Semester 1 in reflection
So here we are, at the end of another semester, this one's certainly been an interesting one, generally I think it's been good, there are certainly some parts that could have been improved but we don't live in an ideal world. The semester got off to a rough start, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to work on until I did and then I decided to drop it anyway. I can't say the first two phases are my best work to say the least. Semester 3 I joined some others to work on a joint project, this also had a rocky start, with us choosing many different ideas, attempting a sprint method that simply didn't work and left us in a concerning state, we moved slowly and this led to general unhappiness and concern for the team future, fortunately this was just teething problems after choosing one idea and sitting down with Ella in phase four, we constructed a basis, we had a platform in which to develop on. I spoke to Adam about how best to proceed as a team leader and some with helpful advice I delegated tasks, splitting the game design into sections and giving them to those I felt suited the job best, I did small activities that led to developing a music playlist that would go on to inform the instruments and the music for the game, I initiated the narrative via post-it notes that would become the grounds for the entire game and I developed visual 3D concept art that would form our environmental visual along with Ella's work on characters, I helped guide the mechanics by assigning Dean to the game play mechanics such as movement and camera as I understood the importance of this feeling good and being designed correctly, I assigned Bernie to develop the core interaction mechanic and ensured that it fitted with the rest of the game, Ella and I's communication improved and we worked in unison to develop the game in her vision as her lead as creative director.
I learnt some valuable things this semester, the VA was great for understanding techniques that helped my workflows and pipelines especially towards level design. The Whiteboxing in Bloodborne inspired my Whitebox levels for testing the first environment, grid paper diagrams for levels also inspired a new way to start developing an environment. The Naughty dog narrative layout inspired our post-it note narrative design and the studio visits helped me understand how teams work effectively together. Feedback from peers and lecturers was very interesting, some was useful some was not. filtering through this is an important process and was a learning curve.
Looking back, there are things I wish I had spent more time on, generally my research is weak comparatively and I failed to document it effectively. I understand that my input also largely inflated the scope of the game, this is one of my weakest points and possibly a major disservice to my team. I also realize that as a team leader I made some bad calls, I should have spent more time in the early stages of phase 4 helping my team structure a plan for them, I spoke to Bernie and he mentioned that this would have been helpful. There were times that I felt my opinion swayed the project away from something more pleasing to the rest of the team, however I made these decisions objectively as I felt it would be the best way to proceed. I am lucky enough to have a team that trusts this.
Given some circumstances this semester that has made it difficult for some of my team to work to their full ability, I believe they all did well, I am proud to work with people that can deliver and design ideas and content that I would simply not be capable of, this project is the work of all of us and says something that I believe is meaningful, and for that I consider this semester a success regardless. There is more than I could say but it carries little meaning, so until next time, have a picture of Ella's first drawing of our triangle man ~