Inside the sausage factory

Matthew Warneford
29
August
2011

Sausages are delicious, but I prefer not to think how they’re made. While I hope to never see inside a sausage factory, sometimes it is interesting to see how thing get made. I think that’s why our customers like to visit us; they want to see what goes into making a kids virtual world. Thankfully there’s very little meat grinding.

So if you’ve ever wondered what sort of people makes games for kids, then this post is for you.

For over a year, long standing Dubiteer, illustrator, and comic book artist, Simon Perrins, has been capturing the zeitgeist of the Dubit development studio in black and white sketches. In over 100 images, Simon has recorded the many of major themes throughout the year, including whatever did Matthew Fisher do with Richards chair, the three moods of Chris Ramsden, and Andy Kay’s second child.

Simon has annotated, and uploaded, 40 of his most important sketches. But before I show you my favorites I should explain how these images came to be.

As a production team we don’t follow a waterfall development process, not do we follow a pure agile methodology either. Like choosing from a salad bar, we like to think we’ve chosen the best of Prince 2 and the best of Agile development to create a production process that is appropriate for building virtual worlds.

From the Agile salad bar we adopted, amongst other things, short week long sprints, and daily standup scrums. Where our milestones are split into three short sprints, and at the end of the three weeks the product is pushed to the development environment. In this way we can reduce risk by releasing a functioning product with very few bugs every three weeks. And as a general rule the features are added in an order that takes into account importance and risk; the most important and risky tasks are added first. As the project progresses towards final delivery the the greatest challenges have been completed.

As part of this process, every morning, Liam, who runs the operations, holds a 15 minute meeting with the whole development team. It’s during these 15 minutes that Simon captures the important issues of the day.

Below are my personal favorite images, images that represent the one theme that has run throughout the whole year, Richard Walton’s missing chair. To this day we still don’t know what happened to Richard’s chair. But we have theories…

To view the full flickr album go here. Or if you really want to keep tabs on us, subscribe to the RSS feed. Or why not get in touch and come see virtual world building in action!

Shortly after Richard’s chair first went missing. Early speculation. Matt Fisher, Special Ops, mounts a daring rescue of the kidnapped Richard the Chair Thomas Holme and Richard the Chair: Prisoners of The Monkey King

Matt Fisher, Special Ops, mounts a daring rescue of the kidnapped Richard the Chair

Thomas Holme and Richard the Chair: Prisoners of The Monkey King

Matt Warneford breaks several international laws by trying to smuggle an innocent living chair through customs

Richard Walton is heading the scrum, but the team have been replaced by living chairs

Thomas Holme’s true identity revealed!

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