Sty and I really found our groove and got lots of work done. The day before the final presentation, after finishing all of my work, I grabbed Topher, one of our producers, and explained to him how everything in the game was working and some of the bugs to avoid. I also spoke with Sty to let him know the state of the game and handed him over the master so he could work on it. Topher and Sty were then able to finish up the last little pieces before the final presentation.
The morning of the final presentation Topher asked me if I wanted to see the presentation and I said yes. Topher and Rody gave me their presentation and I gave them four pieces of feedback. I was pleasantly surprised when they incorporated three of them into the presentation which they did an excellent job on. I was really proud of them and our game got mostly good reviews, and only minor, negative feedback. It went really well.
Here’s a video of our game that Rody posted:
Hee hee hee. I love the sounds… 🙂
JenJen asked me to please, please, please make this prototype into a game! She’d never played tower defense before and she loved it so much she couldn’t stop playing.
With only 20 minutes of class time in week two, Sty and I were able to make a first playable. We made a second playable, and we were able to make a final one too! It made for a lot of really late nights, but we got it done! We learned Unity and worked really well together.
Our artist got the initial art assets done quickly.
Our producers did a great job on our first and final presentations. They came up with lots of level designs and amazing sounds.
As a team we had a great game idea and we were able to scrap all the ideas that weren’t as good. Everyone else in the class that I spoke with about our game loved it.
Not enough initial research on the game engine. We assumed we’d have three engineers as a non-engineer volunteered early on to do some programming and then wasn’t involved in the programming at all, which was fine (they didn’t have time), but that meant the engineers’ work was overscoped. Disagreements throughout, unrealistic expectations, and disrespect really hindered work time, which also made it really hard on the engineers and artists.
Poor team health. No one trusted each other or wanted to talk to or work with each other (with the exception of the engineers working well together). Really bad communication, or none at all, ensued. The producers in their mock presentation couldn’t represent what the team was doing, defend, or promote us properly because they didn’t know what was going on. We all felt that no one cared, that we weren’t supported, and as for myself, I felt that I was working my tail off and being told I wasn’t doing enough. I know others felt the same.
Perhaps I am sharing too much about what went wrong, and I hope that no one is offended. However, I feel that I want to at least represent the disaster the team dynamics were, and how we were able to still make a game that everyone loved despite it. And, in the end, there was a reconciliation among myself and our producers.
I opened up the lines of communication with Topher on Wednesday before the final presentation so he’d know what our game was and how best to represent our team. I made sure he had everything from me he and Rody needed.
After our post-mortem white-board write up, for which I was grateful another disagreement didn’t break out, I was talking to Topher about the project and he asked me to tell him what he thought he could have done better. After surface talking, and not addressing the real issues for some time because I was unsure how he would react , he asked me to sincerely lay it all out on the table. I did so, honestly, but diplomatically, but also not sugar coated. Rody saw us talking and came over and they openly listened to all the feedback I gave them, which was a bit. Rody also gave me a piece of advice: I should have let them know at the beginning that I needed more time during class to work. And he was right.
Most people wouldn’t have asked for feedback, but Topher did, and Rody was open to it. I am very impressed that they came to me and not only listened, but implemented what I told them in the next prototype. I took a lot of what I learned from working with them into mine.
I am very grateful for this experience. It was a hard one, but it was a good one too. I know that none of us would want to work in exactly the same group again. However, I wouldn’t have any issue working with any of them in a different group where the dynamics would be different. In fact, I think it would be great.