Going to XP San Diego
Noel and I gave a very informal talk on "XP and Scrum in Games Development" the other day (June 8) at the XP San Diego. Arriving fairly early we are met in the lobby by the security desk where we were required to check in. We've gotten instructions ahead of time that if we were not US citizens, we needed to show our passports. Apparently the building where we had the presentation hosted some government contractor. So the checkin took quite a while actually, people trickled in and the discussion kind of kicked of before the actual talk started.
With a surprising little fuzz we got the laptop hooked up and the slides showed up. This audience was not the regular audience for this kind of talk. Most of them very very familiar with XP and Scrum in different industries, so that part needed very little high level introduction. Most of them were new to the woes of AAA games development though so that was kind of fun to paint that particular picture. One of the participants mentioned that it didn't sound that much different from government contracting. Well all of the sudden I have more sympathy for government contractors.
The talk continued on with mostly practical matters, little hiccups and what went wrong and why. Most of it was of course from the perspective of a game developer.
On the way down in the car we were discussing how to distribute the limited amount of t-shirts that HR had given us for the event. It felt kind of cheesy to do it like I've seen MS do it to reward good questions or answers, these guys were supposed to be really good at this and the main focus of the talk was to be practical matters, best practices and why and how things didn't quite work out. We didn't really come up with anything good, Noel had the bright idea to ask the listeners what the character's name in Fig 1 was. All the right answers got a t-shirt :) Kind of hard question for non gamers, all the Japanese characters must look alike.
Afterwards we had reservations at "Rock Bottom", a local pub located just south of UCSD, where we relaxed and talked geek for a couple of hours over some beer and food. All in all a very good day.