Project 3 – Post-Mortem

For this third and final project of Studio 1, some of the students in the class were split into teams of three while some students opted to do this project by themselves. I was in a team that consisted of Ben, Ruby and myself. The project required the class to brainstorm as many verbs as possible. Then all the verbs were gathered together in a single document and discussed amongst the class. It is after this that the teams got together to discuss what game they wanted to make. However, there was a caveat. This caveat was that the game must be controlled with a single joystick and a single button. The single button must perform the verb that the team has chosen.

Our team selected the verb ‘Boast’ and decided to make a game in which the player must navigate around a city and boast to people who are smaller than them. Every time to boast to someone smaller than you, your head gets bigger. This, in turn, makes it harder for the player to navigate the level.

 

What Went Right:

Teamwork:

The team used Discord to communicate with each other throughout the project. Since it is available on both computer and mobile, team members were able access each other whenever it was needed. It was an excellent way to communicate who was working on what and when they were going to be working on it. Source control was also very easy since we would be able to determine when people were working and when people were committing their work. As a result, we never encountered a problem that required us to regress to an earlier version of the game.

The reason why this happened was because all members of the team were very willing to communicate with one another and were transparent when it came to their availability. Each member of the team, at one point or another, had approximately one whole week where they wouldn’t be able to contribute to the project and that was told to every other member of the team as early as possible. This allowed the other team members to prepare for the decreased output of the team and adjust the plan accordingly.

What I can learn from this is that communication is the key to a good project. Even though the project is incomplete, but submitted regardless, the team was happy with what they achieved. Being able to adjust plans as early as possible and assign work to different people as need be was a great advantage. With good communication we were able to manage members’ expectations while maintaining a positive attitude.

 

What Went Wrong:

Communication w/ Collaborators:

For this project the team collaborated with an Animation student named Hayden and an Audio student named Bronte. The team met with them both within the first few weeks of the project and discussed the game, as well as what deliverables the team would need from each of them. After that meeting, all discussion was delegated to emails and it was at this point that things started going downhill. While the team did receive the assets they needed, some required adjusts and it took days for that information to be received.

The reason why this happened is because emails were sent every few days, meaning that it wasn’t possible for a reliable and quick response from any of the involved parties. This resulted in delayed feedback and adjustments. This delay could last anywhere between a few days to a week.

What I can learn from this is that all members of the team, either internal or external members, need to use the same method of communication. The internal team (Ben, Ruby and I) had excellent communication but the external team (Hayden and Bronte) didn’t. Including the external team into Discord and Hack n Plan would allow them to work autonomously, thus removing the need for email and removing the delay in communication. This would also allow the external team to see who is currently working and enable direct messaging and notifications for faster responses to feedback and more.

 

Work Backlog:

The team entered the project with work remaining on previous projects. This left each team member essentially working on at least two projects at once. Having the team’s’ attention divided didn’t help Project 3 and led to the team running out of time, therefore forcing them to stop working on the project before it was able to be completed

The reason why this happened varies. Each team member might have different reasons for having work left over from projects. At the very least, Project 2 still had work that was left for Strike Teams to complete and each member of this team was in a least one Strike Team.

What I can learn from this is that people will have their own work to do outside of projects that they work on and, if need be, that work should be considered into the planning of the current project.

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