We specialize in Serious Game development with Unity for PHP/MySQL enterprises. Our production processes support our team for full stack development virtually: Instructional System Design (ISD), Game Design, Production Planning, Project Management, Asset Management, Web Engineering, Game Engineering, Game Art, Community Management, and Enterprise Hosting.
Over the last seven years of team production at a distance on long-form Serious Games, we have evolved from an ADDIE/Waterfall model to a modified Agile (Scrum) model that leverages the effectiveness and efficiency of sprint iteration while still adhering to the ISD requirements inherent in Serious Game development.
The Agile Manifesto
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The Agile Principles
1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
10. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Our Modified Scrum Approach
Agile (Scrum) is intended for working face-to-face. It is also best suited for products that can have a somewhat flexible end product. For our team to use Scrum in developing Serious Games required some modifications. For a Serious Game, the final product must meet the full requirements of the the instructional design, that is not flexible. And, we are a virtual team, that also is not changing.
- We address the first issue by blending in some non-Agile processes that help ensure that the final product delivers the full requirements of the the instructional design.
- We address the second issue by leveraging virtual tools that mitigate the time and distance gulf inasmuch as that is possible.
We begin by blending in a traditional ISD/preproduction phase, which generates a number of non-Agile documents that then are used in parallel to inform the initial backlog development and for backlog/sprint control along the way.
An example of this is developing a traditional Use Cases plan that is then used to inform the development of User Stories, but is also used on the backend to inform the QA/Community Management plan.
Another example is developing a complete database model (based upon the ISD) early on in preproduction that depicts the data for learning outcomes assessment requirements. During development, the data model is used as a road map, and the model is considered to be flexible within the constraints of the learning outcomes data requirements - with the tables, dependancies, and keys shifting in response to the sprint outcomes within those constraints.
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