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Agile Game Development with Scrum


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Table of Contents

Foreword xvii Preface xix Acknowledgments xxiii About the Author xxv Part I: The Problem and the Solution 1 Chapter 1: The Crisis Facing Game Development 3 A Brief History of Game Development 4 The Crisis 10 A Silver Lining 11 Additional Reading 12 Chapter 2: Agile Development 13 Why Projects Are Hard 14 Why Use Agile for Game Development? 20 What an Agile Project Looks Like 28 The Challenge of Agile 32 Additional Reading 32 Part II: Scrum and Agile Planning 33 Chapter 3: Scrum 35 The History of Scrum 36 Scrum Parts 41 Scrum Roles 44 Customers and Stakeholders 54 Chickens and Pigs 55 Scaling Scrum 56 Summary 56 Additional Reading 57 Chapter 4: Sprints 59 The Big Picture 59 Planning 59 Tracking Progress 68 The Daily Scrum Meeting 74 Sprint Reviews 75 Retrospectives 78 Summary 84 Additional Reading 84 Chapter 5: User Stories 85 A Fateful Meeting 85 What Are User Stories? 87 Levels of Detail 88 Conditions of Satisfaction 90 Using Index Cards for User Stories 92 INVEST in User Stories 92 User Roles 97 Defining Done 99 Collecting Stories 100 Advantages of User Stories 103 Summary 105 Additional Reading 105 Chapter 6: Agile Planning 107 Why Agile Planning? 107 The Product Backlog 108 Estimating Story Size 112 Release Planning 117 Summary 124 Additional Reading 124 Part III: Agile Game Development 125 Chapter 7: Video Game Project Planning 127 Midnight Club Story 127 Minimum Required Feature Sets 128 The Need for Stages 130 The Development Stages 130 Mixing the Stages 132 Managing Stages with Releases 132 Production on an Agile Project 134 Summary 155 Additional Reading 155 Chapter 8: Teams 157 Great Teams 158 A Scrum Approach to Teams 159 Game Teams and Collaboration 168 Scaling and Distributing Scrum 173 Summary 188 Additional Reading 188 Chapter 9: Faster Iterations 189 Where Does Iteration Overhead Come From? 190 Measuring and Displaying Iteration Time 191 Personal and Build Iteration 193 Summary 201 Additional Reading 201 Part IV: Agile Disciplines 203 Chapter 10: Agile Technology 205 The Problems 205 An Agile Approach 210 Summary 220 Additional Reading 221 Chapter 11: Agile Art and Audio 223 The Problems We Are Solving with Agile 223 Concerns About Agile 225 Art Leadership 226 Art on a Cross-Discipline Team 227 Summary 232 Additional Reading 233 Chapter 12: Agile Design 235 The Problems 236 Designing with Scrum 237 Summary 247 Additional Reading 247 Chapter 13: Agile QA and Production 249 Agile QA 249 The Role of QA on an Agile Game Team 252 Agile Production 259 Summary 262 Additional Reading 263 Part V: Getting Started . 265 Chapter 14: The Myths and Challenges of Scrum 267 Silver Bullet Myths . 267 Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt 269 Scrum Challenges 273 Summary 281 Additional Reading 282 Chapter 15: Working with a Publisher 283 The Challenges 284 Building Trust, Allaying Fear 288 Agile Contracts 293 Summary 300 Additional Reading 300 Chapter 16: Launching Scrum 301 The Three Stages of Adoption 301 Adoption Strategies 317 Summary 324 Additional Reading 324 Conclusion 325 Bibliography 327 Index 329

About the Author

Clinton Keith is an independent agile coach and Certified Scrum Trainer who helps game developers and nongame developers alike adopt Scrum, Extreme Programming, kanban, and other agile practices to greatly improve their productivity, workplace, and product quality.

Over the course of 25 years, Clint has gone from programming avionics for advanced fighter jets and underwater robots to overseeing programming for hit video games such as Midtown Madness and Midnight Club. Clint has been a programmer, project director, CTO, and director of product development at several studios. Through a series of presentations and his popular blog, Clint introduced the video game industry to Scrum in 2005. As CTO, Clint helped High Moon Studios achieve a place on IT Week Magazine's Top 50 Technology Innovators list in 2005 and 2006 and win several of San Diego Society for HR Management's Workplace Excellence Awards in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

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" If you've ever felt that gaps exist between `traditional' software development using Scrum and video game development using Scrum, this book is for you. Clinton effectively bridges those gaps by covering the adjustments necessary for disciplines, individual roles, and processes and project phases unique to game development, thoroughly supporting it with explicit examples and practical advice. Simply put, a must-read for game developers that are currently using or plan to implement Scrum or other agile processes within their company."

-Jeff Lindsey, Producer, Longtail Studios " I wish Clinton Keith could go back and write this book 15 years ago-it would have helped me see things a lot differently. Agile Game Development with SCRUM is a one stop shop for game teams interested in using scrum techniques."-CJ Connoy, Game Producer, Treyarch " By the time you wake up and realize that you really need this book, your project will probably be too far gone. Dive into agile before it's too late and let Clinton be your guide. Tested under the fires of true game production, everyone involved in game development will gain from reading Clinton's wisdom."-Jason Della Rocca, Founder, Perimeter Partners, and former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association " Clinton Keith has written an excellent book for both practitioners and students. He combines an in-depth analysis of the challenges of large scale game development with hands-on advice on the use of Scrum. His often funny anecdotes illustrate that this guy has really experienced the heat of large computer games projects."-Bendik Bygstad, Professor of Information Systems, The Norwegian School of IT " Clinton Keith combines his experience as both video game developer and agile practitioner to apply Scrum philosophy to the unique challenges of video game development. Clint clearly explains the philosophy behind Scrum, going beyond theory and sharing his experiences and stories about its successful application at living, breathing development studios."-Erik Theisz, Senior Producer, 38 Studios " Clinton has combined his extensive game and software development experiences with agile methodologies. The result is a thoughtful, clear, and, most importantly, realistic application of agile to game development."-Senta Jakobsen, Senior Development Director, DICE

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