On September 23rd, we had an elective class with Jim Rushing.
When talking about Jim Rushing, the game ‘M.U.L.E.’ can’t be missed. ‘M.U.L.E.’ is a seminal multiplayer video game by Ozark Softscape. It was originally written for the Atari 400/800, and was later ported to the Commodore 64, the Nintendo Entertainment System and the IBM PC Jr. While it plays like a strategy game; it incorporates aspects that simulate economics. Jim Rushing was one of the four original partners in Ozark Softscape. Since shipping ‘M.U.L.E’ in 1983, he has worked on various projects in EA including ‘PGA Tour Golf’, ‘NBA Showdown’ and ‘007: Nightfire’. He was a programmer but he also had a lot of experience as a producer.
In his talk, he introduced us into the world of ‘Agile’. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the development process. Currently most EA game teams are using some processes of Agile such as the Scrum meeting. He told us that it helped to not only increase the product quality, but also the team’s morale.
According to Jim Rushing, Agile is a mindset. While there is value in the items on the right, Agile values the items on the left more:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
After the lecture, we did a small exercise of putting 10 features of Agile in order of importance.
Those features are: Customer Satisfaction, Inspect and Adapt, Retrospective, Transparency, Commit As A Team, Prioritize, Iterate, Welcome Change, One True Metric and Prototype.
Among them, our top choices were prototyping, prioritizing and committing as a team.
It was interesting that we didn’t put a high mark on customer satisfaction. I guess because it is already integrated into other values.
Through the class, we gained insight into Agile. As Jim is working in EA currently, he is willing to give advice about practical uses in our project.