Blog 5: Bulk of work progress and a new sprint plan

19 April 2021

Ok, so a lot has happened since the lasst blog (Also naming this blog 5 so that 6 is accurate to the last blog/Post mortem).

First and foremost, we have done an incredible job as a team adding features that help the game feel complete. Notably:

- Collectible coins, What game isn't complete without some collectible to feel some sense of progression! You can now collect stamped pennies and other old coins that when you collect enough, you will get health or damage upgrades so there is a purpose beyond just a number. Not to mention our UI designer did a fantastic job visualizing them.

- Death animations, every enemy now has a very distinct death animation and you can kick around the broken toy parts which just adds more physicality to the "toybox" feel

- Audio, From sound effects to music, every interaction has a sound and the player feedback is there, which really adds a lot to the enjoyment of the game.

- Voice Acting, we have all the audio from voice actors, so we can finally listen to the story the way it is meant to be heard!

- Levels, All levels are in, there is a flow from the tutorials into the bulk of the story, and ending with the epic boss fight

Now with any good, there is always a bad, and in game development, it seems that the bad is unavoidable. Many team members are getting exhausted, stressed about other classes, and without a clear end in sight, it can be hard to keep that motivation up. But as the leads, we've decided to take a new approach fo the upcoming sprint to try to remedy that. I wish we had made this decision earlier so we would have had more time to iterate on it, but it is better late than never!

First, the leads all played through the build as we have been doing each week to get a broad idea of how the game feels to play front to back. As we played, we made a very specific list of what needs to get done, and whose task it would be. We did this before with a prioritized list that we went back to each week, but with how many things pop up, we felt it was beneficial to not even think about the smaller priority tasks. I then had a 1 on 1 meeting with every team member to let them know what we have tasked for them, if they agree with the tasks, and if they are confident that they can get those tasks done by a specific date. This allowed me to be much more granular with every task being done, and get an insight on how each members mentality is and if they have anything going on personally, academically, or project related that would hinder their work. I think after this test sprint, we would be able to go on to do a larger priority list and follow the same structure of 1 on 1 meetings to make sure everyone is on the right track, but I feel it was important to hone in for this sprint.

Now we wait and see if this sprint we can have:

A) A perfectly playable and complete game for QA on the 24th

B) 0 rejected tasks, not that it is necessarily a bad thing to have rejected tasks, but if there is even 1 task rejected during this test sprint, there will be an issue scaling the methodology moving forward.