Barely Viable Product anyone?

After a gruelling exercise, I have reworked the MVP into a ‘multi-part BVP’… I shall explain.

First, I defined a new release version for Dominium, v0.5.0 – Episode 0, Barely Viable Product, which is as follows;

Barely Viable Product

Razor : Does it need to be implemented, in order to deliver something?

  • Fly around galaxy
  • Shoot stuff
  • Get shot at
  • Buy goods
  • Sell goods
  • Buy equipment/upgrades/repairs

A ‘razor’ is used to make a cutting decision – it either stays in, or it is cut out by judging it against the razor. A trick I was exposed to during my days at EA. Ok, so this particular razor may seem quite vague to Joe Public, but to me it’s sufficient to define ‘really, seriously, do you need ‘Feature X’ just to get something up and running?’

I then went through all the current MVP issues in Redmine, and moved them to the BVP using that razor.

Interestingly, it roughly cut the total time (2,861h) in half. (Nb. some issues have changed since the previous post).

So, affter this first pass;

v0.5.0 Ep0 BVP : 200 issues, 1,472.5h effort
v1.0.0 Ep1 Alpha : 142 issues, 1,388.5h effort

Ok, better. But, still an awful lot (736.25 working days = ~3.5 years)

I put my ‘being really, really, really real’ hat on, and created a v0.5.1 version, and went through all of the v0.5.0 issues with that razor again, and tried to really cut into it…

v0.5.0 Ep0 BVP : 184 issues, 1,301.25h effort
v0.5.1 Ep0 BVP : 16 issues, 171.0h effort
v1.0.0 Ep1 Alpha : 142 issues, 1,388.5h effort

And that’s now being as harsh as I can be. Removing any more will mean losing core gameplay features/mechanics that are essential (IMHO) to even a Barely Viable Product. It does prove the first pass was fairly accurate. Or perhaps it proves I really can’t let go of some things 🙂

So, my roadmap is now clearly defined. Although things will crop up, move around and even occur as I go forward, they will all be judged against the razor above, and go into the appropriate version.

My aim is to plough headlong into v0.5.0 Episode 0 – Barely Viable Product, and deliver something that can at least ‘be played’. Maybe that should be ‘Barely Playable Product’!

I’ll update the public Trello board with this in mind, once this has all settled down in my head.

Let the BVP commence!


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Author: Mak View all posts by

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