A producer’s take on life at 22cans
As we are edging ever closer to the final two days of our campaign we will be ramping up our updates. This is the first update of today where we look at the production at 22cans.
A producer’s take on life at 22cans
22cans was set up back in March 2012 by a handful of industry veterans and in that short time, a team, still only in its infancy has been through the motions of a very strong forming stage. This is normal for any team, big or small, as a group of talented strangers become united towards a common goal: to make great games!
Our founders needed to ensure that they had the right disciplines set up and then fill them with amazing talent at different experience levels. Then they had to decide on a structure that would ultimately drive the culture we were looking for. It was important to have this outlined from the start in order to understand the best production processes that would work. At 22cans we benefit greatly from strong leadership by Peter and other industry veterans, but we devised a flat organisational structure of individuals, which is what underpins our friendly, family, ‘in this together’ culture. This is something we felt would lose traction in a complex structure, similar to ones we have worked in before.
In order to ensure that the work is completed to time, and of the highest quality, there are many production processes. Theories and methods need to be tested, tweaked and implemented so that the team remains high performing and professional. Here at 22cans we have already been through a handful of scenario’s that lend a huge advantage to the production of GODUS in 2013, and we constantly assess and learn from our experiences. Curiosity was something that was unique in development but not unique in terms of delivery to the market and there were processes the team went through like any app development, including iteration, scrumming, bug fixing, testing, updating and submissions. While the team continues to update and maintain Curiosity, just over 8 weeks ago it was time for attention to be put on Kickstarting Godus.
When I came to producing Godus for Kickstarter, this was something that was very new to the UK. Sam Van Tilburgh, Chief Discovery Officer, and I, spent 4 weeks researching the Kickstarter platform and planning how the campaign would run. We needed to be sure that everything we had planned was achievable during full production next year and more importantly, was what our fans wanted. We presented the idea to the team and made an agreement, as a team, that this was something we wanted to do together. We all agreed that laying the development process and 22cans team bare to the world was something exciting and challenging. The idea of making a game in the open and embracing what Kickstarter stands for, is something which we are really looking forward to. Here we are with a just a few days to go and that excitement is higher than ever.
Myself (left) with Peter (centre) and Sam (right) at the start of the Kickstarter campaign.
The campaign to this point has been a mixture of outward facing tasks and internal development. I have been organising the team between both producing a prototype of Godus and managing the campaign with Sam. A normal day at 22cans is packed full of production process and methods that ensure we deliver to the timescales set. Let me give you a look of what a typical day looks like for a producer at 22cans (see the image below). Busy huh?
The production set-up is typical of most studios; I set out high level milestones, which are then cut into sprints. At the end of each sprint is a goal for the team. In order to reach our goal sometimes we need to be re-active and add tasks to the baseline schedule. If this is case then I work with individuals on solutions that make sense for the projects interests. This is something that becomes easier as a producer with experience.
I feel extremely honoured to be part of such a talented team that can achieve so much in such short sprints. I believe that if we are granted the opportunity to develop Godus in front of a Kickstarter audience this is ground-breaking for the games industry. One of the challenges that faces the industry beyond the gaming community is people understanding how games are made and the seriousness of the roles we undertake as games developers. This would be a chance to show how a great game is made and what we do to make it happen.
Upon (hopefully) successful funding I look forward to sharing with our backers, the production cycles, key dates and production decisions made for Godus. There will be lots of shiny graphs and spread sheets, but it’s all part of the process as we start development on Godus.
Merry Christmas to you all and I hope to be speaking to you again in 2013,
Best, Jemma Harris. Producer – 22cans