Postmortem – A Thief’s Way

Introduction

This project has been the most productive project in terms of physical work, and output. The project suffered from rigidity and setbacks, but overall has come to a successful project conclusion. The communication dynamic experienced in this project is something that I will push for in future projects. And the implementation problems are something that I can learn from to better focus the efforts of teams that I work with in the future.

Communal work sessions.

Working at the same time as my teammate resulted in efficient communication, production, problem solving, and problem management. This communication worked mostly through discord. Allowing me to ask direct task and goal based questions.  We quickly fell into similar work patterns, with a cooperative attitude on both sides of the communication. This was highly motivating for me personally, and I feel like I got a lot of good work done on our project. Moving forward I would like to make an effort to find one or more people in the group too work closely with, in a way that has a similar dynamic as this project. To do this I will be more directed in the initial stages of the project to express the way I work best and asses the most appropriate person to use as my lead. Outlining what I need to stay productive while also making an effort to respect the way they work best. If I cannot find this dynamic I will talk to facilitators about finding a solution. On top of this I plan to work on my problem solving ability to make sure that I can independently find solutions when needed. To do this I plan to work on more solo projects and implement day sprints.

Implementation failure

The core interaction mechanic did not work the way we had initially wanted it too. This was caused in part by a break down in planning, and time management, not allowing for overflow time with the level loader. Partly more complicated than initially expected. And Partly because I was hit with a depression low that drained the three days set aside to write and develop the movement mechanic. This then resulted in a mad rush to cobble something together with the physics system. This rushed and overworked attempt to get something working for playtest resulted in a burnout that lasted most of the following week, this severely reduced the amount of effort I was able to put into the hours that I was putting in.This was then compounded by focusing on non key areas in order to attempt to have a stronger output. When the problems with the core interaction were brought up during playtesting, we still opted to focus on making the project feature complete before attempting to fix the core mechanic. We did not really attempt to leverage the rushed movement system as we always intended on fixing it, but we never put planing into fixing it, as other smaller things felt more urgent. We made the ultimate decision to leave it as it was in order to get the project to a completed state. In the future, I would I plan to focus on outcome over output. Make a rule that core mechanics come first. Learn some new things to leverage in future projects that I would have benefited from knowing to develop the two core systems in this project, these being; abstract and concrete types, delegates and events, and unity Scriptable objects. To mitigate these problems in the future, I will be making sure that the core mechanics have a more defined and outline plan of implementation. And during production I would like to make a per milestone checklist, to assess the development and direction of the core mechanics.

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Postmortem – Clutter Tool

Introduction

In the Clutter Tool project we were tasked with making a tool that could be used by us and others to improve the productivity and workflow of future projects. I was initially excited as Tool development has been something that has interested me since I got into programing. But after the idea had been settled on it quickly became apparent that the team was leaderless, unmotivated and unwilling to communicate. This resulted in production conflicts and the project simply grinding to a halt, and being abandoned shortly afterwards.

Team Communication

This is probably one of the least communicative teams that I have ever worked with. At the beginning of the project when deciding what we wanted to do as a team, there was minimal input from one of the team members and borderline nothing from the other. I believe this was caused by the desire from both of the other two members for their to be a dedicated team leader, combined with my reluctance to be team lead. I was recovering from personal issues so I was on the back foot and not as willing to drive the project as I normally would but that does not excuse the complete lack of communication from the other team members. Moving forward I plan to implement a contact standard for projects. Each team and project is different, but if I push the team to work together to agree on; Contact method. Weekly team cowork hours. Daily check ins. This will hopefully avoid the pit of failure to communicate that this project fell into.

Documentation

There was only a single document to attempt to organise this project. Not only was this ineffective but directly hampering, as no one updated their sections as they worked, this combined with the communication issues resulted in confronting work, this negatively impacted everyone. I believe this was caused by a combination of no direct team lead, and no one actually caring enough to try, myself included. This is not a work environment where team members actively want to work in a team or keep their jobs. In my experience with student projects, students will not work unless they are motivated to do so, this also includes myself. Moving forward I would like to make sure that everyone in the team is onboard and motivated to work on projects before we commence the division of work. To do this I will actively work towards making sure team projects have at least one exiting element for each member involved. This combined with a agreed upon contact standard should hopefully build a strong foundation for future group projects.

Postmortem – Banksy Patrol

Introduction

Banksy Patrol is a 2d side-scrolling reimaging of the Game moon patrol, inspired by the street artist Banksy. This was a solo project. Overall I feel the project was successful, as it completed all core requirements, and my goals for the project. However if the tasking, time management, and documentation processes where better the project would have had a smoother development and more polished finish.

Scope

The scope on Banksy Patrol was the most well managed scope that I have ever had in any project that I have worked on. I was timid in working on a solo project in the sight line of others; being my teachers and my peers, as I did not want to make a fool of myself. This resulted in taking a very stripped back approach to the project, limiting everything to the bare minimal before moving forward. This helped the project to have something close to a successful outcome. The reasons for my scope management were not the best reasons to have successful scope management, but in the end had a positive effect. Moving forward I will work harder to be more considerate with about my workload in regards to deadlines and my personal situation. To do this I will put more focus into the project planning so that it has a stronger direction. This plan will include break points to allow for discarding of unnecessary work to lighten the load when needed.

Slow Productivity

The project was not completed to the desired degree regardless of the scope. The minimal and ineffective documentation really hampered productivity. The documentation was not well thought out or kept up to date as well as it should have been. This is a recurring problem that is just going to take personal effort to improve. To move forward with this problem I plan to keep a notes document open while working to dot-point with progress as I go. Than after a work session is completed I will have a log of my work and thought process. I can use this for updating tasking, and updating documentation, and writing Dev Logs while I work. To avoid any negative impacts this new process may have on my development process and productivity for the remainder of the tiremaster I will be starting this new process over the 3 week break.