PPJ #08 – Christian Romero

Personal Postmortem

Three Things That Went Right:

  1. First and foremost, I produced my first rig in this class with Weidi’s new bear model. That went a lot smoother than I initially feared; this is something I haven’t done before, but really wanted to learn how to do. Thus, I elected to take the plunge, and I’m very pleasantly surprised with the end result.Now I get to look at the Great White in this game and think to myself, “I made that dude’s skeleton“.
  2. While much more subtle, I was pleased with how my environmental tweaks and contributions came out, most notably with that one nighttime skybox I made. That took a few adjustments to look natural enough in-game. Same goes for the grass blowing animations.
  3. I admit to not being the best judge of this, but from as much as I’ve seen through interacting with my teammates and observing our slack channel, I think communications actually went decently smooth for a change. Everyone seemed to be reporting in regularly and with every issue they came across to request help when needed. For instance, Josh and I were able to fix the snake’s animations and get them imported on time for the beta, because we were able to correspond back-and-forth in a timely and efficient manner, even as our initial fixes involved some less-than-efficient guesswork.

Three Things That Went Wrong:

  1. My biggest gripe with my own performance was that I wasn’t as outgoing as I had wanted to be. Sure, I volunteered for something relatively big with the bear, but I wish I could’ve done a lot more. It’s been difficult for me to balance my time between my classes this quarter, and on top of that, I got pretty sick early in the term. That resulted in me falling behind in my work elsewhere, which put a much more burdensome cap on how much I could contribute to Unexpected Allies later in the term.
  2. While I still tried to do my fair share of work (even if it’s been with more subtle tweaks), I can’t say I took the initiative with anything bigger in the last 3/4 of the term. I did the work I was assigned, put in my hours, and (with exception to helping Josh with the snake) didn’t branch out farther than that. Additionally, I didn’t speak up as much at meetings as I should’ve. I said team-wide communication was decent, sure, but I was either too distracted with other work or – in some cases too timid – to speak up at times or make any bold suggestions.
  3. I wished I had produced a much wider array of environmental assets, and I wish I utilized my own assets a lot earlier on. Things like the windblowing animations were an afterthought, but simply implementing them for every tree/grass bushel was a lot more tedious than I anticipated. Every grass bushel/tree in a scene had to be placed under a separate game object that would act as a pivot point to rotate on, because it turned out that Maya had no built-in deformers for animation purposes. Likewise, going into the object maya files themselves and implementing the animations there was … actually that would’ve been a good idea, but I didn’t factor that in much earlier. I thought the ‘subtle’ animations all could’ve been done in Unity no problem. Bit of a mistake. My point is, small things like that, at least on my end, should’ve been addressed sooner, but I didn’t fully realize as such either because I got so caught up with other work, or because they didn’t get brought up until much later.

Two Lessons I Have Learnt:

  1. I should be way more proactive in asking people who’s having problems with that. Part of it is simply practical; I keep busy, and I help my teammates (and the project at large) move along smoothly. The other part of it’s a little more abstract. The past year in general’s been a crash course in learning when to ask for help when I’m having trouble, and also coming to realize that many of my peers are struggling with lots of the same stuff I am. Some people may not always ask for help even if they need it, which is a situation I’ve sadly been in plenty of times. Thus, sometimes you have to take the initiative and ask what precisely is wrong, and what has to be addressed. For the most part, it’s been a much more gentler lesson learnt than in certain other circumstances.
  2. I’ve learnt that I actually sorta like rigging, and would like to tinker with it even more. Also, while I wasn’t so involved with it, I do have an interest in level design, and doing the more subtle environmental stuff has got me thinking that I should be more involved with this side of development, and do way more level designing from here on out.

Author: corneliusmm

The side-blog of Tumblr user Badshah-Cornelius. For the time being, this will be dedicated to original content. Essays and commentary and the like.

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