It was great to have a relevant talk for once! Jokes aside I really enjoyed this talk from the makers of one of the first online games I played, Runescape! The two speakers were very motivated and cheerful which helped me to deny any fears that Industry drains all of your happiness. They did however mention that the days are long, but the reward and feedback from players usually makes up for it.
The open environment and community focused workspace definitely interested me as I have never really wanted to work in a mundane office environment. The whole TAPP philosophy is also an awesome idea (Every Thursday they can work on Personal projects). It was also eye opening to hear that they work with pretty much all Game Engines and software as opposed to many studios that just specialise in Unreal or Unity. However an aspect which they said occurred often was the dreaded Crunch Time. Even though we’ve been told that it is an aspect of bad project management I hear about it far too often. I’m going to endeavor as scrum master to eliminate the foreboding Crunch by making sure my task assignment is relevant. I will make sure that the time periods I assign for certain tasks are adequate and only will assign additional time if absolutely necessary.
It was refreshing to hear that they utilise the SCRUM and AGILE methodologies that we have been learning and that at the end of each period they have internal and external reviews on their performance which we should definitely take on board. I think this is the method we’ll be using next year as I’ve found it very useful compared to Waterfall last year. It helps greatly to break down the work into manageable chunks and really stops us from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the work that has to be done at the start of a project.
The Advice section was a welcome addition as we all hear how difficult it is to get into the Games industry but never much more other than “Do lots of work”. It mostly concerned ideas such as getting as much experience as possible through placements and internships. Additionally looking for a year in placement or meeting developers face to face through Jams or Careers fairs were good advice.
It was really inspiring and my team from last year who I worked on Eldritch with is really keen to get the game to a professional level for our Portfolio! We’ll be reviewing all the work that we did previously, this will teach us what not to do when we revisit the game and hopefully provide some inspiration for future work. I think we really should take advantage of the growing VR market and get ourselves in there early as we could have the opportunity to make something innovative.