Malisense Sprint 2 Report

Development Log, Sprint 2: 1/29 – 2/9

PREFACE

And with that, Sprint 2 is behind us!

The Production leadership team returns with studio updates and a look into the last two weeks of development. This marks the conclusion of our concepts phase, with teams fine-tuning ideas and preparing to head into asset production during our next sprint!

Seeing the steady progress our team has made during this sprint was not only applaudable but inspiring! We’re so proud of our dev community, and can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon.

As always, our doors are always open to newcomers!


SPRINT 2, WEEK 1

Accomplishments & Progress

So, what’s everyone been up to? This sprint saw solid progress from the Sound team, who have been working on compiling a style guide and have begun to look into setting up FMOD for the project. Writing has been beautifully expanding the world of Malisense, focusing on finishing up NPC drafts. Our Design team has been working to refine monster interactions and the specifics of dungeon levels, as well as describing UX/UI layout, and the Art team has been finalizing player and village concepts, quickly moving on to solidifying the dungeon environment and monsters.

        Our Programming team this year has exceeded our expectations in turnout! Lots of programmers have been helping out to get Malisense on its feet, which means lots and lots and lots of code merges. For our Programming Officers and Producers, this last sprint has aptly been called ‘merge hell’. With that in mind, one of our retroactive sprint goals has been focusing on structuring a specified Programming pipeline to reduce the amount of source control issues, with Programming Officers taking care to also document the experience for future reference.

Producer Training

This year, our Producer Training fell in the early stages of Sprint 2 and consisted of an overview of studio resources and Producer-centric responsibilities, followed by mentorship from our Department Officers, who have been acting as our Interim Producers for Malisense’s initial sprint.

We’re thrilled to see our newly onboarded production team adjusting to their roles and responsibilities. The respective producers for each team are integral to the progression of development, and we can happily say that we’ve got a group of dedicated and passionate individuals ready to dive into our next sprint with us and help keep the studio on track.

Online Workjam

After some very productive meetings last sprint—our annual Unity Night workshop and studio-wide finalization of concepts—we wanted to give our devs a break. In-person meetings of groups of 50+ can be high-energy, and the weather conditions this time of year are chaotic, to say the least. That being said, our all-hands workjam that Friday was hosted via Zoom, with teams working synchronously on the call.

Our typical workjam consists of all studio teams coming together to briefly review important announcements and development updates before dividing into our department groups; Art, Design, Programming, Sound, and Writing. These smaller group check-ins are led by Producers and allow time for collaboration between dev team members. Commonly, our department teams will use this time to troubleshoot issues, get feedback regarding designs and concepts, and distribute new tasks. This time is also utilized for timely cross-communication between teams and putting all dev members on the same page across development.


SPRINT 2, WEEK 2

Playtest Preparation

With our first Playtest marking a mini-milestone for us at the end of Sprint 2, much of the sprint’s second week was dedicated to preparing a showcase of our work. Our team has been producing so much content that we ultimately decided on prioritizing proof of creative concept instead of attempting to have a playable build with the concepts implemented. This took the pressure off of Programming’s shoulders concerning merging, and allowed us to still show what teams have been working on without depending on what could be readily available in the build. Producers, Officers, and Game Leads worked to arrange presentations focusing on The Village, Dungeon, and Monster concepts. Plans were also made to produce a small section of gameplay to test basic mechanics with some placeholder assets.

Assistance Needed!

        Halfway through Sprint 2, it was brought to the attention of the GDA Officer core and Production team that a few Department Teams needed some additional support in getting off the ground. Each game GDA produces requires unique and varying amounts of work in certain craft areas, and we don’t always have the needed team sizes to sustain that workload. Malisense features a world rich with lore and also has creative aspects specifically catered toward sound design. Our Writing and Sound teams this year are seeking more members to join up and help complete tasks. These two department teams are looking for devs from our student base; members do not need to have outstanding experience in either area to join! If you’re interested, you can contact a Sound Officer or a Sound Producer. The QR code below will take you to our Discord Server to get you started!

Playtest!

Playtest night rolled around, and teams gathered to celebrate wrapping up our second sprint and getting some early looks at more refined Malisense content. GDA’s Playtests are exciting because they’re open to all students (and sometimes alumni!) looking to playtest a game, digital or tabletop! It’s always so inspiring to see all the games our talented community members are working on, and it’s a great opportunity to gain feedback from our peers. Malisense’s table saw consistent foot traffic throughout the Playtest, and Producers answered visitor’s questions, as well as noted any particular thoughts about the build. Overall, the night was a success! We look forward to commemorating all of our future progress at our next Playtest in Week 9.


WHAT’S NEXT FOR GDA?

        We’re officially moving into Sprint 3 out of 8! The next two weeks will be dedicated to producing rough drafts of assets and developing some secondary prototypes. Malisense has begun to take a more solidified shape and we’re so thrilled with not only the terrific results but the continued dedication and passion of our creative teams. Everything about this project is a labor of love and excitement, and we’re looking forward to moving onto the next phase! Upcoming things to note:

  • We’ll be hosting more teamwide workjams! Sprint 3 will have a handful of workjams, similar to sprints 1 and 2, with an emphasis on team-wide check ins and synchronous collaboration.
  • We also have an upcoming Alumni Panel during this Sprint, where some of GDA’s roster of alums will come back to talk about their post-grad experience with members! If you’re part of our community base, come see some familiar faces and hear about what industry, indie, and careers after college are like.

Alright, that’s it! See you at the end of Sprint 3!

Tatiana Lucero – Mock Studio Coordinator

Emily Tran, Jane Grantham – Production Officers

Nick Schetman – General Producer and Treasurer