To all those of you out there waiting on more art and animation (or even code... argh) today is a sad day. Well for most of you anyway, there is always that one person that loves to hear production reports. So this post... is for you... with all our love (xoxo)
Weekly meetings = Boring stuffOne of the most important things we do every week is the weekly meeting.
We gather all the team in one place and discuss the work that was done last week, and the work we will be doing on the next. Kind of like a cult, except we make videogames instead of killing ourselves.
These meetings usually start at 10am and can stretch for an hour or two. Not everyone stays until the end. Normally it starts with everyone discussing general problems and then smaller and smaller groups to discuss specific problems related to code, design, art etc.
Usually whenever we start discussing code, somebody falls asleep. We can't blame them, really.
Code is boring. That's why everyone leaves and goes back to work.
|A typical meeting at Nerd Monkey's office. In the photo, Diogo and Francisco discuss design.|
Also, at the start of each month, the entire team plays the latest build and gives feedback on everything. Even if everyone has played the build lately, it is always important to voice everyone's opinion as most of the times, some new idea or solution pops up from the most unexpected team member.
Except for Diogo. Nobody likes ideas from Diogo.
Organizing production = More boring stuff
The start of the week also signals the start of a sprint. We do weekly sprints and keep everything tied to these tiny focused loops of work. For keeping track of current and upcoming sprints, tasks, objectives, milestones and everything else we use Altassian Jira.
|Old Jira promotional screenshot. What? You thought we would take a screenshot of our own work?|
Up until recently we were using Gitlab on our own server. But due to the growing team and the need for a more dedicated tracking, we decided to jump to Jira. The IT guy wanted to kill us when Filipe told him we were done with Gitlab and all that work implementing it in our server would be thrown out. Oh well. We hope he learned his lesson. Also, our budget just increased! Cool.
Yeah, he should have studied something else. Back to school with you, boy!
Jira is an interesting piece of software. It can be used online or downloaded to be placed on our server (we won't be doing that, now. Obviously). Currently there is a free version with a 10 person limit which is perfect for most indie teams. It allows for connection and sharing with other tools like Slack, Google Drive, Confluence, Trello, and many others.
NO, it does not connect with Microsoft Messenger, MOM. Jesus!
We are also currently placing all our bugs there, but when we get to Beta we will probably move that to a more dedicated platform for bug reporting.
We continue to use Gitlab for many other things including our own dedicated Wiki.
And our wiki contains a big outline of... Out of Line... hehehe. Yes.
Files and online meetings = Even more boring stuffWe are always all online in Hangouts. Even though the entire team works in a physical office, this way if someone was out for one day of work or decided to stay home to work from there, can keep track of any important announcements. Also: memes.
For overall trips, vacations, days off or any other events, we use Google Calendar. This tool is very useful as it can be easily implemented on your phone (Android or iPhone but not Windows Phone) and synced to notify you of upcoming events. We can also all see at a glance the most important milestones without having to login to Jira or Gitlab.
Alongside the company Google Suite (nerdmonkeys.pt) we also make extensive use of Google Drive, mainly Sheets, Docs and Slides for all our documentation. We usually write in English to make sure that anyone on the team can read them. They are also usually very useful for pitches, presentations and any other occasions.
|Yeap, another promotional screenshot. Easy to tell by the Cortana search still on in the lower left corner.|
Production Repor-BOOOORRRRRRIIIIINNNNGGGG!Finally the production report. Every month an email is written where a breakdown of the production with all its achievements, decisions and on-going production is det-BOORRRIIIINNNNGG!
ARGH! - sigh - Well, that's it, I can't take much more of this anymore.
We are done here.
Hope that one person that we love so much actually liked reading this blog post. Next time we will be going back into the things that matter like art, animation, music and such... except for code.
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Don't panic, flight mechanic!