Week 10 - Agile
Updated: May 14
This week was all about 'Agile Practice', What do we mean by Agile? Well "Agile is a collection of guiding values and principles for how teams should complete projects. Agile teams self-organize, iterate, and work in short periods of time to deliver value to customers faster." (Eby, 2016) I have found it very difficult trying to understand Agile and Scrum, so I thought I would dedicate myself to learning more about agile this week.
Agile in games is a very important in the game making process as it helps to speed up the overall development as it allows your team to fail faster. This also means that success can come more often as you work in sprints of up to four weeks, depending on the type of agile that you use. Agile is said to "be interpreted as working on small projects instead of working on the whole project. Its processes breed a flexible, self-organized, fast-paced, and open-minded focus." (Studios, 2020) Agile is split into two best practices; Scrum and Kanban.
"Much like a rugby team (where it gets its name) training for the big game, scrum encourages teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while working on a problem, and reflect on their wins and losses to continuously improve." (Drumond, 2020) When using Scrum a project is broken down in to bite size pieces also known as sprints to allow your team to stay motivated when working. I found myself using this method during my first rapid ideation as although I worked alone, I still broke my art pipeline project into sections such as; concept art and 3d art. This breakdown helped me to get into the right mental space to move on to the next stage and also reflect on my successes and failures during the sprints.
"Work items are represented visually on a kanban board, allowing team members to see the state of every piece of work at any time." (Radigan, 2020) Kanban is a great way of visually showing that you are done with a project, employers also want to see a lead (the time it takes for a Kanban card to go from task to done) as this helps them understand how they can manage expectations of customers in terms of timings. There are some great Kanban board collaborative apps such as Trello and Miro which we recently used as a team for the Global Game Jam.
Agile is very important for getting work done in a timely manor whilst keeping your employees motivated. I love using a Kanban boards as I find myself feeling satisfied, when moving a card from doing to done, I find this motivates me to see something tangible and visual. I believe Scrum is a great way for teams to work on big projects and it makes more sense to break down large projects into sprints. I find this method very similar to using GitHub as a repository as everyone in the team is working on smaller projects within branches and then when the assets are ready all of the branches are merged into main to form the final game.
Studios, S., 2020. Best Agile Practices in Game Development | Starloop Studios Blog. [online] Game Development Outsourcing Company, 3D Art Outsourcing, 3D Animation Outsourcing | Starloop Studios. Available at: <https://starloopstudios.com/best-agile-practices-in-game-development/> [Accessed 14 May 2021].
Drumond, C., 2020. Scrum - what it is, how it works, and why it's awesome. [online] Atlassian. Available at: <https://www.atlassian.com/agile/scrum> [Accessed 14 May 2021].
Radigan, D., 2020. Kanban - A brief introduction | Atlassian. [online] Atlassian. Available at: <https://www.atlassian.com/agile/kanban> [Accessed 14 May 2021].
Eby, K., 2016. Comprehensive Guide to the Agile Manifesto. [online] Smartsheet. Available at: <https://www.smartsheet.com/comprehensive-guide-values-principles-agile-manifesto> [Accessed 14 May 2021].