100 Experience Points
An Adventure in Indie Game Development

Sprint 5 Retrospective

This sprint was so weird, I don’t even know where to begin.

I mean, did I even have a sprint? It seems like the whole week, including last Sunday, was basically me just hitting my head against the keyboard going nowhere.

That will teach me to do art.

Interestingly, the art that derailed me is also what got me back on track.

What Went Well

Uh… honestly? I don’t even know what to say here.

The mockups were a really good move. I had hoped (I had pretended to hope) that I’d have some form of a working game right now, and I don’t yet. That’s still a ways off. But the thing about making those mockups is I suddenly felt like, hey, I can make at least the UI look half decent. And look! Here’s all of the big, key screens that I need! That’s doable!

Which is interesting, because I also feel like I’ve bit off way more than I (or anyone) could reasonably do in 100 days. So there’s a part of me saying, “This is doable,” and another part saying, “That’s impossible.” There’s now suddenly another part of me saying, “No it’s not. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back at home.”

The mind of a nerd, I guess.

So I guess it’s still up in the air as to whether I’ll have something fun and useful at the end of the 100 days.

The good news (and just about the only good news) is that I’m back on track, and moving forward.

What Went Wrong

Pretty much everything. Still, a week after it happened, am kind of confused how it all went down. Last Saturday, things were great, and then overnight, it fell apart. As I’ve said on this blog before, I think a big part of it is trying to dig too heavily into the art. I know I won’t ever have awesome realistically textured amazing 3D models. Not unless I get an artistic team mate. (Which, incidentally, isn’t in the plans, though I’m not necessarily opposed to it.) So while I’ve backed off from figuring that part out for the time being (I keep telling you I have other ideas and alternatives that I can try) it’s still a little scary to know that sometime in the next 64 days I’ll need to deal with it.

The tasks on my scrum board were pretty much ignored. I did a few of them, but almost inadvertently. Really. I went in a different direction than I had planned. Had I had a client besides me, that wouldn’t have been an option. The good news is, I’m also the product owner, so I can make that decision if I want. The right thing to do would have been to redo my sprint planning meeting and still have a coherent plan.

What Will Change

For the next sprint, I’m going to identify one large problem to fix: the length of the sprints. They’re too short. I feel like I’m spending too much of my time on Sundays and Mondays doing sprint planning and reporting. I think I’m going to extend my sprints to two weeks instead of one. One is just to dang short for me right now.

So while I’ll be posting a new version of the game later today in a sprint review post, the next one will be in two weeks.

I’m also planning on staying away from the 3D modeling artwork for the next sprint. I’ll address that in a couple of weeks. Until then, you’re stuck with not-so-cool 3D models, in exchange for hopefully getting to that playable game that I’ve been talking about. Now that’s a more realistic goal.