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My experience as a first-time Producer on an extra-curricular game project

Recently, I have collaborated with a friend on a game called Human Not Found. As a Producer, I am directing the team as the project comes to a conclusion. This is one of my first side projects as a Producer to develop a game that I am unfamiliar with, which has resulted in an enlightening experience. I have broadened my knowledge and would like to share details of the game and my experience thus far.




Human Not Found


Development Information

Team size: Four (Sound Designer, Level Designer/Programmer, Artist, and Producer)

Duration: Ongoing

Engine: Unity

Platform: PC



Summary

Human Not Found is a PC game that is serving as a thesis project for a classmate at St. Edward's University. The player is a robot who arrives on a desolate planet with plans of investigating what circumstances and prior activities have occurred to bring on the current situation. Through exploring what is left behind the player must collect and analyze findings to discover what really happened and if they are truly alone in this place.


Overhead view of game map

My Responsibilities:

  • Oversee sprint planning, create, and own the product backlog to keep track of progress throughout sprints.

  • Monitor other documentation and ensure its accuracy across the project.

  • Serve as scrum master.

  • Set up meetings for sprint review and sprint retrospective.

  • Planned and managed QA and user testing sessions.


Example of one of the sprint backlogs I created


Current flow diagram of sprints


Retrospective:


What went right:

  • A discord server was set up immediately at the project’s beginning to start a form of communication within the team.

  • Team was efficient and fast even with time constraints and changes that happened throughout the project.

  • Goals were followed through swiftly and teammates weren’t afraid to ask for help.

  • Team understood and kept up with each sprint.


What went wrong:

  • The project was started late so we had to immediately cut the scope smaller with less time aspects of the game were reduced that would have allowed more depth.

  • Lost a member in the middle of the project and had to pause development for a couple of days to find a quick replacement.

  • Communication was rough at the start due to the semester ending and big assignments wrapping up at the same time, so very little time was dedicated to working on the project.

  • The project began with a lack of organization leading to missing information which caused development to get pushed back.


What I learned:

  • Start as early as possible and do not waste any time up front.

  • Create main documents at the beginning with the main information such as themes or story to save time and help teammates from getting confused.

  • Be more hands on with a project that I am the producer of and not hesitating to become involved and giving input.

  • Never stop checking on people to make sure tasks are still on track.






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