Go Go Karts
45 Person Team | 16 Weeks
Engine: Unreal | Platform: PC
Genre: Arcade Racer
Go Go Karts is a 3D arcade multiplayer couch racer that is set in the fantastic Fable World, a magical theme park where legends and myths are real. Adventure awaits, and legends will be built in the wonderful land of Fable World!
This project was chosen to give a fun and creative approach for a racing game, allowing us to explore a cartoony art style and to learn the Unreal engine. The project was completed over 16 weeks – throughout the process, we struggled with being on a fixed timeline, working towards getting a strong and fun gamefeel and with trying to ensure that our game felt like a theme park. This process helped the entire team learn how to work as a large team of almost 50, and understand how to be part of a larger team in the games industry.
Collaborated closely with the leads team to ensure that all disciplines were on schedule and in line with the GDD.
Facilitated communication, mediated and helped resolve conflict between team members.
Looked for areas that team members wanted to grow into and helped them develop skills and work towards their goals.
Helped define Go/No-Go dates to keep the game in scope and on schedule.
Created the backlog, modified JIRA workflows and negotiated milestone requirements with stakeholders.
Throughout the development of Go Go Karts, I was constantly learning how to be a lead producer. Before this, I had no practical Production experience and spent much of the start of the project trying to learn and understand what my role should be. As a result, the project struggled with its organization at the start; however, through this process I developed strong skills on Scheduling, echoing information down to the team, amongst refining the many technical skills that a producer benefits from.
One tool that I used to both plan the schedule, create buy-in with the team and resonate information throughout the room was using a rolling whiteboard to schedule each milestone for deliverables. I would roll from subteam to subteam, looking at the sprint they had planned with their producer, negotiating when larger milestone items would need to be delivered. I would also use this to tell other teams when a required tool would be finished; for example, I would go to the Character team first to negotiate their deliverables, which I could then take to the UI team to be able to inform them when they would be receiving the character models, allowing them to more accurately plan the milestone. This greatly helped when planning the lock schedule as each team had a strong sense of their deadlines as well as the deadlines for each other team.
Learning from Failure
During the development of Go Go Karts, we were approaching the 1st Playable Milestone. There was confusion and miscommunication surrounding the UI team, and as a result, features that were expected and promised during the milestone negotiation slipped between the cracks and did not get finished for the milestone. As a result, we failed the milestone.
Instead of scaling back the features, or cutting content to accommodate missing the milestone, I looked at what the core issue was: the confusion and miscommunication. We formed a strike-team of the specific individuals needed to push the features to the required level. I worked closely with the strike team to ensure that they were clear on the vision of both the Game Designer and Art Director, and that information was flowing smoothly both ways. In the end, we were able to complete the missing features in just a few days after the milestone, and re-established effective inter-team communication that allowed us to have one of the strongest Guildhall TGP2 Games produced.