Strategic Card game set in western town. Customize your Character and fight online.

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Talking about project management and Worflow definition.

Posted by Bl_Cervian on Oct 10th, 2012

Hello everybody! Today I will tell you about the main problems of project management!
I know that the topic might seem trivial or boring, but it is necessary to know how to organize complex projects.

Let's start by saying that, when WS Team was formed, we had a lot of ideas about how we wanted our game to be.
Unfortunately, we stopped dreaming all of a sudden; in fact the first months of development have been actually wasted (I mean the period between the opening of this webpage and the first article).
With the duty to have a working alpha by the end of 2012, we had to organize our work to be able to fit with the traditional daily routine and to get maximum performance at the same time.
I'm warning you that I never followed classes of management or processes (except for metallurgical, but here it is useless) so what I'm telling you is my PERSONAL vision about organization of my duties.


Development of a Workflow

The current stage of development requires an immense amount of content creation that can be 3d models (characters, props, etc..), Sound (music, effects, etc..), Animations, etc.. So nothing new...
Having to estimate the MINIMUM amount of work required to get to the fateful alpha, I had to create first an "archetype" of character: a character that contains every kind of possible work.
It was not easy and required not jus a lot of working hours but also material research and study of several techniques. Let's say that the character Male0 took about 90 hours of work.
Therefore I have outlined the steps taken and I gave each phase a value in terms of hours...nothing complicated.

Character Creation Workflow
My workflow if you want we can talk about this in another article

The workflow is divided into steps and microsteps: each section requires a certain skill that you can assign the work to different people.


Distribution of Work

At this point, I created a simple list of tasks to be performed with a simple percentage calculation. This way I always know the extent of the work I reached.

Something you can notice...

As you can see it is nothing but fiction. However with these small steps I am currently at 15% of my work despite of having started about two months ago. The work estimate is 1800 hours.


I hope this article will be useful!

P.S. In the last picture there are some clues about next news!

Post comment Comments
SinKing
SinKing Oct 11 2012, 6:53am says:

The question with small projects is: is it really needed? Do I need % numbers to document my progress, or can I just say "2 days and it's done!"

With bigger teams the question is: does this really help? You can document your work, but can you really make a breakdown that will work? If someone calls in sick, or you run into problems you have to rewrite the entire schedule, resulting in more writing, less action.

Idk, I've worked with schedules and they always turned out to be partly fiction. The only reason they were there was so my superiors had a job. I spent too much time on presenting results and giving updates, while I could have worked on the project. I think there may be a need for this kind of schedule in the bigger projects. However, if you work in, and with a team you know and trust to work at peak efficiency, they will work fast and good without constantly being told what to do. There is mutual understanding instead of control.

Conclusion: If someone ***** up, the whole plan has to be rewritten. If no one ***** up you might not need the plan at all. If the project gets too large you need to break it down, but never to make it more complicated to work on a project!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Bl_Cervian
Bl_Cervian Oct 11 2012, 10:29am replied:

Thank you for your comment! It is very important for me nottice that there is someone that keep in touch tihi topic.
First, our team is composed of 2 peoples and what I manage with this workflow is MY part of the work. Currently this approach really helps me to manage all my duties.
Second, as you said before this approach is useless only if your worker are not payed: perhaps if you do not do your work in an indie game this does not change anything in your life because yor work is considered voluntary service. Obviously this approach cannot work if half than your 100 people team is called "What-so-ever-game-fanboy-97"...nothing new man^_^!

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Western Saloon
Platform
Windows
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WS Team
Engine
Unity
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