About Project Planning – Take 1

The summer is still here but some of us are back and a bit too relaxed maybe… But nonetheless, the things are moving. Of course, not as fast and efficient as usual since not all the team is back. But, we have planned for it.

One of the biggest issues in the game industry right now is bad planning. You don’t have to go that far to find out same stories everywhere – studios that have extremely talented people but who fail to deliver on time, budget or quality. Makes you wonder is there is an issue with people in this industry or with the nature of the industry in itself.

In our experience, failing to deliver on time can be ok if the budget and quality requirements are respected. On the other hand, failing to stay in the allocated budget can generate really big issues since you cannot make sure that you will provide enough Quality to justify going over budget. It is interesting that there is no ideal recipe. Video games are entertainment, but also a form of art. You never know how people will react to something that you create. That is why the Quality of the product cannot be properly guaranteed. As a result, investing in a video game on any platform comes usually with a higher risk than in other industries. On the other hand, high risk comes with great rewards. You never know when you will hit the jackpot… And the reason people are still heavily investing in this industry is related with the high amount of success stories out there. If you come to think about it, at the beginning of this year, Apple announced a record-breaking December with over $1 Billion in mobile app sales – Source.

Since quality cannot be guaranteed, it is probably best to strive for delivering on time and on budget. And here is where the planning is extremely important. You need to set yourself realistic goals and always strive for the perfect functionality of the minimum viable product instead of looking for perfection. But this is a different topic.

Planning is a complicated business even if sometimes it can look just like a list of things that have to be done and that is all. First of all, in this industry in most of the cases companies are made of very passionate and dedicated people. Many of them are not primarily motivated by money, they are motivated by striving for that “quality” that cannot be guaranteed.  This means that planning has to motivate people. And people are not so easily motivated by a list of tasks on a sheet of paper… Continue reading About Project Planning – Take 1

Striker Challenge done and submitted!

Last week we finally managed to finish the game. As a result, it has been submitted to the Apple Store where it awaits Apple approval. This process can take a while, depending on how many times we will be rejected.

Fear not! The rejections from Apple Store are a very common thing. Apple are doing policy changes on a weekly basis and that makes it really hard to keep up to sometimes. As a result, submissions succeeding on the first try are quite rare and they happen mostly for really experienced teams, who know how to properly handle a submission. We are almost there, with 8 successful submissions until now, of which 1 or 2 on the first try.

As you can see from the lack of posts on the developer blog it has been a tough period now, trying to finish the game before vacation. Even if we had to do some small feature cuts we have done it and the team should be really proud about this. Those who are familiar with the development process for games know how rare are those cases when you can finish on time with decent quality and in budget.

 

Since the only unknown in the process is the Apple Store submission outcome, we will probably release with the first teams in September. This doesn’t mean we are staying idle, of course. We will add a huge feature, Team vs Team, and we will further optimize the app. We still have some small features to add back. All these will be available on a later patch.

Meanwhile, Powershot needs constant care and maintenance and we still haven’t deployed the mega-patch, which is probably the patch with the most fixes and additions since Powershot was released.

But, it is vacation period now. July is here, Sweden shuts down…

Have a great vacation and see you in August!!!

Summer is here!!!