Commander Morse PostMortem

For this postmortem, four topics are going to be discuss. The Original plan was to have an even amount of bad and good events that happened. While analyzing, a realization occurred that not many things went as well as expected. Though even after finding over six bad topics and only one good topic. My project was still completed, with all the features i wanted to include. The topics that had the biggest negative impact on my project were: A poor project plan, My game was too confusing, and I didn’t communicate with my consultant enough. The only good thing that i did well, was sticking to a schedule.

Project Plan (BAD)

Issue:

A lack of knowledge with MS Project meant that my schedule wasn’t completed.

Circumstance:

Not enough time learning how to use the program, meant that i was missing valuable information that could of saved time.

Cause:

A misunderstanding and poor scheduling. The original plan was to use Linda.com to learn how to use the program. On Tuesday i came to realize that you needed to be logged in at SAE to create an account. This meant that i had to use YouTube to learn the program, wasting a lot of time.    

Recommendation:

If a similar situation were to occur in the future, where i needed to learn a program but the learning source was unavailable, some solutions could be: Create a mock-up of your idea. An example, if you needed to learn Photoshop for a task use a program that you’re more familiar with first. Once you have gained access to the source of information(How to use Photoshop), redesign your idea. This method will save you time and will also allow you to learn more about the program.  

Ways to prevent the whole situation from occurring in the first place could be: Work calendar! As soon as a new task is acquired, schedule it. This will give you plenty of time to react to your task.

Poor Design (BAD)

Issue:

Not enough time spent on the design documentation left the players in a position where they didn’t understand how to play Commander Morse.

Circumstance:

A lack of an instruction screen, meant that players were getting confused with the Morse & Stealth systems within the first minute of play. This confusion lead to boredom.

Cause:

The games ‘do action’ key was right mouse button, because this was the case players would get confused. They would default to using the left mouse button first which activated the ‘change mode mini-game’. This lead to player being confused for the first 30 seconds of game play. The other confusing factor was that players weren’t sure why they were activating the alarms, causing the player to die repetitively. The main cause for most of these events happening was a lack of player friendly controls.

Recommendation:

Whenever a game is created in the future i should, check with my family members if they understand how to play. If i can create controls that my mum would understand then i feel my games would be very easy to learn.

Always check if your documentation is understandable and has the same vision that you have. Try to update it as often as possible, returning to each documentation created once a week.

Communicate(BAD)

Issue:

The main issue was that i would only responded when he initiated the email conversation, helping him with any issues.

Circumstance:

Minimal communication between me and my consultant meant that we both were missing out on a lot of game improvements.

Cause:

Shyness was keeping me from seeking advice from my consultant. I didn’t know my consultant at the start of this course. My bad communication skills made it hard for me to start a conversation.  

Recommendation:

Finding a solution was hard for me because i was looking for a solution for my communication skills, but that’s not the point of this postmortem. The solution to this problem is to set times for meetings. This way your not initiating the conversation, just showing up to talk like professions. It is very important that you communicate as it will always improve the outcome of whatever you’re creating.

Sticking to my schedule(GOOD)

Issue:

All of the tasks were completed on time with everything that i wanted to add. Extra time meant I could add more to the game.

Circumstance:

Throughout the whole project a rough schedule was being used which made completing tasks easier then it has been in the past.

Cause:

I have used schedules in the past but the difference with this schedule was that i broke tasks down into small chunks. Another major difference was that i was ticking of tasks that i had completed. This gave a slight satisfaction when a task was completed, visually seeing my work shrink. This method of working really helped with my usual procrastination. I think a major cause of procrastination is that when a task is assigned, we see it as a massive wall that we have to climb. The truth is it can be chipped at, slowing lowering the total workload. Once it gets to a certain size all thoughts of procrastination leave our mind, as we can clearly see that it is easy to finish.(I’ll do a procrastination blog from my point of view in a later blog.)

Recommendation:

A good way to stay on schedule is too put time into the development of your schedule. A schedule is an investment. You waste time writing up a documentation that is meant to make you manage your time. But by writing this documentation you’re technically wasting time you could be spending on your project, this is true but only from a short-term perspective. In the long run you are saving a lot more time. So let’s say you invest 30 minutes writing up a quick schedule. Sure you lost 30 minutes of time which you could of spent finished 1 task, but with this you now have list of all the major tasks. Now you know what you game fully consists of and if it is out of scope. That was ok but let’s take it one step further, this time you invest 5 hrs. This will allow you to have a clear idea of all the tasks. Instead of investing 30 minutes to an hour on just one task, now because they are smaller a task might take 5 minutes. With this investment you loss 5 hours, but you gain a bunch of small tasks. This makes the project feel easier and eliminating any procrastination from your project.

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