Product Development Case Study
An Australian start-up approached Bluewater Systems and asked them to develop a gaming machine from the ground up. The company had already developed a board and was looking for someone to create the Operating System, application software and drivers for the various peripherals.
The company aimed to sell the product to the worldwide market.
The initial spec was somewhat lacking in detail, largely of necessity. While the sponsor had a very good feel for what the machine should do, it would have been very difficult and time-consuming to commit this to paper. However, we were able to develop some initial specifications together, and work to these. As time progressed we solidified these and made changes as appropriate.
The hardware needed a number of mostly minors changes - we identified these and provided test cases or failure analysis as required.
The product is still being finalised and polished, but major components of the software have been completed. Development was spread over a 9 month period. In this time we were able to build a gaming platform from scratch, including graphics, game engine, USB controllers, bill and coin acceptors, coin hopper and other I/O. The final code included an elegant API for dealing with all hardware components with an event-driven mechanism to communicate between them.
The keys to this rapid development were:
- Careful planning with the aim that development never had to stop waiting for a missing piece (in fact, this was not fully achieved)
- Advanced architecture to reduce coding and integration effort
- Excellent technical management to avoid blind alleys and focus on completing the most important parts first
- To assist with handover, Bluewater Systems also assisted with hiring an engineer to initially work in Bluewater's offices. This engineer assisted with testing and development, while coming up to speed on the product.