As a team we decided to meet on Monday of week four to get some work done. I had some basic customer animation with some moonwalkers 🙂 and the basic animation for the animals done. It was really very simple stuff, and I wish I could have made the animation more sophisticated, but it is what it is.
It was time to tackle the game loop. None of the other teams really had anything like the game environment we had, so it was all up to me to figure something out. And that’s when cRaZY mode was born!
I immediately grabbed Brenton, who sits to my right, and showed him the bug. He had me commit to SVN and he updated from there and took a video and sent it off to Toni who took a screenshot and stuck it on our cohort’s facebook page:
Remember this: bugs in games are called “features.”
It may just have turned up on our final pitch too…
Putting it Together
Hailin integrated our two pieces! I sat down with her and we worked out the little things so it also integrated the money and correctly adding the pet to the environment. That was a HUGE milestone in our project and we really felt good about our game after that.
Creating the Final Pitch
Toni and Brenton asked if we wanted to participate in the final pitch. I told them I would if I got to talk about the end part. They were all for it. So that’s what I did. I wrote up my piece, told Toni the slides I needed and then he made them AWESOME, and Brenton created all the videos we needed, with a little help from me (I hard coded some things to make the capture easier.
Brenton created all the videos for the presentation and had the hard part of explaining the game for the pitch.
Our final pitch was awesome. As a team we introduced ourselves as our animals. Toni – Ghost Cat, Brenton – Water Demon, me – Coon, Hailin – Cat, Jing – Monkey King, and Binoy was confused. 🙂
(Super special thanks to John Schwarz for recording our pitch!)
I got to do the incredibly fun part: talking about what makes our game fun and what would make it even funner: construction of homes for the pets, customization, and CrAZy Mode!!
Aw, the applause was amazing! 😉
Looking back the feedback we got was pretty positive: one of them wasn’t so sure about picking up money in the game environment, but I think that if we’d shown more customers dropping more money it would have made more sense. Toni also gave a good response in that we had the idea that they’d also drop hats, ribbons, etc. that you could use to customize your pets with, and we didn’t explain that the money is also how you get to upgrade your gene-splicing machine to create more exotic creature combinations. Aw, well. Too late now.
Their other concern was also the scope of the extra game play, but none of it was “This doesn’t sound like fun.” It was all, “This sounds good, but I worry you being able to pull it all off.”
Oh ye of little faith. If I could think on my feet in front of a group of my peers I would have opened a discussion with the clients and dug deeper into their worries. If their only concern really was our ability to pull it off, well worry no more. I’d already figured out the algorithm and mechanics for handling customization back in week two (minus the actual code), we already knew how we wanted to handle the construction of homes, and I’d already created CrAZy Mode! But their concerns were great feedback. Bad (over) scoping plagued us throughout the project. I guess that’s what happens when you have so many great ideas! Point also taken that in a pitch it’s good to be funny and entertaining, but you shouldn’t talk beyond the scope of the game. Lesson learned.
This was actually really fun to do, and some good lessons learned here as well.
Things that plagued us:
Bad scoping (keep it simple!)
Hunger pains (keep snacks in drawer)
Sleepiness (buy more caffiene)
Things we overcame:
Lots of artwork (Jing and Toni really stepped up)
One thing that didn’t make the pic that Toni mentioned and I kind of shrugged off was the version control issue in the beginning. Until I looked back over my weeks I didn’t realize how much time I spent on trying to get a git solution. I don’t regret it at all, but it certainly hampered our progress in the beginning.
Things that were great:
Our team chemistry was awesome. Everyone was super supportive, we got a ton accomplished, and we had a lot of fun.
Our producers were super supportive throughout.
Our game was pretty cool and cute.
Binoy and I nailed the colors for the mini game of gene-splicing.
The email standups increased the work productivity ten fold. I’ll definitely take that with me to my next group.
Did I mention we had a ton of fun?!
I’m going to miss this group. And I loved our game. It’s bittersweet to move on. Part of me wants to finish it, and part of me is glad we don’t actually have to! There’s a lot more that needs to be added in to make it sophisticated. And you never know, I may be working with this team, or at least some of them, very soon again.