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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Logging Progress- Weekly Updates

In case any of you have somehow missed this little fact, the team making Sprout is what I like to refer to as an "e-team". I'm sure there's some kind of ridiculously common term for this kind of arrangement, but I'm perfectly happy just referring to us as "The E-Team."

What this means, besides the fact that we drive around in a van fighting crime in the 80s, is that all of our work is done over the internet. In fact, the three of us have never even met face-to-face. In the world of Indie-Gaming (and probably Indie-anything), this structure is not entirely unique. There is a whole wealth of incredible talent out there in the world, and the internet offers the best opportunity of bringing them all together. 

While that sounds Utopian and perfect, this situation does come with its own challenges. When working in an office, collaboration is much easier. If you want to work with a person on something you just look around the office and say "Hey, I want to work with you on something." On the internet, this is most successfully done via e-mail. 

I'll get into the details on how our group operates in later posts, but for now, I want to introduce you to what has become part of our weekly ritual. I call it, the "Progress Doc". 

As stated, all of our communication and work and file sharing is handled through Google's incredibly useful Drive service. In this case, the Progress Doc is a spread sheet that, every Monday, each team member has to update. Here's the layout with the first week:

As you can see, in the first week, Murilo and Matt got nothing done. Before you start thinking ill of them, though, hear this: They weren't with the project yet! 

Yeah, so put that gavel down. 

But you can see the document is fairly simple. Every Monday you go in and write 2-3 sentences about what you worked on and what you accomplished during the previous seven days. At the top, in red, our your overarching goals that coincide with another document listing the project's major Milestones.

Anyway, the idea now is that I'm going to start showing you the Progress Updates each week so you can follow along as we work towards completing our eventual Masterpiece. 

Oh, have I mentioned how ridiculously, amazingly, shockingly beautifully our game is turning out? No? Well, it is turning out to be really ridiculously, amazingly, shockingly, beautiful. Seriously. 

Here's this weeks updates:

If you have any specific questions about game design or E-Team management or how to properly set a table, please leave a comment! Or ask on twitter! Or ask on Facebook! Or ask on G+!