CS/INFO 3152: Introduction to Computer Game Development

Report 3
Alpha Complete Report

Due: Saturday, April 16th at 11:59 pm

This two week-report covers what you did to get ready for alpha release. This report will have exactly the same format of the previous one. You will have another CATME survey asking how you worked as a group. In addition, you should fill out a short report documenting what tasks were completed and what tasks a proposed for the next milestone.

Again, refer to the example below if you are unsure of how to structure the report.If you received any negative comments about your previous report, you should address those this time. We do not want reports to be revised; we always want to be moving forward. However, we will take off for mistakes that are made twice in a row.


Progress Report

Your report is divided into two halfs: the progress report and predictions for the next milestone. In the first part, you should begin with a short description of what the entire group did for these past two weeks. Obviously you worked on the technical prototype, architecture specification, and design specification. However, did you do anything else like animation and music? Have you do any playtesting yet?

This description should be no more than a paragraph or two. After this summary, you should begin a more detailed breakdown for each individual on the team.


Activity Breakdown

For each team member you need to create a subsection. At the start of the subsection you should give short description of the primary responsbilities of that team member over the course of this prototype. This needs be no longer than a paragraph.

After this paragraph, provide a table where each row consists of the following:

  • An individual task that the team member worked on or was supposed to work on
  • Whether or not this task was completed, and the data completed if appropriate.
  • The estimate of hours from the previous two week report
  • The actual of the number of hours spent on that task

Note that this is different from the previous two week report. Now you are comparing your predictions from the previous report to what actually happened. This is exactly what the example report does, so you should look at it if you have any questions.

After the table, you should provide the total number of hours that this person worked over this reporting period. Please be honest here. We never count off for not working "enough" hours. However, hours give us an idea of who is being productive and who is not. This allows us to make suggestions for improvement in later milestones.


Milestone Predictions

Once you have finished the report for this prototype, you should layout your plans for the next stage, beta complete. The beta release should be a playable game. It should be something that you are willing to give out to your friends, if not the entire world. Art does not need to be final yet, but you should have several concrete, playable levels. The exact number of levels may depend on the design of your game, but they should be solid. After beta, you should be focusing on bug fixing and polishing content. assignment instructions for more details.

As with the progress report, start with a short, overall summary of what you propose to do. There are no new documents this milestone, but you will be asked to revise previous documents. You should also describe what kind of level you will demonstrate in this release. In short, this paragraph should constitute the deliverables for the next assignment.


Activity Breakdown

For each team member, you should describe his or her responsibilities (in detail), as well as how much time the should be spent on each responsibility. Remember that the time that you assign to each team member should add up to about 10 hours a week (e.g. 20 hours over the two weeks). However, there are a lot of things that you are going to be doing over this period time. You should be very liberal in how you count the time spent by each team member; include all of the following:

  • Time spent discussing in group meetings
  • Time spent on the game manual
  • Time spent on the beta release
  • Time spent on art or music assets

In essence, we are asking that you take what you predicted in your milestones and give us a lot more detail for the next two-weeks. In the milestones, we just wanted a prediction of what the entire group will accomplish. In the two-week report, we want a individual assignments and a prediction of the hours that each person will spend on each.

In estimating time spent, we again ask that you organize this information into a table. In each row of the table, you should have the following:

  • An individual task that the team member is assigned
  • The internal (team) deadline for completing this task
  • An estimate of the number of hours that will be spent on the task
  • A priority value for the task; lower priority tasks are optional

In assigning these tasks, you should use what you learned about your group dynamics during the gameplay prototype. While tasks may be uneven at the start of the semester, we hope that they will even out by the end.


Charter Revisions

This last part is completely optional. If, after this two-week sprint, you have made any revisions to your charter, you should let us know. We do not want the charter revision as part of the two-week report, but you are welcome to submit it along with the two-week report. The revised charter should have the same format as your original submission


Example

The example linked above is an (edited) version of a two-week report submitted by the game Dispossessed in Spring 2015. We have removed the parts of the report that are no longer relevant for this year. What remains is exactly what we are looking for in a two-week report.

This report is taken from later in the semester, as the team had really gotten into a grove at this point and was submitting excellent reports. As a result, the progress report compares the number of hours worked to the hours predicted. You did not make any predictions before this report, and so this is not relevant. But we want everything else.


Submission

Due: Saturday, April 16th at 11:59 pm

You should submit a PDF file called report. Again, we ask that the file be a PDF so that we cannot annotate it in order to return it to you with feedback for possible revision. It is fine if you create the document in a program like Microsoft Word, but you should convert it to PDF before submission.

If you are revising your charter, this is also a space for it in CMS called charter. However, this is completely optional; you should not submit anything here if you are not revising your charter.