Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dev-corner: m64's Development Lessons and Agile in Free Open Source Game Development

In his first Lessons from Bulletstorm post, m64 talks about the importance of Level Design, Editors, Core Gameplay and Mechanics Tweaking for open source games (although most is general gamedev related).

First, a disclaimer – Bulletstorm is a big, single-player heavy, action game. If your game is different, the observations might not apply. Some observations are shaped by how Unreal Engine 3 works and might not be easily applicable to games created with other engines. Some might be difficult to apply due to technical limitations of an Open Source process – like having to exchange data through the Internet. Without any further ado, here goes.
Speaking of development: PARPG is doing an Agile/Scrum-style one-month sprint. This means that the whole team is working towards a handful of goals and that there are 30-minutes progress and planning reports twice a week [announcement]. The main theme of this development month is "Player Character Creation".

I'm currently contributing as UI designer on the project and am very motivated by the feeling of 'single-mind development' - the knowledge that man people from different spheres work on one main task at a time. It's great to know that not only I finish a design task but that it's going to be working in-game soon.

One of the mockups I produced during the sprint [more mockups]

Please note that this is not a one man's work. I actually created no part of this image but only drew some lines and moved around existing images by other artists! See this file for a list of the work in the mockup.

Do you consider m64's suggestions relevant to free game dev? Are there any principles/structures you have seen in foss game projects that improved development? What do you think of applying Scrum to open source games?