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ClintonKeith

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  1. Hi Mike,   > In an agile game development user stories are used in the sprint backlog.   If you want to go by the definition, then user stories are one type of product backlog item used to populate the product backlog.  A set of user stories (short descriptions of what a player will do in your game if the feature it describes is implemented) that are to be added to a game within a sprint is called the sprint goal.  A sprint backlog is that goal plus the plan to achieve it within the sprint, usually in the form of tasks or however you plan your work.   This isn't how you *have* to work using agile, it's just the agreed upon definition.   Like the others, I haven't heard of user journeys, but in games there is often a need for larger constructs of user stories that bring together a narrative of features for the player.  I'd encourage exploring user journeys.   Here are links to short articles about other narrative structures I've seen used: http://blog.agilegamedevelopment.com/2016/04/user-story-mapping-for-games-example.html http://blog.agilegamedevelopment.com/2016/04/mechanic-driven-development.html   Good luck! Clint  
  2. Neo, Tom's correct that there will be an imbalance.   One thing to make clear: agile is a framework for having developers figure out how to deal with this rather than relying on a defined process to handle it for them, so there is no "best practices answer" to your issue.     Since this issue comes up a lot, I'll share what some folks have done: - Less strict specialization: The artists tests and tunes what is available if no art work is needed.   - The programmer iterates more frequently.  E.g. instead of building an entire camera management system and a set of cameras, they apply the YAGNI principle and just provide a simple polar, follow or 1st person camera to begin with and some tuning interface.  Again, with the artist doing some tuning work, it can allow more iteration on the game, which is good. - I have even seen times when the artist picks up a little scripting work (depends on the artist). - Take advantage of the extra art time.  When we were building a mechanic and a city to use it in, we had the artist build a grey-box full-sized city as well as representative city blocks with higher fidelity.  That allowed us to approach the mechanic's gameplay from both sides of the fidelity as well as giving the programmer a range of assets to test with. - Have the artist detail your car in their spare time (just kidding, but this was suggested once ;)   Iterative development not only applies to what you're making, but how you're making it as well.  Experiment & have fun!
  3. Agreed.  Here are some more resources on agile & lean practices for video game development: http://blog.agilegamedevelopment.com https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321618521?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwagilegamed-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0321618521     Full disclosure: I'm the author.
  4. [quote name='EpicWally' timestamp='1349385023' post='4986902'] 1.) Is TDD applicable to game development? I'm guessing the answer is yes for large projects/teams, but I don't know about small project games like what I've mentioned I've done/am working on. [/quote] Yes. It's directly applicable. I'll shamelessly plug my book on the subject: http://tinyurl.com/agdbook For art and design, there are emerging equivalents (there was a great presentation about "art unit tests in Maya" at GDC 2012, but I have not links to it). Pairing applies to other disciplines, but also not a lot of documented "good practices". [quote name='EpicWally' timestamp='1349385023' post='4986902'] 2.) If it is, what kinds of tests would one run? [/quote] Apart from the typical unit tests for code, for decades, developers have found ways to have games "play themselves". Many times innocuous, minor changes to properties or elements in the game (e.g. physics changes, prop placement) can have tremendous, unanticipated influence on gameplay....kind of a "butterfly effect". Having the game play itself across the levels and platforms with as many variations you can and frequently as you can helps. Usually the limitation is size of the server infrastructure a studio can afford to build. I've seen companies with huge investments here (usually MMO devs). Hope that helps! Clinton Keith www.ClintonKeith.com
  5. Are you looking to energize your teams, reduce costs and increase performance? Has crunch, missed schedules and budgets become harder to avoid? Scrum and agile practices have helped many studios improve product development and the workplace environment. Learn to establish and improve Scrum in your studio by becoming a ScrumMaster in the only workshop that focuses on game development from the Certified Scrum Trainer with 15 years of game development experience. This two-day course provides the fundamental principles of Scrum through hands-on experience and interactive project simulation. During the course, attendees will learn why such a seemingly simple process as Scrum can have such profound effects on an organization. Attendees learn to apply practical, project-proven practices that have worked for numerous video game projects • The essentials of getting a project off on the right foot • How to build a product backlog and plan releases • How to help both new and experienced teams be more successful • How to successfully scale Scrum to large, multi-continent projects with team sizes in the hundreds • How to help producers, artists, designers and programmers work together effectively • How to work with publishers and others outside the team who may not be familiar with Scrum • Tips and tricks from an instructor with 15 years of game development experience and 5 years of experience applying Scrum to game development Participants who successfully complete the course, will become Certified ScrumMasters through the Scrum Alliance and receive a two-year membership in the organization where additional ScrumMaster-only material and information are available. Pricing and Availability The Certified Scrum Master for Game Development Course is being held just prior to the IGDA Leadership Forum on November 10th-11th at the SF Airport Marriott. The course has limited seating and is available for $1500 by visiting http://www.igda.org/leadership/registration/. Discounts are available for those attending the leadership forum or groups of four or more. More details for the course material can be found at http://www.clintonkeith.com/OnsiteFiles/Brochures/CSM4VG_Brochure.pdf About Clinton Keith Clinton Keith, a Certified Scrum Trainer has over 20 years of professional development experience and 15 years in video game development experience. His games include Midnight Club, Smuggler’s Run, Darkwatch, Bourne Conspiracy and numerous others. Clinton introduced agile development methodologies to the video game industry in 2003. Clinton writes about agile on his blog and will be releasing a book in early 2010 called “Agile Game Development with Scrum”. For any questions contact him at clint@clintonkeith.com or visit his website www.ClintonKeith.com