Post Mortem for “Breaking the Waves”

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May 2nd, 2014 10:55 pm

It’s a bit too late. But still, let’s do it.


When the theme “”Beneath the Surface” pop out as this LD theme’s, we were freakin’ out. No one in our team expected this theme came out. The planner of our team  moved fast.

This LD was also our trial of using and developing scrum on our team. Mainly, this post will tell how we did with scrum.


The plan

The first time, we started by planning our work. However, at the very first beginning, we already broke a taboo. Only three people do the planning. This is happen due the other members didn’t show up yet to preparation. So, in the end, when they came, they just given the works without any idea how it should be done. Granted, this would be a problem.

Our project in this LD was quite ambitious. On a map of 250×250 tiles, heavy story and customized mechanic skill. However, soon we realized how big it is for only three days of doing works

The first day

The first day was quite inefficient. First 6 hours was wasted because the members wasn’t came yet. So, we couldn’t move as fast as we expect. However, all the planning and the game mechanic had been designed. The list of works had been put on our scrum wall. Yet, only 3 out of 7 started to work right away as the other members came late.

As soon as the members in full team, we started working fast. However we got distracted by cooking and eating hot pot. We need food to work! and after that, half of the team went to concert. Granted. The first day was mainly for planning only without not so much progress.

The second day

In the second day, we were rampaging. A lot of programming was done. Music was progressing quickly. However, the art was quite slow. Both of our artists work on character designs was quite confused. They didn’t know how to design the characters as they didn’t go to the planning. However, later day they soon follow up on the pace. The script was nearly done at the end of day two.

The third day

The third day, a lot of us need to came to classes. A lot of works hindered by that. The third day was soon full of chaotic. Progresses was slow while the clock was ticking fast. In the end, we didn’t proofed the script, a lot of game breaking bugs, unbalanced battles, and a lot of assets worked by those who can’t draw! The skill’s mechanic that intended to be able to do by inputing arrow and became rhythm game was a complete failure. Only music that had finished on time.

Backup plan was in commence. The story was squished. We just altered it to being boss rush and showing only main plot story. The skill was back to standard RPG Maker and for graphic and assets… We just put even the rawest sketch there.

What went wrong

A lot. First of all, we ‘re still adapting to the scrum. This trial shows how much we need to alter the scrum so we can suited for the works. The planning was also too ambitious. And even with scrum, we still can’t managed to get it properly. The Cards also didn’t implemented succesfully as we’re too busy (lazy) to renew the table.

However, not all go wrong. We mainly agreed that scrum will be very benefit as soon as we adapt to it. Mainly because we can peer check to finish our works.

Modifying our Scrums

The standard of scrums should be (from left to right) Backlog, To do, In progress and Done. We’re thinking to alter it a little.

Our scrums will be (again from left to right) Feature, Backlog, Todo, In Progress, Inspection and Done. With additional table on Pending box and Routine Tab.

The Feature (Or what we called it Parts) was used just like Backlog in normal scrum. It listed what feature should be done first. After that, we pick feature that first need to be done and move it to the backlog

The Backlog will contain the tasks that need to be done rather than the features. Of course we already should prepare the tasks at the first place at planning.

After that, To do and In progress should be same as standard scrum.

The Inspection is used for our Project Manager (PM) to check whether it has properly done or not. We choose to do this because our Project Manager is also our Lead Programmer. This will ensure there won’t be bottleneck because the project manager busy doing his share of works as lead programmer.

The Pending box is used so if there’s a more immediate task that need to be done, PM can move the task that in In Progress and change it to the new task. This is used to override the task to very important one. After the immediate task has been done, members are pushed to finish those in Pending box.

Routine Tab was used to list the task that need to do routinely. Just like posting in Ludum dare, twitter, etc.


We don’t know yet how our altered scrum will be able to work on us. However, we’re pretty sure that it would help on our next project.

What we learn here mostly on this LD is” Don’t be too ambitious of your project. You need to admit that sometimes we need to cut features”

One Response to “Post Mortem for “Breaking the Waves””

  1. You shouldnt apply scrum during a game jam. Scrum is not designed for that purpose.. In normal software development, Scrum works flawlessly – but not here 😉

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