Week 4 Activity: Time and Project Management
Updated: May 14
This week was a very exciting one for me as I found that during the Global Game Jam, my skills had excelled during those two weeks, however, this rapid Ideation session was to be over two weeks, Imagine the possibilities! This weeks main content was all based around Game Jams and the way in which you should approach them and how to project manage the activity at hand. On the Wednesday we were given a prompt/ theme for the Rapid Ideation session of the module. The first part of the prompt was a Dixit card randomly shuffled and pulled out of a pack (fig.1) we would then have to decipher this card and combine it with a news article from a website. The news article I chose was the first one I saw that evening on BBC News, "Mount Etna: Ash clouds as Sicilian volcano erupts" (fig.2)
I started this Rapid ideation session by summarising the Dixit card into words that first came mind as I glanced at the card, (fig.3 left side) I wanted to make this process quick as I knew that I wanted to take on an ambitious project for this next two weeks. Once the card was broken down I used the Mash-Up technique . I took the word god and combined it with Volcano and I frantically searched google for Volcano gods and to my surprise there were a lot! One stood out to me though, Vulcan "In addition to being known as the Roman god of fire and a member council of gods, Vulcan had the distinction of being the only ugly god." (Geller, 2017)
Project Management: "is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements." (PMI, 2020)
Project management is important in the Ideation process as a good project management workflow can help to produce a game in high quality and keep to an original idea without divergence. However, there are many different project management flows used by big games companies where there is an allowance for creative change in the project as Massive Entertainment's project manager Johan Oldbring says, "Another challenge we face is change management. Projects can change during development, delays might happen, and at the end of the day, our primary goal is to deliver a high-quality product on time and within budget. This means that we have to handle expectations and reactions when it comes to features that might have to be removed for any reason."
I chose to use a Kanban Board (fig.4) to project manage my rapid ideation process, I thought a good old fashioned whiteboard and sticky notes would be best. It was always in front of me on my desk and constantly reminded me of my tasks that need to be achieved.
Time Management (TM): "is the process of planning and controlling how much time to spend on specific activities." (Tools, 2016)
TM is a crucial part to the rapid ideation process as it says in the name you have to be fast to get your artefact done in time. I approached TM with a to do list through Microsoft To Do, which has allowed me to keep myself from spending too much time on one objective. I also divided my Kanban Board into green and red posted notes to define priority as green is high priority, whilst red is assets that need created if I have time.
Mash-up- "Find creative ways to combine items from the two categories together to ideate new products or services, or other ways to solve your design problem." (Crick and Crick, 2019) I used this method to combine the words 'god' and 'volcano' to come up with two characters from Roman mythology for my project (fig.2). I used this method as it seemed the most logical when I was noting down words which I related to the Dixit card (fig.1)
Sketch - making of initial sketches of ideas on paper or digitally. Sketch was used to create thumbnails and create initial drawings of the characters as seen in (fig.5). Thumbnails and sketching allows you to be quick and get all of your bad ideas out before you go into the more detailed work.
Storyboard- "A storyboard is a visual representation of a story sequence and breaks down the action into individual panels." (Maio, 2020) I used this method to create back stories to both characters and to form an overall idea of the age and specificity of the character, storyboarding (fig.6) also helps with the character design as you can quickly picture the character and what they have been through in their story to make them look the way that they do.
Taskboard app (fig.7)- For my day to day work I used this to do list app on my iPad to keep me on track with the work that needed completed. This was useful in stopping me getting distracted and also to note down the smaller details that I needed to do that I couldn't fit into my Kanban Board (fig.4).
Kanban Board- "A kanban board is an agile project management tool designed to help visualize work, limit work-in-progress, and maximize efficiency (or flow)." (Rehkopf, 2020) I used the Kanban board (fig.4) to organise myself over the entire project, I found this very useful as I could pull them off once I was done with one of the sticky notes which was vey satisfying for me.
fig.1- Jean-Louis Roubira. 2008. Dixit. [Photograph of a Dixit card depicting a golden angel]
fig.2- BBC News. 2021. BBC News article showing Etna eruption from February.
fig.3- Luke Morrisby. 2021. Mind mapping and mash-up technique sketch.
fig.4- Luke Morrisby. 2021. White board with green and pink sticky notes.
fig.5- Luke Morrisby.2021. Thumbnail character sketches.
fig.6- Luke Morrisby.2021. Storyboard of character Mercury.
fig.7- Steven Romej. 2016. Taskboard App [Taskboard app interface]
Crick, S. and Crick, S., 2019. Mash-ups as an Ideation Method | Thought Design. [online] Shelleycrick.com. Available at: <https://shelleycrick.com/mash-ups-as-an-ideation-method/> [Accessed 4 March 2021].
Maio, A., 2020. The Complete Guide to Storyboarding. [online] StudioBinder. Available at: <https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-a-storyboard/> [Accessed 4 March 2021].
Rehkopf, M., 2020. What is a Kanban Board? | Atlassian. [online] Atlassian. Available at: <https://www.atlassian.com/agile/kanban/boards> [Accessed 4 March 2021].
Geller, P., 2017. Vulcan - Roman God of Fire and the Forge | Mythology.net. [online] Mythology.net. Available at: <https://mythology.net/roman/roman-gods/vulcan/> [Accessed 4 March 2021].
PMI, P., 2020. What is Project Management?. [online] Project Management Institute. Available at: <https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management#:~:text=Project%20management%2C%20then%2C%20is%20the,in%20the%20mid%2D20th%20century.> [Accessed 4 March 2021].
Tools, M., 2016. What Is Time Management?: Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity. [online] Mindtools.com. Available at: <https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_00.htm#:~:text=Time%20management%20is%20the%20process,yourself%20time%20in%20the%20future.> [Accessed 4 March 2021].