Well, we’re nearing the end of the term and, as such, the end of Workshop 1. This quarter has been rough and VERY busy, and this project has definitely had its ups and downs. So, as my last PPJ, I’ll look at some of what I think went wrong and what went right.
First, what went wrong:
- Format. Early on we decided that we wanted to make a 3D game. This proved to be difficult MANY times through-out production. It was my first time programming in a 3D environment, no one on the team had any character modeling experience, and the pipeline is much longer in some aspects then 2D. Oh, and rigging. No one was super confident in our rigging abilities, so I recruited my friend, Andrew Bishop who loves rigging (bless his soul). It worked out, but it really sucked to have to rely on outside help and Andrew’s schedule to move on with our own production.
- Design. Again, very early on we decided that we wanted to progress Kyle’s idea of a two character puzzle game. This was, again, a first for all of us: we had never made a puzzle game before. It’s really easy to put of puzzle and level design to the last minute, and I think that we experienced this first hand a little bit. I think this could have been fixed in a number of ways. First, we could have spent more time and effort on refining our core game idea. Second, we needed to start puzzle design on the first week of development. All-in-all, I’m actually very happy with the game and the levels we have, but I know there was room to grow. I suppose over-scoping could go in this section, but I know that I will always over-scope, no matter how careful I am.
- Time Management. This was both a personal and team problem. Despite my efforts to start my work on Tuesdays each week (which I held myself to every week), I still had trouble finding time for all of this quarters work, largely due to CS265. CS took SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much effort and was ridiculously hard and time-consuming. I always put “Unexpected Allies” first, but I still had other things to do. In terms of the team as a whole, everyone did a pretty good job of getting their stuff done early up until about Alpha week (wk 8 – 9). People (myself included) began losing steam and the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to get all of the changes to the build made each week because I haven’t been getting assets until late Saturday or Sunday. It was hard to do my portion well when I wasn’t getting the assets I needed to work with until Sunday each week. We still pushed through the end really well though.
Alright, and now the good!
- Format. Yep, this is a good and bad aspect for me. As much as I bashed our decision to make a 3D game earlier, I think the pros outweigh the cons by a ton. As I said earlier, this was my first major exposure to 3D development and programming. I learned A LOT about Unity and development in general. I am so incredibly happy with how much I personally learned and the final product that we actually created. All of my cons aside, I am very happy with the 3D game we created in the end.
- Communication. I have worked on plenty of team projects. I know everyone else has as well. I have never had a team that has communicated as well as this one has, especially not a team of this size. I know other workshop 1 teams struggled a ton with meeting and communicating and I can honestly say that we never had any problems. We had some miscommunication, but no one ever tuned out or fell off the grid. Everyone communicated and participated well in meetings and on the GroupMe.
- Production. I hope I get my thoughts across correctly on this one, but I’m really glad with how much work we actually did. Even though there are plenty of things we could change and could’ve done better, we stuck to our plans and made (at least to me it feels like) a lot of content. We made a ton of art, got a ton into the build, and have a decent degree of polish on the game as well (story, collectibles, menus, loading screens, etc). All of our physical work and assets eventually came together and I’m really happy with how it looked.
All-in-all, I am really happy with the final product of “Unexpected Allies.” I know there will be a ton to fix even after next week, and I really look forward to possibly being able to make the game better and longer.