I arrived a few days late this week, and had my first working day on Thursday. While I was gone the others in the team had several lectures, relevant to what they are working on. The concept team got to learn more about how to frame a shot, while the game team focused more on the pipeline.
We were also introduced to Scrum, which is a kind of work process. One of the essential parts of Scrum is that you have a back log. In the back log all of the features for a certain product should be included. The features could for example be stuff that the Product Owner (often the guy with the money) wants to see in the product.
When you have your back log, you decide on a release log. In this log, all of the features that you want in the first release should be included.
For example, if I were to create a TV series of 10 episodes, the back log would include everything I want to show in the the whole series. I decide that my imaginary series will feature one boy and one girl, and their parents.
For my first episode I want to focus only on the girl and boy. To avoid unnecessary work I create a release log where I only include the boy and the girl.
But say that I want to introduce the parents in the second episode. For the release log for the second episode, I would make sure to include all of the characters from my back log.
This works just as well on games, programming, lectures, and really all kind of situations...
When you have your release log, you divide all of the features into a number of Sprints. A Sprint usually lasts 3-30 days, and is a good way to see how the team is progressing. If the team hasn't met the deadline by the end of the sprint, it's a sign that something hasn't gone right.
When I started working on Thursday the team had already gotten Sprints to work with that was due the following Monday. Mine was to work on an animation test with the two main characters for Driftwoods (the working name for our project).
The purpose of this animation test was to see how two characters of very different sizes and moods would work. I also worked with the Sound Designer on adding sound effects and noises to the characters.
I learned a lot about how to work with someone who is dependant on my work to be able to do theirs. When I start my animation I'm now focused on blocking out the major movements as quickly as possible so that the Sound Designer will have an idea of what's going on in the scene.
We had no problem meeting the deadline, and it served as a good basis for the next week's Sprint.
While this was happening the bigger part of the rest of the team are working on fleshing out the universe to be able to write a back log. This was something that carried on to next week, and I will expand more on that then.
See you next week for more scrumming and animating!