IC Dev Sprint 2 Review

The review for IC Dev Sprint 2 is below:

What was done

What was done

:white_check_mark: done: Sprint planning

This process is still evolving but so far continues to help.

This post itself is an example of how the work planning and reviews will help us course-correct as we encounter challenges, like we recently did with the Manthano 3 situation. I’ll get into the specifics a bit further down.

I am still refining this process, including finding ways to make the tasks themselves more accessible instead of behind a private tool as they currently are.

I also need to allocate more time to explain the rationale behind some things. @Hala had a question that I haven’t yet answered, although I did spend some time talking to him in Discord about it. This information should be more readily available to all players so that Discord conversations, as enjoyable as they can be, are not taking time away from development work.

Lastly on this point, I need to get more people involved in this process, obviously starting with @Soull who is in some talks behind the scenes but so far is not appropriately accounted for.

:white_check_mark: done: private Discord conversations

I’m including this here to reflect time/effort spent talking to players in various 1-on-1 Discord conversations. This isn’t a bad thing but as mentioned the time does add up and pulls energy away from other priorities.

Part of the challenge here is that too much knowledge is centralized within just myself. I need to provide @Soull and any other Staff that we take on with more information so that they can better serve the players in my place.

I don’t necessarily want to stop having private conversations, but I need to be realistic about the costs of indulging in them.

:white_check_mark: done: open spots in Manthano 3

See Mathano 3 Cataclysm for details.

:white_check_mark: done: document new backend

This is ended up being a dependency for other work that was committed to. Several of our feature requests involve changes to the tick, and the old tick code is fragile enough that working on it is difficult to test and therefore prohibitively risky.

Where possible, new changes to scheduled processes should be happening on our new backend, which has been in production for awhile now but not very well documented.

I spent time documenting its usage so that I can pick up this type of work faster and make changes more easily and with more confidence that things won’t break.

I also added the API, which is running on the new backend, to https://status.imperialconflict.com/.

:white_check_mark: done: customer support and game/forum moderation

I spent some time dealing with angry players who were not able to unsubscribe from our emails, and who were also breaking multiple rules which required investigation and account bans.

I need to spend some time to provide our @moderators with tools and guidelines for handling this in my place. As it stands, they aren’t able to address a lot of this type of work because they don’t have access to the necessary data on the backend.

:white_check_mark: done: fix Manthano 3 planet cap

See Galaxy setting for planet limit is working for exploration.

:white_check_mark: done: fix profile rankings data

See Player profile does not show recent ranking history.

This is a short term fix, not the longer term fix that was originally planned.

:white_check_mark: done: sprint pivot

This was time/effort spent adjusting our plan in the middle of the sprint due to unforeseen circumstances. A bunch of planned work got bumped so that we were able to address more urgent matters, and after things settled down I spent some time and effort figuring out the impact to our existing plans and goals.

What was not done

What was not done

:x: not done: A galaxy setting for NAPs to be nullified near the end of round, so that a last minute free for all can be possible.

This ended up being blocked by the work to document new backend.

:x: not done: As a player, I want to see ongoing round stats, so that I can visualize round progress.

This got bumped by other priorities during the sprint pivot.

:x: not done: As a player, I want galaxy time-based settings to update automatically, so that I don’t have to log out and in.

This got bumped by other priorities during the sprint pivot.

:x: not done: As a player, I want the rankings on my profile page to be automatically updated, so that my round history is accurate.

This ended up being blocked by the work to document new backend.



As you can tell, most of the work we had planned was bumped by either:

  1. Emergency need for unplanned changes

    I am going to take a step back and look at our process from a higher level to see why I missed the Manthano situation in our planning 2 weeks go. That has been bubbling for a long time but in my enthusiasm to finally start addressing more recent player feedback, I had overlooked some risks with longstanding items.

  2. Unforeseen technical dependencies

    I have also not spent enough time evaluating the technical needs for several tasks, which resulted in unforeseen dependencies that rendered our plan unreliable. In order to improve this process I need to spend more time understanding the work before committing to it. This means that in the short term I will not be able to commit to as much work, but in the long term we will have more accurate plans.

  3. Unplanned admin/mod/support work

    I am spreading myself too thin managing work across multiple roles, and am not utilizing our moderation team effectively. I am going to follow up with @Soull on this point to see how we can work more efficiently.

Although Sprint 1 was great for our system stability, we need to spend some time evaluating our overall stability which includes non-technical things like galaxy setups, communication processes, and our organizational structure.

Sprint 2 here ended up being about pivoting to address urgent needs. Next sprint (3) will be about improving management of our team and our work. The incomplete feature requests have been moved back into the backlog.

The Sprint 3 plan will be posted shortly.

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