Scrum of the Earth: MADFINGER goes Agile
Managing all the creative people in a game studio to work efficiently is no easy task. So how exactly do you do it?
I think it’s safe to say that most of us here have never perceived MADFINGER as a “big” studio. Sure, it’s not, by all means, tiny, but it can’t even compare to the massive size of some of our contemporaries. This was probably the main reason why the general approach to developing a game, managing different creative and technical teams, and organizing loads of schedules, deadlines, and roadmaps was sometimes a little bit more “free-minded” than we originally intended.
That, of course, is in no way a bad thing, but as our games grew bigger, more ambitious, and exceedingly complex, we had to explore new ways of team coordination and work management. That’s when we started with Agile development and Scrum, mainly in preparation for our newest project — possibly the most ambitious game we’ve ever worked on (more info on that coming soon, don’t worry).
So how does it help us? Instead of operating in one intimidating long stretch, starting with pre-production and ending with a finished game, our work is divided into Sprints where we focus on specific tasks that need to be done. To achieve that, new small Scrum teams can be created where everybody works together without any type of hierarchy. Communication, education, and cooperation are key to delivering the Sprint goal, and after that happens, the Scrum team can be either dissolved or continue completing other tasks in future Sprints.
What’s absolutely critical is that all the teams know exactly what to do and how to do it. This is where the Scrum Masters comes in. They keep a watchful eye over everybody, know exactly who’s doing what, assist anyone with anything, and provide a channel of communication between Scrum teams. It can be a daunting task, but I’m happy to say that our Scrum Master is doing an absolutely stellar job!
By improving the effectiveness of our work, we are able to tackle larger and more exciting challenges than ever before and achieve the final goal: delivering you the best game possible!