I lead a talented group of 11 graduate students in development on this semester length project. We began development in Spring of 2019 with a release date of Fall 2019. SONO was designed as an alternative controller game for alt.ctrl.GDC 2020, which features a modified turntable as the interface. We set out to create an aesthetic, meditative experience, reminiscent of a Thatgamecompany title. Developing without tried-and-true design constraints while incorporating unique hardware presented new challenges and pushed our personal and professional growth.
My roles as vision holder and producer were challenged by this project. We elected to "go with the flow," as Sono would, and allowed the game to take its own shape. I modified our Agile production schedule to accommodate flux in game design, shortening sprints to a single week, and allowing the current state of the project dictate the next sprint's tasks. As Scrum Master, I kept these meetings productive, yet collaborative, and encourage cross-discipline communication, which resulted in a cohesive team understanding of the core design pillars. I allocated a few peers to a Research & Development team, which allowed us to create, play with, and fine tune new mechanics. This resulted in a unique player experience, with an equally unique controller.
Additionally, I created and managed the project backlog, prioritizing and assigning tasks appropriately to my team. I regularly delivered EP presentations and progress summaries to the product owner. I designed the narrative for SONO, and ensured its clarity in mechanics and aesthetics throughout development. As the vision holder, I created and maintained the narrative, player and world mechanics, and sound design documents to ensure a cohesive product.