Production Development Journal #1
This is going to be the first in a series of blog posts detailing my journey through my production 2 class at Champlain College. Basically, the way my school works is that during the spring semester of or sophomore and junior year we take a production class where we are organized into teams and use all the skills me have learned in our other courses to start making games in an interdisciplinary team. This is really one of the best experiences we get to have at Champlain because it gives us students real hands-on time to develop our skills working on a team. So much of our grade in these classes is built around feedback from our teammates that if we don't learn to work in this environment we simply can get through the course.
As of now, I have just finished my first week of the class. I would say our first development sprint was a success overall even through we had a major communication issue.
We started the sprint incredibly strong. While I only knew the artist on my team, I could feel everyone in our group had a great energy and were all really passionate about their work. We believed that our objective was to create three prototypes in the span of three weeks, but would soon discover this was not the case.
When we arrived at class, our team had all our documentation finished and a working digital prototype, but we realized what had gone wrong: we were supposed to do three prototypes in one week not one prototype a week for the span of three weeks.
Our producer started searching the assignment to figure out what went wrong and I immediately dove into our presentation to add my notes for the other two game ideas. Ultimately, we salvaged the situation pretty well. We had already put work into the other two projects (in hopes of getting a head-start on those weeks) and the work we did for the first project was good quality.
What I learned from this first sprint
Ultimately what I learned from this first sprint is that good communication within a team doesn't mean that the team is good at communicating outside itself. We had been slightly confused about how many projects we were doing a week at the start of the sprint but instead of contacting our teacher, we just assumed our team's producer knew the answer. I'm not intending to put the blame on our producer (we were all confused) but if I had done this sprint over again, I would have recognized that the initial confusion meant that there was communication error and would have contacted the teacher (or asked my producer to contact the teacher) just to confirm we understood the assignment.