Archive for January, 2011

PARPG goes Agile

Heya and welcome to a short PARPG news update.

Agile & Scrum

If you’ve watched our wiki closely over the last four weeks, you might have realized that the PARPG team has been researching Agile software development in general and Scrum as one Agile framework in special. When we had our first stab at the project from early 2009 until early 2010, we ran into a couple of issues we couldn’t really cope with back then:

  • Lack of focus on actual development goals
  • Lack of agreed upon development guidelines and processes
  • Lack of communication and coordination between the different development departments

After qubodup recommended a Scrum book to me, I checked it out over the last year’s Christmas holidays. I started to realize that Scrum could help us to stay focused, have an agreed upon process and ensure that developers actually communicate with each other.

Unfortunately I’m somewhat short of time and can’t go into detail, but if you would like to know more about Scrum, Agile and how we’ll utilize it in the future, feel free to check out the Agile article series at our wiki.

Sprint prioritization meeting

As part of going Agile, we’ll have our first sprint prioritization meeting at Friday, 4th of February, 11PM UTC±0 at our new sprint IRC channel #parpg-sprint. The channel will be used for strict on topic sprint discussion in the future. If community members would like to attend the sprint prioritization meeting, they’re welcome to do so. This said: discussion will be restricted to PARPG developers to keep the meeting as productive as possible.

Agile articles

All developers who participate in the meeting are encouraged to check out at least these three articles to be prepared for the meeting:

This said: the other Agile articles at the wiki are good reads to get started as well, so if you got some more time on your hands, feel free to check them out.

Concept art sneak peek

As we subscribe to the philosophy, that a news update without some fancy to look at isn’t a good news update, there you go. Gaspard worked on some environment concept art:
Environment concept art by Gaspard

See you at the next PARPG news update, scheduled for mid February. The next news update will cover how the writer application process turned out!

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Fixed PARPG Techdemo 1 Win32 installer

We were informed today that PARPG’s Techdemo 1 installer for Win32 is actually broken. We did some research on the topic and it became clear that the problem is caused by ActivePython. The download URL for the ActivePython installer is hardcoded into the PARPG Techdemo 1 installer. As the ActivePython developers moved around some files on their server lately, the old ActivePython installer can’t be downloaded anymore and therefore PARPG can’t be successfully installed unless you untick the ActivePython box.

We decided to address this problem right away and compiled a fixed installer that contains a working ActivePython URL. You can download the updated installer here: Updated PARPG Techdemo 1 installer

We recently overhauled our download article at the wiki as well. Setup instructions how to install the updated PARPG techdemo 1 installer on Win32 can be found here: How to install PARPG Techdemo 1 on Windows

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Writer application process

Heya and welcome to another PARPG news update 🙂

Writer application process

As you might remember: we were looking for a lead writer for PARPG recently. Quite surprisingly for us, not just one but a couple of writers were interested in filling this role on the team. We considered to use a formal application process to handle this but after quite some discussion on the team we realized that giving writers a formal task to work on might not work out that well in reality due a couple of reasons.

A formal work sample will tell us nothing about the communication skills of a writer. Furthermore a work sample doesn’t really give us any idea how well (s)he can adopt established workflows or if (s)he’s interested in actually helping out with defining these writing workflows/guidelines.

Therefore we decided to invite every interested writer to spend the next four weeks with us working on the game. Writers will brainstorm with the other developers. We will develope a creative vision for the writing department together. You have the chance to contribute with your creativity by fleshing out new writing content (as proposals) or reviewing existing content and revising it with the other developers.

If you’re interested in contributing to the project as writer, please check this article at the wiki where all the details of the process are covered: Writer application process

Next news update scheduled for early February. We can hopefully tell you by then how the writer application process worked out 🙂

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O Lead Writer, Where Art Thou?

Heya and welcome to yet another PARPG news update!

This is the first news update in about 5 weeks, so you must be asking yourself if we have been rather lazy lately. The good news is we haven’t 🙂 We have actually been that busy that we didn’t find the time to write a news update. But now I finally found the time (and motivation) to sit down and write this damn news update. So without further ado: here’s your monthly dose of awesome PARPG news!

PARPG looking for a lead writer

PARPG is now actively looking for a lead writer. In a nutshell: our past writing efforts never took off in a consistent and structured way. When the project started, we’ve agreed upon some basic setting guidelines and wanted to leave the rest to the to be found writers. Unfortunately that process didn’t work out well in reality. Interested writers in the past mostly focused on fleshing out NPCs or proposed potential storylines for the game. At the same time, no writer was really willing to commit to fleshing out setting elements and what kind of writing themes would be worth exploring in the game. So now we’ve got loads of writing ideas (TM) sitting in the wiki but there is almost no consistency to them. Therefore we have decided to tackle the problem from a slighty different angle than in the past.

We’re looking for a lead writer who would be willing to commit to the more substantial parts of the writing process. We’re looking for somebody who is not afraid of making decisions in the fields of setting, themes to explore and storyline of the game. Obviously somebody who is familiar with the post-apocalypse genre would be strongly prefered.

If you’re interested in the details, check out the detailed lead writer advert at the wiki!

New wiki content license

Related to our new writing efforts: we’ve switched the license of our wiki content. In the past we have been using GDFL, we’ve recently switched to CC 3.0 BY-SA. The main reason is that writing content will mostly reside at the wiki first, so it makes sense that wiki writing content and ingame writing content are published under the same license. If you’re interested in the details, check out updated license article at the wiki: http://wiki.parpg.net/License

In case you want to license your former wiki contributions differently, please let us know at the forums.

GUI progess

We’ve spent a lot of time over the last weeks to flesh out how our GUI should actually work. To cover all details here would be overkill, so I’ll cheat and simply send you to the forums for details. Check out this thread where GUI discussion is still ongoing.

Updated portraits

Our favourite art-producing husky has done it again. Gaspard has updated some of his prior portraits recently, so enjoy:
Hoardir:
Hoadir updated

Jacob:
Jacob updated

Synnove:
Synnove updated

Massive project documentation update

The main reason why I’ve been incredibly busy lately, is that I gave our project documentation at the wiki a major overhaul. Workflows have been fleshed out, departments have a new structure, content has been categorized. This was a massive undertaking and is still ongoing. But it was really necessary because some departments were and are still in pretty bad shape. Categorizing all the existing writing content was essential as you can’t expect that interested writers wade through dozens of outdated articles without any indication what these articles are about.

As project management work is usually not considered to be the epitome of excitement, I won’t go into lenghty details. If you’re a sucker for project management and would like to learn from our mistakes, check out this article: http://wiki.parpg.net/How_to_manage_your_department

That’s all for today, next news update scheduled for February 🙂

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