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Agile Methodology in Game Development: Year 3 Clinton Keith CTO, High Moon Studios What We’ll Talk About: History of Agile at High Moon What is Agile ? Why use it? Overview of Scrum , one Agile Methodology Agile Planning We’ll touch on eXtreme Programming (XP)

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agile methodology in game development year 3
Agile Methodology in Game Development: Year 3

Clinton Keith

CTO,

High Moon Studios

what we ll talk about
What We’ll Talk About:
  • History of Agile at High Moon
  • What is Agile? Why use it?
  • Overview of Scrum, one Agile Methodology
  • Agile Planning
  • We’ll touch on eXtreme Programming (XP)
  • The results of using Agile at High Moon
  • Q&A

This is about what we experienced, not the “Right Way” to make games

history of agile at high moon
History of Agile at High Moon
  • Used Scrum in last year of Darkwatch
    • Helped keep the project on track
  • Adopted XP and Agile planning practices on new projects over the last year
why adopt agile
Why Adopt Agile?

The Reasons/Goals:

  • Reduce wasted effort/crunch
  • To find the fun first

Other industries have used Agile to develop better products faster. Can we?

what is agile development
What is Agile Development?

The roots of Agile go back 60 years for product dev (in Japan) and 30+ years for software dev.

The Agile Manifesto (modified for game dev):

We value…

  • People and communication over processes and project management tools;
  • Working game over comprehensive design documents;
  • Publisher collaboration over milestone definitions;
  • Responding to change over following a plan;
wasted effort can come from noise and it influences what methodology we use

Far from

Agreement

Anarchy

Complex

Requirements

Complicated

Simple

Close to

Agreement

Technology

Far from

Certainty

Close to

Certainty

Wasted Effort Can Come From “Noise”…and it influences what methodology we use

Preproduction

Production

Source: Strategic Management and Organizational Dynamics by Ralph Staceyin Agile Software Development with Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle.

finding the fun first
Finding the Fun First

Not fun yet?

Alpha/Beta

E3 Demo

Production

Preproduction

Design

what is scrum scrum is
What is Scrum?Scrum is..
  • One of the major Agile Methologies
  • Iterative
  • Commitment-oriented
  • Results-oriented
  • Disciplined
  • About making things visible so you can apply common sense
the scrum cast

ProductOwner

The Scrum Cast

ScrumMaster

Anyone. Not a lead role

Director

Artist

Artist

The Team

Animator

Marketing

QA

Programmer

Customers

Designer

Publisher Producer

product backlog
Product Backlog

Jump

Product Backlog as prioritized by Product Owner

Crouch

Defined as User Stories with conditions of satisfaction

Run

Estimated with relative User Story Points

that help track progress

sprints iteration
Sprints (Iteration)

Change

Sprint

(Fixed Duration)

Sprint Backlog broken out by team

Sprint Goals

Game

Jump

New Game

(Vertical Slice Added)

Crouch

Run

review and planning
Review and Planning

Game

Jump

Fly

Crouch

Review and Planning

Run

daily scrum
Daily Scrum

Daily Scrum

Game

Jump

Fly

Crouch

Run

the war room
The War Room

CompletedTasks

UserStories

(Sprint Backlog)

Tasks

Burndown Chart

slide16

Jump User Story

Task

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

3

Jump Input Control

8

0

0

16

Jump Tuning

16

10

4

16

Jump Animation

8

16

4

Double Jump Option

8

8

0

sprint backlog burndown chart
Sprint Backlog Burndown Chart

Drag works against velocity

Slope = Velocity

Hours

Backlogged Story

Days

Must hit zero hours by end

scaling scrum the scrum of scrums
Scaling Scrum - The Scrum of Scrums

Functional Leadership

Support services

Teams

releases the product backlog iceberg
Releases – The Product Backlog Iceberg

High

Sprint

Release

Value

Cost

Priority

Future Releases

Risk

Knowledge

Low

extreme programming xp
eXtreme Programming (XP)

Alpha/Beta

Cost

Of

Change

Development

Design

Time

agile game development
Agile Game Development
  • Lessons learned
  • Benefits
  • Where to go for more info?
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Start small
    • One Scrum team doing a prototype would be ideal
  • Do what the book says from the start
    • Company dysfunctions can creep in otherwise
    • Don’t get too dogmatic about it
    • …but Scrum is meant to be modified (eventually)
lessons learned24
Lessons Learned…
  • Agile planning is harder to start than thought
    • But XP was easier
  • Coaching was critical
    • Onsite and CSM
  • Publisher buy-in wasn’t difficult
    • Getting them into reviews and planning took adjustment
lessons learned25

Normal Velocity

Lessons Learned…

Overtime Velocity

Overtime value is limited

but average intensity is raised

  • Old Habits Die Hard
    • Over-design
    • Delayed integration
    • Seating by discipline
    • Command and control

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Testing needs to be pushed

benefits
Benefits
  • Improved…
    • Productivity
    • Reliability of build
    • Quality of game
    • Morale
      • Ownership
      • Team work
      • Communication
  • Enables low-cost executive awareness
    • Which means you don’t have to work hard to find out what’s going on
where to go for more info
Where to go for more info?
  • www.agilegamedevelopment.com
    • Books
    • Mailing lists – For Game Developers to share info on adopting Agile
    • AGD Blog – Addressing challenges and news on adopting Agile to Game Development

Questions?