Atlassian has been helping hundreds of game developers produce the top games of the day for years now. It seems like just yesterday when we had Steve Weibe, of ‘The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters’ fame, at our GDC booth trying to best his Donkey Kong world record. Alas, that was years ago, and so many games have been developed since then utilizing our tools.
This is a guest blog post by Gareth Wilson from Adaptavist who are an Atlassian Platinum Expert. Adaptavist provide services and best practice that help ensure customers’ success with JIRA, Confluence, GreenHopper and Dev Tools.
Games Development Problems
At Adaptavist we’ve worked alongside a number of games development companies who use Atlassian software to assist with their development processes. Having gained a good understanding of the issues they had prior to using Atlassian software, we weren’t surprised when we saw a review of game development post-mortems that revealed the problems most commonly experienced when creating video games.
Managing Your Project
Working out a project’s scope and getting the story and features of a game just right is a difficult enough task as is. But looking in to the cause of some of these problems showed that scope could become overly ambitious or unrealistic when a tight deadline was introduced or when additional features were added to the project as it progressed. Deadlines often have to be moved up or features added because of commercial pressures such as the release of a competing game or a desire to be the first to market. However, we know that delays often aren’t possible due to commitments with publishers and a need to release prior to key sales periods. This results in either requirements for features get cut, or a need to work over time to meet the deadlines. This isn’t helped by design problems, when content is supplied late.
What underpins these issues is the importance of project tracking and management. Improving estimates to include new features, providing team members and management with a better understanding of the impact of project changes and enabling stakeholders to visualise project progress show what’s possible within a given time frame. Atlassian’s JIRA can help you achieve this as a project tracking tool that includes custom workflows, dashboards connecting your team with their work and feeds and notifications that provide updates on activity. This is especially powerful when combined with GreenHopper, which adds agile planning and visualisation to facilitate incremental improvement for game development teams.
Zynga, for example, use JIRA and GreenHopper amongst other Atlassian tools, not only to assist their development processes, but company-wide in some way.
Testing and Fixing Bugs
Tackling These Problems Using Atlassian Tools and Best Practices
Atlassian products are a great choice for games development, whether you are shipping the next big thing or just want to improve your development processes and stay on budget. Over 150 of the world’s most successful game development companies rely on JIRA, Confluence and Atlassian Dev Tools to manage their project, bugs and development. But regardless of the products you use, to maximise the benefits gained you need to understand how to use, plan, and configure them properly. Adaptavist have worked with hundreds of deployments, with many organisations in the games industry and beyond. Whether you’re just planning to deploy Atlassian products, or have been using them for some time, we have services and knowledge of the best practices that can help ensure your success with Atlassian products.