Over the next two posts, I will be documenting both parts of our first stand-up meeting. In this post, I will cover the finalisation of our Team Charter, as well as our first supervisor meeting which was held one day prior. In the next post, I will cover the finalisation of our game concept.
This week, we had both our first supervisor meeting with the tutor who has been appointed as our supervisor, Giovanni (Rubino, G., 2021) and we also had our first stand-up meeting (Perry, L., Quinn, L., Tsaklev, G. and Waters, J., 2021). Prior to this week, we were all very anxious and had some difficulty reaching a consensus with the game concept. However, this week has proven to be a turning point and now we have some direction.
Supervisor meeting – 15th June
We had our first supervisor meeting with Giovanni on Tuesday of this week over Teams. These meetings will be held every Tuesday. There is not a lot to report from this meeting but Giovanni was very reassuring and told us that we are on the right track with the work we have already done and that we just need to come together to solidify this game concept, as well as finalising the roles that we will be carrying out.
Stand-up meeting – 16th June
We held our first proper stand-up meeting yesterday. The purpose of this stand up meeting was to finish off the Team Charter and also to finalise the concept for the game (which will be covered in the next post), using the ideas we had brainstormed so far. Four members of the team were present, but one was unable to make it.
I was initially going to take minutes for these stand-up meetings, for the benefit of both those who were present so they can use them for future reference and also those who were absent so they know what was said and agreed. However, we then agreed that it would be better to have a video meeting that we could record and store for the same purposes. This proved to be a better decision as the meeting commenced as I felt more a part of the meeting and I may have been more detached from the discussion if I was focusing on taking minutes.
We initially used Zoom for this first meeting, but we have agreed to solely stick to Teams for future meetings, as this is what is used by Falmouth and we want to keep the number of software applications we use to a minimum.
You can view our team charter in its current form by clicking here.
The first half of this meeting consisted of finishing off the team charter. To draft this team charter, we watched this video (X-Culture Education, 2018) to decide what we should consider when drafting up a team charter.
To draft the team charter, I shared my screen which had the Team charter displayed on it and we collectively discussed each section of the charter to decide what should be agreed.
We decided that we would need a lot of flexibility within this project, so the team charter is a living document which is subject to future changes, depending on changes that arise in the project.
All members of the team have indicated the roles that they would like to fulfil in this section. We have all indicated what roles we would like to lead on and which ones we would want more of a supporting role in. The details of all my team members and their roles are listed in the team charter document, so I will not go into much detail here, but I will explain my choices:
- Level design: This is an area I will be taking a lead on with one other person. While I have limited experience in level design, this is an area I enjoyed and I am particularly keen in this area.
- 3D Art and animation: This is an areas I have developed a big enthusiasm for in the past few weeks/months and something I am seeking to become more proficient in. I will take a lead in this area.
- Programming: I have mentioned in previous posts that this is not an areas I will pursue in the long term, but I am keen to become more proficient in Unity and this may involve doing some level of programming. I will offer my support here so that I can learn some more about this area.
- 2d art: I will offer support in this area, as I have illustration skills and I would like to do some concept art for this
- Narrative: I will offer support here. I am good with coming up with story concepts, so I will help others to develop this duirng the course of the project
As per the Scrum workflow, we will have a Scrum Master and Product Owners (Cprime. 2021). We have decided the role of Scrum Master will alternate on a week-by-week basis, or for however long a period as we see fit. This is to acknowledge that at different stages of the project, different people will take more of a leading role.
There are two Product Owners, who in this project will be responsible for overseeing the tasks and assets that are required in the project and ensuring everything is going ahead.
We have all listed our names, email addresses, phone numbers and locations in the Team Charter. Out of respect for the privacy of my fellow team members, I have removed this section from the version of the team charter linked above.
File storage and version control
We will use the GitHub repository to manage any files associated with the game itself. Any files that are not part of the game but still important will be stored in a shared folder on Google Drive.
We will use Teams for all meetings. For intermittent communication, we will continue to use the Discord server. The Discord server will be split into multiple channels for different kinds of issues (E.g. meetings times and dates to be stated in a separate Discord channel to avoid meetings being missed, technical issues, etc.)
This part of the team charter is subject to change week-by-week. As we are studying this masters part-time and several team members have work schedules that vary from week-to-week, we have agreed that we need to keep our team schedule flexible, to accommodate individual schedules.
In this section, we agreed to have this project divided into Sprints, as per the Scrum framework. These sprints will last two weeks each. As we are already in the third week at the time of writing this, we have collectively agreed that we are currently in Sprint 2, which will last until Sunday 27th, in which time Sprint 3 will commence.
As mentioned above, our group schedule will be influenced by individual schedules. However, we have established the following meetings that will be required during each sprint.
- Stand-up meetings: These will take place twice a week.
- The first of these will take place every Sunday as this is when all team members have agreed they are free. In this Sunday meeting, we will ascertain availability for the week
- The second meeting will take place during the week and will be scheduled according to when most team members are available. The scheduling of this meeting will be done in the Sunday Stand-up meeting
- Supervisor meeting: These take place with Giovanni every Thursday at 6pm
- Sprint Review & Retrospective/Planning for next sprint: As per the Scrum framework, we are required to hold a review and retrospective of each sprint when it ends to determine what we did well during the sprint and what could be done better. On the last Sunday of every sprint, immediately after the Stand-up meeting, we will hold the Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective so that we can do this. Immediately after this, the new sprint will commence and we will hold a subsequent meeting to plan for this new sprint.
- Specialism meetings: These ones are for members of the team who have particular specialisms and are working on specific areas of the project to liaise with one another. These will be called as and when they are required.
As mentioned above, our sprints will last two weeks each. Here are the exact dates:
Sprint 1: 30th May to 13th JuneDONE
- Sprint 2: 13th June to 27th June – current sprint
- Sprint 3: 27th June to 11th July
- Sprint 4: 11th July to 25th July
- Sprint 5: 25th July to 8th August
- Sprint 6: 8th August to 22nd August
The deadline for our pitch is by the 19th August, but we have agreed to keep the final sprint as two weeks for the sake of consistency. The final date for this project will be 22nd August.
Tools and techniques
The tools and techniques we have agreed upon are viewable in the above link. Not much more to say about these.
These will be decided at every sprint and will be split into three parts.
- Individual goals – what each team member wants to accomplish for their own personal development
- Teamwork goals – what each team member aims to contribute to the functioning of the team
- Project goals – decided collectively by the whole team for the duration of the sprint
As you can see from the Team Charter document I uploaded, we have not yet finalised our individual or teamwork goals, but we are aiming to get this done by the next Stand-up meeting. We have agreed on a project goal to prototype the main mechanics and also colour palettes.
In the next post, I will cover the next half of our Stand-up meeting, which consisted of finalising and working out the game project, using everything that had been brainstormed so far.
Cprime. 2021. What is AGILE? – What is SCRUM? – Agile FAQ’s | Cprime. [online] Available at: https://www.cprime.com/resources/what-is-agile-what-is-scrum/ [Accessed 17 June 2021].
Perry, L., Quinn, L., Tsaklev, G. and Waters, J., 2021. Stand-up meeting – Wednesday 16th June.
Rubino, G., 2021. Weekly support session with supervisor.
X-Culture Education, 2018. Why and How To Write a Team Charter. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIwkbImktrU> [Accessed 15 June 2021].
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