a bit in getting the overview in the SB part as said in the posts above.

    - I think it's important for each team to get a phrase or theme as fast as possible, or else everybody starts off in different directions. Moodboards as well if that's a preferred way of doing it. Better with ten moodboards too many than one too short.

    - You have to decide fast if it's gonna be a more democratic process, or if one person jumps on or is put as the AD/person in charge. Or whatever way you're going. Else you'll have all kinds of weird approaches from your teammembers, some waiting for instructions, others wandering off in their own direction. Make sure whatever way you end up with is ok for everyone in the team, or if they have something against it or possibly a better idea on how to do it.

    - If you're gonna have a timeline, put it down as fast as possible, and make sure that everybody knows about it and feels ok with it. Also if someone knows there'll be times during the work that they'll not be available make sure that the timelines reflects that, or that the persons that can't work at certain times is ok with missing parts or that's it's ok for the team to wait for their work.

    - Approach of how to do it also has be agreed on right away. Some like the assembly line, others like to work on each others work, others again would like to do a char on their own, etc. Some people in a team might not have any specific part of an assembly line they feel more comfortable, others might not think that inked chars is a good idea, others again need an inked char to make a proper coloured one, and then some might find adding and taking away details from each other chars works best so they end up with an overall uniform look later. Discuss it properly so informations isn't lost and that you're sure that everybody is ok with the initial plan.

    - Each team member has to speak up if they don't like the way you're progressing, be it the way it's arranged within the team or timeline or how you're interpreting the theme/phrase for your team. If you're disagreeing with how something is happening say it. Loud and clear.

    - Keep in touch with each other even when not doing anything. Not fun adding work and not knowing if there's anyone else actually working, and also people might end up waiting for someone taking the first steps.

    - Inform your team mates if there's something suddenly coming up, if you don't know if you can't be around for a few days or if you need a break.

    - Tell team mates what you're working on even if you don't post every step you're doing, or else you might end up with two or three persons putting in a load of work on exactly the same thing and you have to cut off that but at the same time get short on something else. This can end up with a team having four of the same char, and none of another, for example, or three borders and no background. At the same time, it might be important that several people approaches something so you can get a diverse look/ideas on something - just make sure to tell each other so you don't end up having to rush the other half of the assignment because nobody worked on it.

    - Be flexible. If someone suddenly gets something in the way so they can't work, change timelines or loads of work if needed. If someone has quite a lot of free time on their hands at one point while another suddenly had something happen in their family or at work, there's no reason for that workload to just lay there as a looming ghost for the person not able to do it right away, nor is there any reason for the one free to sit around do nothing when might wanting to work on something. If someone turns out to work a lot slower or a lot faster than the rest, rethinking the workloads might be a good idea.

    - When real life hits, it hits. Don't feel bad about having to pull out from your team a bit, there's is several people in it and they should be able to help soften the impact of time lost. Unless it happens with several in your team, heh. Then be flexible again, think anew and maybe a stylized way to cut a few corners might be an idea instead of trying to superrender everything and then miss the deadline.

    - If you don't think you'll have time or don't think you can keep up, don't sign up. Wait for next round instead. If you're signing up already knowing that you can't be around, you're not "just" bailing out on a project you'd like to do yourself, you might screw it up for others which really wanted to do this and do it good - basically you're screwing up their "education".

    - If you're signed up for a team, but later on realise you can't do it (be it school, job, real life in general or just that you might not be up for this after a second thinking through), tell them right away when you find out so they can put in another person or switch teams if needed. Bailing out right away isn't bad as then the others can get together with someone else, telling them halfway that you "might" be able to work and then ditch it all screws up the experience for the people you're signed up with.

    - Different skill levels in a group can make very interesting work, and learn everybody something about group work. Find each others strenghts or weaknesses if you're dividing the work in certain aspects instead of working on each others stuff.

    - If someone in your team is missing the mark on the theme/phrase, tell them as early as possible. If not someone is gonna make a lot of work they didn't even know weren't what the rest of the team was aiming for, and it's nothing as bad as feeling you wasted tons of work for nothing.

    - If you're confused about something, tell the rest of the team. Make them go over it three times if needed or until you get it. If you're confused about something, there's a big chance the rest of the team hasn't managed to get a unified thought about it as well. Better to ask too many questions than too little.

    - If some parts of the team talk together more than other parts, always remember to inform who "wasn't there" if there's a change and make sure they're ok with it.

    - Feedback, feedback, feedback. Talk to each other, tell each other what's good with what you do, what might be missing the mark, what's not fitting in, if they're a bit too slow for the rest of the group, if they're too fast for the rest of the group, etc, etc, etc. It helps keeping the spirit up as well as bettering the work.

    - Banter. Joke. Have fun. It's supposed to be a fun challenge, not dreaded work.


    When it comes to my own team, we simply got hit with RL. All of us. At the same time. Heh. We had a good start, set a direction, did work, talked together, but then we all kind of went a bit AWOL, except for one that we already knew had a lot of schoolwork in the last half of the challenge. We should all have been better at telling each other that "Hey, something suddenly came up here", but since it happened to every single one of us, I guess it didn't matter too much, heh. I feel that I myself need to sharpen up a bit on telling when I'm around and when I'm not, and make sure that I log in to tell people that I suddenly can't do stuff, at least, even if I don't know if it's for a day or for a week.

    This round ended up in the middle of pupils end of schoolyear run, hopefully if next one is during summer we'll see even more great work.


    Hope I didn't overstep what you meant with feedback here?
    Last edited by Sorknes; May 3rd, 2009 at 03:21 PM.
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  18. #12
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    May 2008
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    I really enjoyed this event. This was the first CHOW event I've participated in, but despite that I think the idea of having a team event competition is a good one to have alongside the regular weekly CHOW as it encourages people to work together or a project as well as giving an opportunity for meeting/getting to know other artists on the forum.

    I was in team Crumpets N Pain with CCThrom and arttorney. I messaged them both and asked if I could join their group as they were still looking for other members. I think having the option of allowing members to form their own teams or be randomly assigned is also a great idea. Though maybe in future competitions if could be suggested that you sometimes work with different people?

    I got on well with my team even though I'd never met either of the guys before. I think we communicated effectively and got on pretty well. We had a few problems towards the end due to events in our daily lives like work etc. which made things a bit of a tight squeeze. I think though that a month is sufficient time for the competition and I don't feel that six characters is too much. If the team is functioning effectively it should be manageable. Sadly how well your team functions can't be guranteed if you've never worked together before but it's still worth a show.

    The only thing I didn't like so much about the comptition was trying to keep up with work being produced by other team members and I felt there wasn't much interaction and comments being made between teams on each others' work. Unlike on the weekly CHOW where people post their WIP's in one forum, to see people's work you have to find the link to each individual sketchbook which was a bit of pain.

    I'm not sure what to suggest to improve this, maybe a list of all the groups with a link to each WIP sketchbook in one post or maybe a weekly update post should be made by each group detailing their progress with some screenshots of work or maybe both? That way people will be able to easily see and comment on the work being produced by other members. Also if the team are experiencing any problems they can be addressed then too.

    Aside from that one problem I really liked the challenge. I think it was well put together giving room for creative freedom while still providing a brief to follow.

    I hope you decide to run another one!
    Last edited by blackcherry; May 3rd, 2009 at 03:27 PM.

  19. #13
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    Mar 2007
    Easton, MD
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    I'm part of Team RITarded, and we weren't able to make the deadline. My partner and I both go to the same school so most of our interaction was in person. We got the characters done but not to a finished state. Our teamwork wasn't an issue, I feel we worked together well. Our biggest setback was schoolwork. Since the deadline revolved around the second half of our quarter, things were very hectic on our end when came to school work. It still is actually but we really felt we could get it done on top of our work. Maybe a little longer time would be better but I also feel a month was a good time frame for a contest like this. We just made the mistake in thinking we could finish this while doing schoolwork. The amount of characters was a good fit too. Six was a pretty awesome amount, it really made you focus on how these characters would interact.

    In the end though, we both had mad fun doing this thing. I'd like to participate again, like in the summer where we don't have school

  20. #14
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    Feb 2007
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Thanked 708 Times in 426 Posts
    This will be a bit long...oh well!

    I immensely enjoyed the Team CHOW, and thank you, Daes, for making it happen!! This experience rivals the teamwork experiences I have at school and sometimes work, where I don't even get to touch art but have to deal with programming mainly. For ONCE I finished an art piece!! Yaaaay!!

    This is also the first challenge I fully entered here at CA, so that makes me really proud!!

    I barely knew my teammates, but I recall letting my voice be heard and actually WANTING to join in this time. I've never been that outgoing. It was awesome to get Dani Duck, Tavarilyn and MJ_Alcazar with me. I was surprised; having had many bad experiences with teams in school, and this just turned my outlook around! I'm so glad we got to know each other over the challenge. We learned much, and I think I showed my funny bone a lot more than I normally would. We each had something or somethings to offer and that means a lot that we all got a hand in doing SOMETHING substantial for the team! (I'm even happy the ladies liked my name for our team!! Squee!!)

    I'm glad we were able to speak our minds in the team, because sometimes we disagreed, but we did it respectfully, and just continued on with our goals. Every idea we had could be changed without any of us feeling left out or overlooked. That really touched me.

    More good points were raised already: The briefing was a great idea. Just enough to wet our whistles and get us thinking on our own. I researched a lot more than ever before. I think six characters was excellent--for a balance of responsibilities (though I admit to just doing one), and also because as MJ mentioned, our team got into the characters and their relationships to an awesome extreme.

    We finished on our end, but I'll say that for me, school at first was a big problem. Because it lacks the creativity that this challenge has, I had to figure out how to prioritize what needed to be done, and I know the other teammates had enough issues that sometimes brought us to a pause, not so much a huge halt. Gladly I had the second half of this challenge free to focus, so that worked on my end, anyway.

    I should mention that this team idea is especially good because I have felt like I'm not part of CA as much. I think because I haven't had time to draw for myself. Now, doing this, I was drawing for others AND myself. That really helped me feel a sense of belonging!

    Now, the team was supportive of one another, but one problem I noticed was that our SB didn't get one single comment from anyone! No helpful feedback or anything for our efforts. I know I commented on some of the SB's, maybe not as many as I could've, too. It just would've been nice if we too got some of the cheers and encouragement that other teams received. Still, we relied on one another and it worked for us! I'm glad we did, and I understand sometimes people don't get noticed and sometimes they do. If there is a way that teams can better interact with one another though, I'd go for that!

    Regardless, of that problem, I think the Team CHOW should happen again! Not each month or anything, but a special treat for us all. Getting to know other people on CA is a must!! I hope we do it again, and I'll probably join again!!

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  22. #15
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    Jul 2004
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    Weeellll, I think 6 weeks would be a better time frame. Depending on the scope of the project. This was just about more than we could chew. Not the project's fault, our group was moving along pretty half-assed at first...sigh.... But I think 5-6 weeks will be a good one size fits all for following challenges. The clincher is, people have lives, and are living them. So teamwork is difficult. Blarg. Lack of incentive or accountability is an issue as well.

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