Game Dev Adventures!, Helping Hand

Game Prototype 3, Week 3 — 2nd Playable

This has been a very interesting group to work with. The mix of personalities and leadership styles, especially as we are all leaders, has been a bad mix, mostly because the disagreements have really gotten in the way of us being able to get our work done. As I mentioned last week, engineers and artists, and especially engineers, need time to do our work.

However, it has all worked out in the end. There has been some good collaboration, and some excellent ideas from every person. The game definitely would not be as good as it is without this unique set of people, and I have certainly learned a lot so far!

Also, my fellow engineer, Sty, has been great to work with. Not only was he willing to stay as long as we needed to, but he always treated me as an equal. I could also rely on him getting his work done and him, me.

 

I LOVE MY FELLOW STUDENTS!!

With all the disagreements, we were really worried about getting our game done in time. The 2nd playable was due Thursday! The work flow was as slow for Sty and myself as last week’s, but never fear, our fellow students from different groups willingly helped out. It was still rough because every game has its own unique mechanic that no one else knows how to resolve, but it certainly helped when someone could just throw you a function you needed, even if they weren’t sure how you were going to use it.

Sty and I also had to merge our code this week which was not an easy task with Unity. It’s not real programming (not this initial part at least) and I’m not really liking it, but I do see all the advantages. It was definitely easier than programming our game in 2.5D on our own, but still a pain. We had major issues with getting our code to merge and work correctly. Win for me! I was able to get it to work and collaborate with Sty to add a few lastminute details right before Roger, our EP, came over to review the game. PHEW!!

2nd Playable Review

Roger gave us some excellent ideas. My favorites were: 1) Since we didn’t have time to engineer only being able to build X number of towers with Y amount of Zzz’s (our money system), he told us to tell play testers they could only build X towers. This was an EXCELLENT idea and really helped us in our play testing. 2) Since the player has no time to study the map before waves of trick or treaters come, we could use that fact to really sale the game: frenetic pacing! This is actually what made me love our game: that you have literally one second to decide what goes where. It’s super fun!

Week 10 Lecture

Roger gave an excellent lecture this week and I took crazy notes! Here is a sum up of what he told us and some of my thoughts mixed in.

Roger started out by saying that some of us have either started to, or are about to, question: what am I doing here? or feeling like, I don’t believe this crap. He told us, “That’s great! Embrace it. It’s wonderful. That’s how you should be feeling.” Why? Because we’re in ten weeks, we’re tired, stressed, and learning a ton. It’s also the beginning of the journey and a natural time to start questioning. Part of us are also feeling like, “This is the best thing ever!” and “I’m finally where I belong.” Clearly the two thoughts are dissonant and he told us to become comfortable with feeling dissonance. We can feel, I hate this class, and at the same time feel, I’ve discovered my future! It will all work out.

Since artists and engineers have hard skills, and producers are more about having to sell their soft skills/processes, he told us what producers should be doing. The main roles of producers are:

 

  1. Communication: make sure everyone is on the same page, dealing with the proper problems, and communicating the game to outside people. They are not the manager, but the communication officer.
  2. Filling in: help out with engineering or art as needed.
  3. Triage: make sure everyone is working on what is important and that the program gets out the door, is fun, and is understandable.

Producers’ primary goals are:

  1. Game is good
  2. The team health is good: He told the producers (and the rest of us) that just as you’d give yourself slack, give your team slack too.

At the beginning of the semester everyone gave everyone else the benefit of the doubt. Now we’ve all been evaluating what everyone else is doing. This is the perfect time to give everyone the benefit of the doubt again. People have been playing with their professional identities as we were encouraged to do. We’ve all been learning throughout this process, and have sometimes chosen identities that don’t work well with other people’s.

Time to take a step back, take a big breath, and move forward with an open mind.

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