Capstone Development Blog 2

This week was mostly about trying out our new git workflow which went surprisingly well. I didn’t personally have to resolve any merge conflicts which would have been more or less impossible because most of the files are binary. I also met with a couple teachers to discuss our workflow and art pipeline.

Both teachers were horrified by our art pipeline (described in the previous post here). Both also had better solutions for storing art files. Professor Ferguson suggested exploring Git Annex which manages large files by not checking them fully into the repository and is somewhat similar to Git LFS but supported by the school. This is an interesting option, but would require the team to learn Git and Git Annex from the command line. Given that most of the team is minimally comfortable with Git, this seems like a bad option.

Professor Sajid recommended having an “In Progress” and “Final” art folder. The “In Progress” folder would be ignored and symlinked so that it is stored in Google Drive, or some other cloud solution. This could also work, but has more setup and learning required from me. I think this would be a good option to try on future projects

The first week of real work went well. We mostly avoided the end of week merge which had happened in previous years, and we were able to make the QA build on time with minimal stress. The biggest problem we had is one designer used the current version of unreal and upgraded some assets (ignoring several warning messages). To fix this, and prevent it from happening in the future, we decided to upgrade to the current version since it didn’t break anything.

My biggest problem so far is that the User Stories don’t have any sort of description or definition of done. If the problem with that isn’t obvious, it’s that I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. “As a user, I would like to have fun PvP mechanics to be able to increase the competitive aspects of the game” does not tell me much. Yes I can dig through the designer docs and find PvP mechanics, but it’s still not clear what needs to be done for the story. The first sprint I just reached out to the project owner and asked for definitions. I brought it up in the retrospective and we have started adding definitions of done to the stories.

However, definitions are being added to the stories as or after they are pulled into the sprint. This delays creating tasks, which are required for the sprint plan to be submitted. I am hoping that we will progress to the point that stories in the backlog have real descriptions which will both help in estimating difficulty and in completing them.

Our team feels like we’re starting to work well together and the weekly work session felt like we actually got work done. However, the programming meetings have continued to be fairly useless. I’d love for them to be cancelled until we actually need them, but for now we’re just sitting around with whoever drops in and chatting or playing games. At least it’s team bonding I guess.

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