Feiko van Dijk: Game & Technical Designer

Streamlined Mastermind

Summary

Main Role: Producer. Project Lead.

Additional Roles: Analytics, Community, Technical Design.

Project Timespan
16 weeks

Team Size
18 Developers

Awards Received
IGAD Best Design Year 2

IGAD Best Programming Year 2

IGAD Best Art (Second place)

In Streamlined Mastermind, the player is in charge of planning bank heists. With only limited information at the start, they can spend money to gather additional information about the building and guards, acquire better crew members and equipment, and create distractions. Using this, the player can plan the crew’s actions to navigate them towards the vault and back out again while circumventing the guards. And your plan better be solid, because getting caught is not an option.

Date: February 2020 – July 2020
Team Size: 18 (1 Producer, 5 Programmers, 8 Artists, 4 Designers)
Platform: PC 
Software Used: Unreal Engine, GameAnalytics, Google Cloud Platform, Jenkins CI, Perforce, Jira
 


Full project available on Itch

Itch Page

My Responsibilities

Producer / Project Lead

  • Responsible for setting up the high level plan and identifying dependencies of tasks
  • Setting sprint goals in collaboration with feature team leads
  • Introducing Large Scale Scrum (LSS) methodologies and adapting them to team needs
  • Responsible for all communication to stakeholders including progress update meetings
  • Responsible for Itch store page setup & QA pipelines

Technical Designer

  • Responsible for setting up Continuous Integration pipelines and maintaining our Jenkins server & pipeline scripts
  • Creation of various technical design demo’s to help solve issues with our Nintendo Switch port (scrapped)

Analytics Manager

  • Responsible for identifying trackable metrics & KPI’s to help iterative design & speed up development
  • Implementing analytics both in game with GameAnalytics
  • Responsible for the legal side of collecting user data, creating privacy policies & point of contact for legal advisor

Experiences & Lessons

Streamlined Mastermind was the first project where I took on the role of Producer. After having a positive experience with being product owner in previous projects like Quantum, I decided to jump into the deep and start learning about production.

During pre-production most of my work was related to planning the production & release phases. I created risk analysis documents, project plans, scope breakdowns, budget plans and more. I also made a few design prototypes to help scope down the project and help designers take the Nintendo Switch release into account.

High-level overview of the analytics I implemented

Before starting the production phase, a teacher of mine warned me that any planning the team does during pre-production will turn out to be completely wrong during the production phase, simply because we had no experience planning development out like that. It’s safe to say that this teacher was right. During the production phase I remade the block planning together with the discipline leads.

Looking back at specifically the production phase, there are some things I could have done differently, especially putting more time into team bonding. The whole team worked remotely during the production phase because of the lockdown, which impacted motivation and mental health a lot. In my later projects I made sure to put much more time into this.