I’ve been telling myself for months that I needed to prepare myself and the project by doing some documentation. So I knew where I was at in terms of actual development. My head needed it; it’s a riot in there normally but with all the game development floating around in there, it was sheer mayhem. But that very fact, that my brain needed it, made me stuck. If I didn’t organise it somewhere, I would not progress, no matter how hard I tried.
So, in my last week of being in Melbourne, I started. But not using a project plan like I thought I would. Instead, I used Trello. Why? My location and my team were the two biggest factors. At home, I would commandeer the dining room table and spread documents all over so I could scribble on whatever page I had a thought on. Not so when I was away from home (which, if I needed internet, forced me to be). The other factor was my team: we have been using Trello to communicate and post up images/comments/code/etc for a while now but it was put together on-the-fly and is quite a mish-mash of everything to do with the game.
I needed a starting point. Looking at how others used Trello for their projects via trusty Google was the first step. I then adapted what I saw to my own situation. What would typically be called a sprint in Agile, I called a phase, and a phase is directly linked to a whole-number version of the game prototype. Here’s what I mean by whole number versions: version 1 contains stand-in block characters whereas version 2 contains the required 3D character models. Here’s a handy-dandy diagram to illustrate what I mean further:
My first board ended up being a repository of everything that would be in the game. Everything that I plan to be in the game that is.
Next step was by far the hardest – decide what the first phase/prototype was going to include. Naturally it took me scribbling over a piece of paper to figure it out.
This one took me a good two hours to write until I was satisfied. A second phase board evolved out of this, then a third, and I swapped a number of cards between the three. Here’s the result – presenting phase 1 board:
Things were finally organised. What I only planned to be one or two more Trello Boards ended up exploding into five!
My brain was resolutely relieved of its duty to remember everything and the order it was to happen in. Such a weight off! With that I found myself able to proceed with the physical development. Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel!