Saturday, March 22, 2014

This is the first post to the Agile Session blog. What is Agile Session you ask?

Agile Session is my attempt to wrap agile development into a 12 hour game jam challenge. The challenge is for me to write a game in 12 hours. However the game does not have to be complete, it just has to be playable, releasable, and reasonably bug free.

It may sound strange that a challenge would only last 12 hours, and you may think that nothing good can be programmed in that time. And you are right. The idea behind agile development is to have a tangible product every week which shows your work and progress. This method is flexible because, if at any point in development a game begins to get bad reviews the developer can be made aware, and change it without to much trouble. Where as if a game is planned over a period of months and then programmed over a period of a few more months then it's release may be a failure and impossible to recover from.

The Agile Session aims to allow me to write a version of a game in 12 hours and then release that version. But not as the final product. Instead Agile Session will allow me to work on the same game through many 12 hour sessions over many weeks until it is complete. However there are some rules I will follow.

Monday - Friday of each week are "pen and paper days". Any game programming genius that I come up with can only be documented with a pencil and a piece of paper. Then on Saturday and Sunday it's game on. I can not use all 48 hours of Saturday and Sunday, rather I have a maximum of 12 hours within those days to program my game. For example I could code for 4 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday. Or maybe I only code for 3 hours on both days for a total of 6 hours. That would be OK to. So why am I doing this?

Well... I recently participated in a 7 day rogue-like challenge, and with a wife and 2 kids I didn't have the time I wanted to complete the game I wanted. I am trying to design this to be very flexible with life. Everybody has the weekend off. Well most people anyway. My hope is  to learn website design, and then build a website to host my Agile Session's for any developer to participate. I will display ads and collect donations to bring in money which will be distributed to the developers whom participate. I would like the website to become known across the game world as a dependable place to get great, quality, indie games. And who knows maybe I will even program my own client for these games... sort of like Steam.

For now that is a dream in the far distance, and so I want to just try it out myself to see if it is worth doing. And to see if it is something that motivates the completion of a larger, more complex game.

If it does work out, I will update my progress here. I will declare when I start the session, any updates in between, and when I finish it, as well as provide links to the most recent version of what ever it is I create. This Monday on, March 22nd 2014 marks the official start of the first Agile Session cycle, and with it the first "pen and paper day". That means next weekend, from Saturday March 29th 2014 to Sunday March 30th 2014, I will be completing the first 12 hour Agile Session.

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