Agile Game Development with Scrum
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Agile Game Development with Scrum

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Description

Deliver Better Games Faster, On Budget-And Make Game Development Fun Again!

Game development is in crisis-facing bloated budgets, impossible schedules, unmanageable complexity, and death march overtime. It's no wonder so many development studios are struggling to survive. Fortunately, there is a solution. Scrum and Agile methods are already revolutionizing development outside the game industry. Now, long-time game developer Clinton Keith shows exactly how to successfully apply these methods to the unique challenges of game development.




Keith has spent more than fifteen years developing games, seven of them with Scrum and agile methods. Drawing on this unparalleled expertise, he shows how teams can use Scrum to deliver games more efficiently, rapidly, and cost-effectively; craft games that offer more entertainment value; and make life more fulfilling for development teams at the same time.




You'll learn to form successful agile teams that incorporate programmers, producers, artists, testers, and designers-and promote effective collaboration within and beyond those teams, throughout the entire process. From long-range planning to progress tracking and continuous integration, Keith offers dozens of tips, tricks, and solutions-all based firmly in reality and hard-won experience.




Coverage includes



Understanding Scrum's goals, roles, and practices in the context of game development
Communicating and planning your game's vision, features, and progress
Using iterative techniques to put your game into a playable state every two to four weeks- even daily
Helping all team participants succeed in their roles
Restoring stability and predictability to the development process
Managing ambiguous requirements in a fluid marketplace
Scaling Scrum to large, geographically distributed development teams
Getting started: overcoming inertia and integrating Scrum into your studio's current processes


Increasingly, game developers and managers are recognizing that things can't go on the way they have in the past. Game development organizations need a far better way to work. Agile Game Development with Scrum gives them that-and brings the profitability, creativity, and fun back to game development.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 179 x 230 x 20mm | 610g
  • Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • w. numerous figs.
  • 0321618521
  • 9780321618528
  • 93,691

Back cover copy

Deliver Better Games Faster, On Budget-And Make Game Development Fun Again! Game development is in crisis-facing bloated budgets, impossible schedules, unmanageable complexity, and death march overtime. It's no wonder so many development studios are struggling to survive. Fortunately, there is a solution. Scrum and Agile methods are already revolutionizing development outside the game industry. Now, long-time game developer Clinton Keith shows exactly how to successfully apply these methods to the unique challenges of game development.
Keith has spent more than fifteen years developing games, seven of them with Scrum and agile methods. Drawing on this unparalleled expertise, he shows how teams can use Scrum to deliver games more efficiently, rapidly, and cost-effectively; craft games that offer more entertainment value; and make life more fulfilling for development teams at the same time.
You'll learn to form successful agile teams that incorporate programmers, producers, artists, testers, and designers-and promote effective collaboration within and beyond those teams, throughout the entire process. From long-range planning to progress tracking and continuous integration, Keith offers dozens of tips, tricks, and solutions-all based firmly in reality and hard-won experience.
Coverage includes Understanding Scrum's goals, roles, and practices in the context of game developmentCommunicating and planning your game's vision, features, and progress Using iterative techniques to put your game into a playable state every two to four weeks- even dailyHelping all team participants succeed in their rolesRestoring stability and predictability to the development processManaging ambiguous requirements in a fluid marketplaceScaling Scrum to large, geographically distributed development teams Getting started: overcoming inertia and integrating Scrum into your studio's current processes
Increasingly, game developers and managers are recognizing that things can't go on the way they have in the past. Game development organizations need a far better way to work. "Agile Game Development with Scrum" gives them that-and brings the profitability, creativity, and fun back to game development.
show more

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
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Review quote

" 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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About Clinton Keith

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.

For more information, visit www.ClintonKeith.com.
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Rating details

148 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 32% (48)
4 43% (64)
3 22% (32)
2 2% (3)
1 1% (1)
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