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New School Blues Dev. Diary #6: Project Management
by Yoyo Bolo on 01/23/13 03:35:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Developer Diary #6: Project Management Styles Part 1

Hey there, Mike again.  Today we’ll talk a bit about project management styles and which ones YoyoBolo felt would fit New School Blues.  Our first order of business was creating a schedule which outlined our project due date, tasks needed to reach this deadline effectively as well as dates for when these specific tasks are due.  We refer to all these dates as milestones.

But what tasks should these milestones entail and how much time should they be allotted?  This is where project management (PM) comes in.  YoyoBolo took elements from two popular Pm styles in establishing a schedule.  The “waterfall” type production strategy is what most people are familiar with.  The design team writes documentation for the game which is then used as a guide by the development team in creating assets.  All production moves in one direction and momentum builds for a big finish.

Just like something else in nature I can’t quite think of right now

The upside to this is since the design team has nailed down all the particulars, there shouldn’t be much guess work as the dev team creates code and assets.  The downside is this system isn’t very flexible.  If everything is going well then no worries; but if things go wrong - changes in design or scope, tasks falling behind schedule, the game just plain sucks - it is extremely difficult for a team to adjust.  The “current” of production flow is too strong.

While we did create extensive initial documentation prior to asset production, we at YoyoBolo knew a strictly waterfall approach to project management would not do.  Things go wrong and designs need revision.  We had to engineer our schedule with flexibility in mind.  Which leads us to the Agile approach to project management that I’ll be covering more of next time.  Thanks for reading!


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