On Tuesday, January 29th, Paul and I finished Sprint #3: Application Framework #2. This was our most successful sprint so far with 15 closed tasks spread among 4 stories:

  • Adventures in Layout
  • Package TClient into an Installable Thing
  • Build: Implement a Version Stamping Method
  • Complete ConOps Document

All of these stories were geared toward coming up to speed and building TClient into our game playing application. Adventures in Layout was a focused series of 9 tasks aimed at learning the Swift language and its use to build various graphical user interface layouts programmatically. The various tasks included building a login window, a game scenario chooser window, and a scrollable game map window. These all involved different aspects of user interface design and were completed successfully.

The packaging and version stamping method stories were short-term items with a long-range view. The former involved creating installable .dmg files for eventual Internet download, and being able to do it using an automated process, while the latter created a process to spread application version information throughout the various pieces of application identification, including the .dmg file. This was also done successfully: we were able to create the .dmg file, then launch it and load it into our system’s Application folder. Once installed, TClient was a double-click away.

The final story involved the writing of a ConOps document. This allows Paul and me to work out some application design ideas on a conceptual level instead of just hacking around and meandering towards workable solutions. While the document is considered complete at this stage, complete does not mean “etched in stone”. As we hit other obstacles, I’m sure revisions will be made in the future.

One take away from this sprint was a modification from our two-week cadence into a three-week one. While in our respective day jobs we both use a two-week cadence, the psychological time pressure on what is a spare time occupation was interfering with our creativity and productivity, especially considering the holiday season we just went through. The last two sprints had been modified to 3-week ones to accommodate the holidays and day job business travel and both were more successful than the first one by a large margin. We’re using a 3-week cadence going forward.

Sprint #4: Gaming Infrastructure – Phase 1

With the ConOps document completed, Paul is now coming up to speed with Swift. His focus will be on game data management code, while I continue with GUI and server-side support. Our stories are:

  • Implement a Layered Window Interface
  • Implement an Asynchronous Server I/O Comms Queue
  • Implement Zoom and Opacity Controls
  • Install Git on Paul’s Laptop
  • Game Module XML Meta-data Definitions
  • Game Module Scenario XML Metadata Definitions
  • Implement a Swift Module to Abstract Callers from XML Metadata

On the face of it, this sprint seems ambitious, and it may very well be as we’re feeling our oats right now. That said, each story isn’t as functionally deep as one might imply. We’ll see how we’re feeling three weeks from now.