Games · Products

Agile release planning game downloads

There are now three versions of my agile release planning game so I thought I would add them to the site so people can download them directly:

The original version

The basic game covers release planning and also the challenge of planning for new features, fixing defects and being impacted by technical debt. It works well when leading discussions about velocity charts, replanning and technical debt.

The latest version

The game has evolved as people play it and redesign it.  This is probably the most playable and latest version of the full game … with thanks to Philippe Krutchen

The original version

It is set on Mars and involves the team planning how to survive or leave Mars.  The version attached contains additional complexity around having the team set clear priorities (survive, continue with a scientific mission or work on leaving).  But some people prefer to ignore the scientific goals of the project to simplify the game, in which case they tell the team to focus only on surviving.  The components are:

ARPG facilitators guide v1.1     ARPG game board v1.1     ARPG glossary v1.1

ARPG iteration instructions v1.1    ARPG status report v1.1

An older version of the game had events the impact the team as well as defects and stories.  Generally I have ignored the events so I have removed them from the following folder.  So the following folder contains stories and defects … although you may find that the status report is all you need to track defects: ARPG Story Cards and events v1.1

The iteration planning / Kanban extension

The following version can be played on its own (though you will need to read the facilitators guide above and use the story cards).  Alternatively it can complement the game above if you use it to replay a couple of the iterations in the orginal game.

It is designed to focus on storywalls and resource allocation during the iteration.  The team allocate people to different stages of story development (effectively – elaboration, build and test/deploy).  Then, during the life of the iteration they encounter bottlenecks and re-assign people to provide better flow through the team.

Debriefing this extension can lead to great conversations about “activity versus throughput” and the potential issue of testers sitting idle for a week and then being flat out for a week (and hence becomming a bottleneck).

ARPG game extension – iteration storywall v1.1

The lost alphabet extension

The latest addition to the family comes from Brazil and was created by Eduardo Meira Peres.

Eduardo has created a simplified version that can be explained and played quicker than the original. He has also changed the problem the team face.  They no longer have to survive on Mars, but instead they must work with a tribe here on earth who have lost their alphabet.

The intriguing problem that the team must now solve is to use an agile process to help the team re-invent the alphabet from scratch.

I believe this extension is available in both Portugese and English, though I have only provided the english version here:






Please feel free to use any of these versions – and let me know how you go.

I created a (very slightly) modified version of the lost alphabet game and you can find that here



11 thoughts on “Agile release planning game downloads

    1. Hi Dan

      The alphabet version is easy to do in half an hour, while the original version will take from half an hour to a full hour. But with some tweaking the orignal version can be run a couple of times to introduce different concepts during the day.


  1. Hi James,
    I’ve just started reading through your blog and this really caught my attention! I’m looking to run a session or two with my team and wondered whether you had any suggestions or improvements from the sessions detailed in the downloads?


    1. Hi Jake
      My main advice is to read through it first and maybe do a practice run for yourself. It is also good to cut out the letters if you have time and to give teams 2 dice of different colors. Last time I ran it I just had the goals on a flip chart and so people did not read all the material. It still worked well.


    1. Hello Oleg. Thanks, and yes the games are free even if you are making money from using them. I hope they are useful in your training


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