Are you on Target? and what is Manders Vs Machine?

If you read the previous posts on my blog, you should notice I focus mainly on concepts for game development and utter nonsense, if you want tutorials and coding examples – hay I got links to those, I’m only beginning.

Today’s ramble is on a good old favorite of mine, Project Management.

From Big projects to even the smallest, setting guidelines and timeframe’s for work to do is very important, just as important is keeping to them (something I usually fall short of when the next Battlestar Galactica episode comes out, ahh there it is!)

It is important to lay out everything you want to do, sort it into some reasonable order and then fix some checkpoints on a weekly (or shorter) basis where you will reflect on where you are in the plan and where you actually are.

For example, in my competition project, I set out a 6 week schedule, starting with design and basic components into the game for the first week.  Second week comprised of basic gameplay, basic collision detection and input, third week had Editor, loading and saving functionality and advanced gameplay and so on.

Now by the first week I was upto date with only 1 outstanding task which was 50% complete and I had actually gotten a start on some of week two’s items, good so far.  Week 2 struggled a bit and realised that the editor in week 3 was needed sooner (see my previous post!).  Quick pit-stop and restructure plan.

Then crisis (also see earlier blogs) time disappeared into a sink hole and I lost two weeks, so quick scrabble through plan, cut – paste – shuffle and reduce scope.

Now at least I know what to expect at the end of the line.

Now with experience, I would have probably re-ordered some of the things around a bit.  All part of the learning process – Know your Game!.  NOT keeping an eye on new series starting would have helped more.

At the end of this rant, I hope (but probably not) you should get a feel of how important Project Management is for even the smallest project.  Plan Big, checkpoint often and don’t be afraid to re-shuffle it around.  Always be careful of scope.

 

On another note, a wonderful new Blog site has appeared recently on the horizon "Manders vs Machine" – by Mike Anders (part of the MS PIX Direct3D team).

The blog is really refreshing and Mike has recently found XNA and started putting some interesting stuff up, things like making a Mandelbrot set in graphical form, things to watch out for when outputting to Televisions (Screen safe area’s) and a little hint on making a Matrix Visualizer for Studio and express.

All very interesting stuff, I’d recommend a look – http://blogs.msdn.com/manders/default.aspx

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