IncaBlocks Released, Thanks AgileZen and Kanban!

Box_coverFuncWorks, LLC’s first XNA game, IncaBlocks, is now available on Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG)!

This game represents the many hours and weekends Dylan, Cicelie and myself worked the past several months.  Looking back at SVN, I started this as a side project to ROCS around July 30th.  Shortly thereafter we decided to put ROCS on hold and make IncaBlocks the first game we would release.  Keeping with our belief in over delivering, we priced IncaBlocks at 80 Points ($1.00).

Game play is pretty simple – stack blocks following some rules, and the one with the most blocks on top at the end wins.  I recorded a short video of a game to help everyone check it out (there is also a free trial version on Xbox):

IncaBlocks was also the first project that we made heavy use of Kanban and AgileZen.  Kanban is an idea I’ve loved in theory for a while, but hadn’t had the chance to use it on a real project (meaning a project with a deadline).  We used both the online board at AgileZen, and a real board in my office.  Nate and Nicole have done an awesome job with AgileZen, and in my not-so-humble opinion have a better project management system than Basecamp.  As with Ninject, Nate has a knack for stripping away the excess and leaving only the good parts. 

That said, you cannot beat the feeling of a physical Kanban board.  Moving a work item physically through the project flow gives one a great sense of accomplishment.  We stuck to two basic rules of the board: first, you can only have one task in progress at a time, and second, you must take a task, once started, all the way to done.  I think at least 3 times I “reset” the board and moved tasks around in the ready columns to change priority.  This allowed us to keep a high velocity while reacting to change (considering this was our first XNA game to be release, we had many changes as a result of just learning XNA and XBLIG worked).  While we pruned the done items from AgileZen, we left them all up on the wall:

Don't you have a Fender Stat in your office too?

 

We already have ideas for our next games, though I will have to take a break from game development while I work on an ebook for Wrox.  The working title is “XNA 3D Primer”, and will be a crash course in 3D game programming.  I also plan to do some post mortem posts on IncaBlocks and the lessons we learned along the way.


Posted 10-14-2009 11:21 AM by Michael C. Neel
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Comments

Tuna Toksoz wrote re: IncaBlocks Released, Thanks AgileZen and Kanban!
on 10-16-2009 12:20 AM

What frameworks did you use along the way? I have been interested in XNA for a while, and posts on your xna would be appreciated.

Michael C. Neel wrote re: IncaBlocks Released, Thanks AgileZen and Kanban!
on 10-16-2009 11:02 AM

Just XNA and C# - there are some game frameworks out there, but we choose to keep things simple.  Looking forward to posting more on XNA!

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