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Friday, January 25, 2008

Perfection is the enemy of "good enough"

This story reinforces the point that time-boxed and iterated in-game art produces the best results (cost and quality).

A ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of the work they produced. All those on the right would be graded solely on their works’ quality.

His procedure was simple: On the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the quantity group; 50 pound of pots rated an A, 40 pounds a B, and so on. Those being graded on quality, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an A.

At grading time, the works with the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity.

It seems that while the quantity group was busily churning out piles of work — and learning from their mistakes — the quality group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of clay.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Slides from a Great Presentation on Scrum & Video Games

Last night Mike Cohn gave a presentation to Interactive Gaming and Simulations Alliance meeting in Denver. The slides are available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentation/73

They show the Scrum basics but also why Scrum fits game development so well and includes examples of product backlog items from some of the game studios he has worked with.

Mike has been our agile consultant for several years. He is an excellent coach who has a lot of experience working with game teams. He teaches a number of classes as well such as Scrum Master Certification. I highly recommend him.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

10 Pitfalls of Agility on Large Projects

A good post on the pitfalls (or misconceptions) of agility on large projects. These apply especially well to large game projects. The follow up posts to each of the pitfalls are worth reading too.