September 26, 2017

Game Students Keep Communication Flowing with Scrum Management Tool, Axosoft

Programming Jam

Photo: Kenny Ryan (left) checks the Axosoft to-do list with Crimson Nights artist Terrence Miller.

The UAT Game Studios class brings together students from different disciplines such as game programming, game design, art and animation and digital video to develop video games from the initial concept to a completed work. For every game dev project, each team member has their own set of responsibilities and must meet specific milestones to completion along the way.

At UAT, students may work physically on campus or virtually from their homebase as online students. No matter what the students’ physical location, everyone needs to communicate and be on the same page to successfully design a completed a game. UAT Game Studios emphasizes Agile project management with Scrum and has partnered with Axosoft to use their tools to keep communication flowing through the development teams.

Axosoft offers a Scrum project management tool, or ticketing system, that allows people to share goals and objectives between members. This helpful tool has enabled students to communicate, assign responsibilities and keep the team accountable.

Recently Axosoft’s Content Strategist Trista Sobeck came out to UAT to see her company’s software in action! See her blog about her experience at the UAT Summer Greenlight Celebration here.

Game students Jesse Rogers and Tyler Feddeler demo The Couch Game to Axosoft's Trista Sobeck and Tania Katan at the UAT Summer Greenlight Celebration | Photo by Jake Turocy

Game students Jesse Rogers and Tyler Feddeler demo The Couch Game to Axosoft’s Trista Sobeck and Tania Katan at the UAT Summer Greenlight Celebration | Photo by Jake Turocy

Game Design student Kenny Ryan, a member of the Crimson Nights game development team has found Axosoft to be helpful. Kenny said, “Each week, we looked at what needed to be done and broke it down by skill sets.”

Kenny organized the task by type such as “Design,” “Art,” “Programming” and “Online” and each member in that discipline could see a list of their assigned work for the day.

Once the Crimson Nights team got to a certain point in the development process, Kenny was able to take a more freeform approach assigning more long-term goals to the artists and designers, but not listed as a specific task to a specific person. Kenny saw the benefit from both strategies, but admits more was accomplished during the direct assignment phase versus the goals approach phase where it took more effort to complete more elaborate tasks over a longer period of time.

Killian Davies using Axosoft in UAT Game Studios class

Killian Davies using Axosoft in UAT Game Studios class

Axosoft enabled Kenny and his team to keep up with their work and see what tasks are on their to-do list without having to send emails back and forth or meet with Kenny face-to-face, which can hold up the process. When a team is investing so many hours per week, per semester, it’s important to make that time count!

In addition to their weekly sprint logs, all students enrolled in the UAT Game Studios are required to submit screenshots of their Axosoft personal release planners and team burndown charts. This helps them determine the velocity of their team’s game production and gauge their own skills through timeboxing.

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