I asked to be put on the worst project in the company.
The development time for the racing game had been cut by 6 months and the senior environment artists had recently quit. Art was the biggest risk so I looked at the environment development process to see if we could make it suit our unique situation.
Its really important to tune your development processes to the reality of the situation in your team. The reality of our situation was we needed a certain amount of race track with a very small, inexperienced art team. Previous projects required a solid chunk of time just to design the racetracks and lock them down before the artists could start their work. Another large chunk of time was in fixing art bugs. With the projected amount of time needed to design and fix bugs, we had almost no time left for the artists to do any modeling.
I reworked the design process so that the designers were working in tandem with the artists rather than in front of them. This meant the roads were being twisted and moved while the artists were doing the bulk of their work. Once the roads were signed off and locked the artists were 80% complete. As for the bugs, they had also been fixed during this time so as we neared the end of the project we had a fraction of the projected alpha bugs.
What I did was simply allow the team to work together. Once we changed our processes so they worked with the team we had, the team was able to perform at their best. And they did. Not only did we complete the environments in the time we
had but we also shipped a few easter egg levels.
Your development processes are key to meeting your company’s goals. Processes are the driver of innovation, creativity and productivity. They make your teams better. They make your company more flexible and adaptable to whatever situation
you may find yourself in.