In 2015 I joined a start-up called NUTS which aimed to explore the gaming potential of then brand new Augmented Reality technology. We hoped to jump on a trend early and aimed to transfer the strategic fun of table-top strategy games such as the Warhammer series to the world of AR. The Project was promising and we had managed to gather a team of interested people and supporters around us. However, sadly our project failed to gain funding and due to differences in the team, we soon split up and went our separate ways. Most developers would probably refrain from advertising failed projects in their portfolios, but I find it important to be mindful of these experiences in order to learn from them.
I was brought on board while the NUTS project Battle Boards AR was gathering steam, but certain problems had already become apparent. There were severe communication issues between the leads and their team and it was my task to function as a funnel in my role as project manager. I would attempt to suss out various miscommunications and attempt to ascertain where the team stood and which areas weren’t receiving enough attention. It was a challenge to get a handle on the entangled structures of the team and while I believe everyone involved had the best intentions, productivity was suffering. Ultimately we discovered that the root cause of all issues was a fundamental difference in goals between the leads: while one wished to focus on the ‘game’ aspect of BBAR the other viewed the technological side as far more important. Sadly, a compromise seemed unrealistic at that point and the project was shelved. The experience was extremely educational for me and made me aware of the importance of being on the same page from step 1. Additionally, I am grateful for the added hands-on Scrum experience I gathered, as well as the more technical insights into the establishing of a company.