Building in Decentraland takes a collective of creatives and contributors to make emersive experiences possible. We have performers, wearable creators, developers, assistants, Designers and a lot more. Today we will interview Mimsy. She's an assistant for the Game Development "Knights of Antrom". Lets take a look at her journey and how she ended up being part of helping and contributing to the Play 2 Earn game in the metaverse.
It's so important to know all the roles creators and contributors play in building Decentraland. I really wanted to highlight the work that goes behind the scenes and team work it takes to building a p2E game in the Metaverse. In any team, it takes a collective of ideas and talents to make the magic happen. Let us dive in and learn, because there is always something new learn from contributors in Decentraland.
Tell us a little bit about yourself Mimsy?
"I’m a huge tech nerd, love Sims4 and cozy games, and come from the education world. (Former middle school teacher so no, nothing anyone can say will hurt my feelings after living that life😅). I love using my education and skills to mesh technology and learning together. One of my favorite things to learn about is how people learn, and new ways to make information and education the most accessible for the widest range of people. Also really dig nature and am so thankful to live on a lake surrounded by trees with my husband and our wild Boxer dog, and with very few neighbors aside from a couple families of deer, squirrels, and foxes."
What brought you into decentraland? Tell us a little bit about your journey, we would love to hear.
"Well I have to shout out Lolo (@lolo_babydoll), my irl bestie for 26 years and counting 💕, and Matt (@DCLDating) because I would not have joined DCL without them. It was Fourth of July weekend in 2022, and we were sitting on my in-law’s boat while Matt and Lolo told me all about this magical world that was essentially Sims4 but with real people and NFTs. I had no clue about NFTs, crypto, or anything web3 but was sold on the idea of a Sims4 with friends. Thankfully, Matt was also looking for some administrative and planning help for his project (then Dice Masters, now known as Knights of Antrom) as well as an education brain to bring into DecentrAcademy, so I was given a purpose upon coming into DCL. I’m way too awkward to come into these things blind. I joined Matt and Yannakis (@yannakis) in early August and have been with them since."
"Flexibility and empathy make all the difference." – Mimsy
Now that we know you help with planning Game development, What's your background experience with game development?
"Before DCL I had absolutely no experience with game development. I’m definitely not a developer by any means, but I quickly learned that there is a lot of overlap between planning development sprints and planning classroom lessons. Due to teaching basic block coding units in middle school tech classes I had some understanding of how code works in a broad sense and how to read it, so that really helped too. Having to always anticipate where students might get stuck and knowing to give them tools to help beforehand transferred super well to the UX portion of game design, which I think is my favorite element to look at. As a teacher, I was really into making well-designed presentations and teaching graphic design units, so that helped equip me with the skills I would need to help plan out UI elements. So, I guess I should really say I had no formal experience with game development or design, but the similarities to educators' skills are uncanny."
How do you approach the initial planning stages of a new project?
"It always starts with a call between Matt, Yannakis, and I. To be real, we’re almost always on a call but that’s where all the good stuff is thought up. One person will pitch an idea they have, and then we spend the next however long it takes asking questions, proposing alternate ideas, and fleshing out what the idea would look like in a way that makes sense to all three of us. Once we have the idea worked out, then we get to work writing Trello cards out with any bits that may be needed attached and all the acceptance criteria for the feature. Then we decide how to delegate the tasks and who from our team is the best fit for the different aspects of the feature, and then we’re off to the races."
What are some common challenges you've encountered when planning game development projects, and how have you addressed them?
"I’d say the challenge we see most often is overcoming misunderstandings amongst ourselves. Our team is very diverse in both backgrounds and personalities, so things don’t always “click” on the first go. We’ve spent hours before trying to get everyone on the same page with an idea, when in reality we were all saying the same thing from the start. 😅 Communication and teamwork get messy sometimes, but they’re our pillars for success for sure."
How do you prioritize different features or elements of a game when planning its development?
"Ooo, this is a tough question. I think our most-often disagreed upon things as a team are what should be priority at any certain point in time. But, at the end of the day it’s about balancing workloads and having realistic expectations. While we might be really excited about a new feature and want it to be prioritized, the devs might already have their plates full and the artists might be ¾ of the way through something. To decide what needs to be prioritized we consider the urgency of the issue, everyone’s workload for the current and upcoming sprints, and the effects the new feature may have on existing features. If an element is a fix for current issues, it’s more likely to be prioritized over a brand new feature. Though, if a new feature will provide foundation for future features that usually moves up the priority list quickly too. It’s all about balance and flexibility. Being adverse to change would possibly be the worst thing we could be."
How do you ensure that a game development project stays on track and within budget?
"Planning, planning, planning. Also, Trello is a lifesaver. For any feature or work we’re planning, we lay out Trello cards and use these to keep track of our sprints and progress. We typically have our sprints planned out +1 into the future, so we can see what’s going to be worked on, estimate how long it should take, and know about how much it will cost. By planning things out, we can make adjustments to stay in the budget or keep things on a reasonable timeline before anyone starts working on it, so we don’t waste much time flip flopping projects or starting things but not finishing them."
How do you work with other members of a game development team, such as designers, artists, and programmers, to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals?
"I love my role in the Knights of Antrom team because I get to work with every department, and see all the cool things everyone is up to. More importantly, being a communicator and mediator between different members of the team is a big part of my role and helps to keep things running smoothly. I enjoy being one who gets to ask the developers what’s possible for a new idea we might have and chat with artists about how they envision it coming to life. Being a middle-person between devs and artists, especially not being an expert in either realm myself, helps keep us all grounded in a clear, focused space. Plus, I don’t mind being the one to ask ridiculous questions, so that helps too."
What do you think are the most important qualities for someone who helps with planning game development projects to have?
"Flexibility and empathy make all the difference, in my opinion. At the end of the day, every member of our team is a human with their own life happening and their own unique ideas and opinions. I think being able to understand where everyone is coming from and having open minds when planning are the secret ingredients to not only a successful project, but one that’s truly enjoyable to work on. "
What tools or methodologies do you use to help plan and manage game development projects?
"We use a loose form of Agile for planning and keeping our tasks organized. Like I said before, Trello is a lifesaver. It’s such a helpful tool and we would probably be a mess without it. We also keep a section of our discord exclusive to staff and have channels for each department which makes for easy communication at any time. "
Are there any projects you are currently working on that our readers can explore and be a part of ?
"Knights of Antrom is my main project currently, but as we get closer to the launch of our Beta version I’ve been able to dedicate more time to DecentrAcademy and getting that ready to re-open officially. I’ve also been pitching in a bit at the Curation Station, making a few courses and whatnot, so definitely recommend checking them out too! A personal project I’m working on is creating a way to use my World to create something magical and beneficial for anyone who wants it."
WOW, Mimsy really shared a-lot of insight to her journey and about game development in Decentraland and some tips. I sure learned during this interview and I hope you did too. We want to thank Mimsy for her time. Looking forward to meeting in the metaverse!
If you would like to follow Mimsy on socials, or interested in Collaboration, You can reach her with the info below.
Make sure you check out our other blogs interviewing other creators.
Serena Elis - Founder, of Daydream X Sea
Serena Elis is a Singer, Multi-Performer, 3D Artist, Blogger, and Music Producer. She is one of the First singers in Decentraland which is one of the first Metaverse on the Ethereum Blockchain. starting her journey in web 3 back in 2020, She's been featured on NBC news, and Mashable Magazine for her collaborations, and innovation in Space. You can find her in the Metaverse Performing weekly and working in the Entertainment World of Web3. She's also a digital native working remotely while traveling and with a devotion to creating engaging content with resources and helping other artists in their Journey.