Project Management

This is the Project Management
Where I will be looking at the processes involved in coordinating a project and a team, for the purposes of creating a game called MoonSweeper. We will be looking at the Scrum/Agile method, and risks and other issues associated with the games development.
There is a lot of overlap, on this part of the course, so for example many of the documents, you may have seen on other parts of this webpage

  • The Beginning

    The Gresham

    To start with, we were requied to give a presentation, of our game idea, to everybody on the entire course, with the intention of selling the idea to our peers. It was also the intention of recruiting essential team members.
    In practice, people picked the team they wanted to work on, which was typically people from their own group, that they had worked with already. In my case, I knew a few guys were interesed in working on this project, but was happy to get a few more.

  • The Team

    To me, they are, Se - art & 3d Max , Oisin- Art & Audio, Danny- 3d Max , Darren - programming and Lee- 3d Max... oh ... and me...
    Alas, at the time of press, no current photo is available, so the photo here is just a reference.

  • First Meeting June 11

    The day after the presentation in the Gresham hotel, we met breifly to welcome each member to the team and to comfirm what each person would be working on.

  • Tranq Garden- Google Drive

    Similar to the group email set up for the each class, I set up a google mail account, where everyone will have access to the common drive.

  • Talbot St Friday Meeting

    We met last Friday, in a friends office, at the central school of English
    We spoke mainly about general issues, and discussed things like the GUI and general game play. Tasks were assigned. Minutes can be seen HERE

  • Assets

    With the google drive set up, we are able to put our work up in a common place, so that they can be assembled, when the time comes.

  • Scrum / Trello

    In our Project Management class, we set up Trello accounts, to start using the Scrum method of creating tasks and for people to draw down tasks, and complete them as necessary. As people already know what they have to do, and there is not a huge list at the moment, it is not entirely nececssary at the moment, but it is a good system

  • Risk Assessment

    We have just started on some of the project management assignments. You can see my Risk Assessment document in the right hand panel

  • Success Criteria

    Its also good to make, a concise list of goals to be achieved, to help keep focus on whan needs to be done. You can see a short list of criteria in the right hand panelo

  • Meeting July 25

    We see each other regularly, but it is good go have a sit down meeting to see how people are getting on. If you click HERE you can see the minutes of our last meeting.

  • Meeting August 7th

    We see each other regularly, but it is good go have a sit down meeting to see how people are getting on. If you click HERE you can see the minutes of our last meeting.

  • Progress Emails

    Even though we meet reagulary, its good to get updates by email, so see if there are any problems arising. If you click HERE to see part of an emial to the team.

  • Meeting August 14th

    Along with our usual sprint meeting, we spoke about the Scrum Meeting assesment, what we would have coming up. I mentioned that I would be meeting with the course supervisor, and would arrange at time. HERE

  • Meeting With Course Supervisor

    Had a meeting with the course supervisor, John Healy, where we went over some of the requirements both for myself and for the team. We also arranged a time for the Team Scum Assessment. This time was later confirmed via a class email with an 'Online Booking Sheet'

  • Game Progress

    All of the assets are not yet assembled, but you can get a feel for the game her, as of of 30th July Play it here
    Keep your finger on the space bar... and you should fly :-)

  • Filing System

    As the work is being completed, the number of files, of all sorts and kinds, both on my personal hard drive, and on the shared drive, are really starting to increase. Even though we have set up appropiate folder systems as required, it can still be difficult to make sure things are in the right place, and for me to keep up with all the files being added to the system. Also starting a filing system from scratch, will always be difficult, but will benefit from hindsight.
    Just trying to keep up , adds to the work load.

  • Trello and Assigning work

    While the Trello/Scrum method seems to be an excellent system, for experienced teams that are up and runnning, it seems to the inexperienced, just another layer of work, and thing to do.It also suffers from my personal inexperience of assigning work, and sticking and holding team members to that task. Also as we are all students, with other assignments and no one fixed place to work together as a team, it is difficult to supervise work being done, and with the added problem of people working on multiple computers, it just seems that constantly, we are trying to start something, that should already have been done.
    This all also highlights, the issue of estimating resources, and how being inexprienced in the area, makes for very sloppy estimates, and I cant help feeling that, if all the hours that could have been worked, were worked, we would have a much better developed project.

    Issues with team members

    This also brings up the issue of working with other team memebers, that constantly say they will do a task, and simply fail to do so, repeatedly. While I would agree, that there is a much scope for improvement, in the way tasks are broken up, by myself, I have requested art work verbally and by email, and on the Trello board, it is still not an excuse for producing no work at all. Artists ... hmmmm who'd have guessed ??

  • Bitbucket

    When multiple people are working on the same project in Unity 3d, each is doing different things, I for example built the layout of the Green house, and Danny built the greenhouse and created the textures for the floors, and Darren is working on programming. As a result there are several different version of the same project around, and trying to merge them is problematic, and risky as it would be very easy to lose work. So we have started using the Bitbuck system, should if used correctly, will mean each person, and update the version, without risk of destroying it

  • Assignment Work

    While all this work is going on, there are still other college projects and assignments to be worked on, so keeping on top of time management is still essential. With classes still going on, it can be difficulty to come from one class, and begin working on another project. Its very easy to waste a lot of time, just trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing ?!?

  • Scrum Meeting Assessment Wed 21st

    We had a quick , pre meeting - meeting before the recording and , althought not really necessary, went through what we had been doing, and were going to do. I mentioned a few things I was going to bring up, and with who, and it seemed the recorded meeting went ok.

  • Meeting August 21th

    But even though were were being filmed, and assessed, we still had a normal meeging and you can see the minutes HERE

  • Software Update hit !

    Unity have updated their software, as have some of the team. However the college has not updated its versions, and not only was a whole afternoon's work lost, but also much of the previous work done on the same persons computer. We have all updated our software now.

  • Programming

    I think perhaps a lack of experience, both in programming itself and with some video game codes and conventions, is giving our programmer some problems. Our bugs are flying around sideways. The class tutor gave us some new scripts, but he still can't get them to work. Other programmers in the class are too busy , but offering some help

  • Animations

    Se has done some great work with 3d Max animations, and Danny has added them to a short trailer Video. Looks great See it here

  • Design Document

    Sean, our Unity & Programming lecturer has requested we complete a 'Design Document' for our project. The document does not make much sense to me, as an assignment at this time. It is not in keeping with Agile Methodology. The theory is that before you start work on a game, you create and list all the assets , sounds, and environments. However, it does not really allow for changes, as the game developes, that can be easily coped with in an agile system. Even at this late stage, people have come up with sensible and logical additions to the game, which mean the document is already out of date. I appreciate the need for a brief, but things should not be set in stone ! while on the other hand , our previous Level Design document, allowed for all these things.
    It took most of the weekend at a very late stage in development. Not enjoyed one bit, but you can it see HERE

  • Bitbucket AGAIN!!

    As multiple people are working on the game, they are all working on their own version, on their own computers. To get them all to work together they need to be merged. Due to problems with the internet in the center, I have been tring to do this on a local hard drive on one of the computers. I have been able to get it work on all the test projects, but when we apply it to the real project, things get pushed out/lost as quickly as new things get added. SO... Seamus now has a version with all the programming on it and is adding all his new room textures and animations.
    Should be ok

  • Finished .. mostly

    Well, there has been a lot of work , and not least in the last week or two. Sounds and music have been added, doors open , bug die, and players too , if they are not careful. It does not handle very smootly, in fact its a bit clunky, the main idea has been achieved and it looks good.
    You can see some screen shots HERE and with the big boss to the left HERE Alas , its too big a file at the moment, to be used on this website.

  • Conclusion

    Well, not bad for a first attempt at creating a game from scratch, and cooridniating and assembling a wide varity of skills and talents. If I did it all again , would I make changes, yes, I'm sure I would. Ideally I would not want to have to tackle so many Fetac assignments at the same time, but I suppose, it is not realistic that I would have had similar tasks in any other company. Really the issue of multiple versions of the game, that need to be merged, needs to be resolved. Trying to keep staff contributing, while not going completely away from the design brief, in terms of tone and style.

    If I do more work on the game , the first thing will be to split it up into smaller scene's so it can be put on the internet in a more usable way.

    But at the same time, a lot got done, and a lot was learned... !!
    Well done to everyone involved and thanks to everyone who helped ..

    The MoonSweeper Team !!!