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Agile Game Development Vidcast

Intel has an interview with HanSoft who makes HanSoft AB, an agile development tool, about using agile when developing video games.  The interview is hosted by Arti Gupta, who is responsible for community management at Intel games.

VisualizeThis! Agile for Game Development

The Interview

Here is the interview, between Patrick from Hansoft and Arti.  It talks about when agile helps teams, when to use a tool, etc.  Some key takeaways:

  • Teams of thirty plus can benefit by using tools
  • Agile development can save people money

My Two Pennies

I am an editor for the Game Development Column for ASPects, a newsletter for the Association of Shareware Professionals.  The independent game developers I am in touch with are generally lone wolf.  Patrick mentions that their customers are tens of people (thirty or forty), which is a curious fact.  I could definitely see the benefit agile development would bring for such teams because these are the guys who used the Unified Process before!  Agile will save these teams a good percent on development costs.  Let me know if you are interested in saving this money using agile for game development, I can write a step by step on where the costs are saved, how to implement this for game development teams, and even specifics like how to use Google to connect your entire game development and production teams.

While I think a big appeal of Agile development is that a project can be much more focused and easier to change, thus saving money through a lack of wasteful effort, it's also more fun.

When everyone knows exactly what is expected at any given time, there's a lot less grumbling between the grunts and management. The stakeholders identify what needs to be done over the course of a project as best as they can. The developers indicate how much they can do in any given iteration in terms of story points, and then management takes that information to plan iterations. In any given iteration, you know what's being worked on, how progress is going, and what's left to be done. Each day you are presumably keeping each other up-to-date on what you're doing and if anything is blocking you so that your manager can remove that block, keeping you focused on work.

Instead of being cumbersome and annoying, the process is only as heavy as it needs to be, which turns out to be very light. No one feels like it's process for the sake of process.

I am so glad you brought that up. Yes, agile is a lot more fun for teams than other processes and in some cases no process. If done correctly, that fun directly translates into productivity and a happier workplace.

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