Jul
10

XP Game v5.0 released

XP Game

A long, long time ago, Vera Peeters and I developed the XP Game to explain the interaction between Developers, Customers and Coaches in an Extreme Programming project. In one fun simulation, participants learn about estimating, planning, embracing change, stories, acceptance tests, velocity and collaboration.

The game was born out of necessity. Our development team was applying the XP developer practices (refactoring, TDD, pairing, continuous integration, automated acceptance tests…) with success. We found it a lot more difficult to explain the concepts to customers, salespeople, support, management. We needed to involve them to take the next step: agile release planning. Explaining didn’t work; examples didn’t work; presentations didn’t work. They were baffled. This ‘XP thing’ was too weird…

Vera came up with the idea of a game. We started working on the game on Wednesday and played the first version on Friday. Shortly after, we played the game with a new customer, to kickstart our largest project to date. The game convinced them to participate in an agile project and to allocate an onsite customer to the project. The fact that we committed to deliver the project in a quarter of the time of our nearest competitor might have helped too ­čÖé

Grown up games

We played the game at several conferences since 2001 and came into contact with other people who used games to teach. We started to become more aware of the mechanisms and techniques behind teaching games. Our own experience and feedback from others who played the XP Game shows that simulation games are great teaching tools.

The XP Game has been played all over the world. We’ve received feedback and ideas from those who have played it. We still use the game to teach the basics of agile planning to our customers.

The XP Game evolves each time it is played.

XP Game v5.0

Vera and I updated the documentation to reflect how we currently play the game. The new version is available on http://www.xp.be/xpgame

The game is licensed with a Creative Commons license, so you can use it and remix it. Play the game, play with the game and let us know how to improve it.

Expect some news about a new game soon…


Creative Commons License The XP Game by Vera Peeters and Pascal Van Cauwenberghe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Belgium License.

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