torsdag 1 mars 2018

Catching up

Describing Scrum and me and my groups experience with is all well and good, but I also want to go over some of the things I have been producing these last two weeks. Right now we are coming up on the Beta deadline for our project, and, due to some of the reasons stated in my previous blog post, we are a little bit behind in terms of art assets. Which meant that it has been the time for me to increase my production pace a bit.

Last week I worked on the death animation for our shark enemy. The process of how I made it is very similar to how I created the swimming animation for it. I started out by figuring out the movement, added the rest of the body, drew the outline, and lastly added some color to it. If you want a more detailed description of how I created it check out my blog post from two weeks ago.

That took up most of last week and didn’t leave me with much time to work on other assets. The good news is that this week that is exactly what I have been able to focus on this week. We started out this week by discussing what art we needed in the beta during our monday meeting. A few of those things had to be kept as a placeholder for now, and I don’t feel like they are that valuable to share. Therefore I will instead show you one of the things that I actually put some effort into.

In the original concept of our game you are meant to set sail and find Umibozu, and then escape from it when you manage to find it. One of the main topics during our monday meeting was whether or not we should include the escaping part. In the end we decided that including that segment would take too much time and effort compared to what it added to the gameplay experience. We now needed a way to signal to player that they had reached the end and that that they’ve found Umibozu. In order to show this we decided that we wanted an illustration of the player character in front of Umibozu.

I created this fairly quickly in Photoshop, which is why it feels a bit rough still. I tried taking a speed painter approach to how I created this image. Starting out my blocking in the shapes of the objects with their base colors, adding elements such as textu

re and lighting after the general composition was finalized. Because I needed to complete it quickly I also relied heavily on custom brushes in order to create textures and effects. I would love to revisit this before the project is finished and give it the touch up I think it deserves, but due to needing to complete other assets, this is how it will look in the beta.

That’s it for now, Esbjörn out!

Ready, set, Scrum!

In order to keep track of our progress and make sure that we keep on schedule me and my group have been using an Agile development methodology called Scrum. The goal is to constantly work towards creating a minimum viable product, and iterating on that until the product has the features and quality desired. It is also characterized by working in small teams with short daily meetings in order to make sure that everyone knows what is going within the project.

For our team Scrum has been a bit of a mixed bag. Mostly stemming from our inexperience with the method, and also because of the circumstances of the project. We’ve been good at grouping up and having meetings with each other. Most weekdays we meet up in order to have our daily stand up meeting where we discuss what we’ve been doing since yesterday, and go over what we’re gonna do until tomorrow. This has been helped by the fact that we’ve been meeting up to work together on the days we don’t have any lectures.

The lectures are however a part of one of the problems we’ve been having. At the start we estimated that each workweek we would spend 20 hours each on the project. However, due to lectures, meetings and other classes, the time that we’ve been able allocate towards the project have been lower than that. At least if we aim not to work during the weekends. This makes the initial planning we did at the start of the project inaccurate, and we’ve had a hard time meeting the 20 hour work hours that we plan for. As the project has progressed we have been scaling down the planned work hours for each member so that we can get a more realistic estimate on the amount of progress we are able to achieve during each week.

One thing that could also help us is to get better and get a better routine on how to work with Scrum. For example, both our sprint planning and review could be completed quicker in order to give us more working time. Right now, due to our inexperience and poor execution in how we’ve set up our backlog, we spend a lot of time discussing and figuring out what needs to be done each week. This is something we all agree that we will work on for our next projects, where we might also be able to have sprints that are two weeks long, instead of one week sprints. Having sprints last two weeks would halve the amount of big meetings we have, and also allow us to have a better flow when working. Right now it feels as if we don’t have enough time to really start working on something before a sprint review is coming up.

All in all, there are definitely benefits working via Scrum, but right now we are having some troubles getting it to work because of the circumstances of the project as well as our inexperience. We are learning a lot about what is working and what is not, which will help us as the project continues, as well as for future projects.

That’s all I had to say for now, Esbjörn out!