PPJ #8 – Kyle Fader

Postmortem: Kyle Fader

3 Things Right:

  1. Easy Transition of Teams – I felt that combination of the two teams went rather smoothly. Because of this, we were able to hit the ground running and address all the major improvements we needed to focus on this quarter. The story and level design became much more fleshed out and Unexpected Allies has transformed into a totally different, and better project, then our finished project at the end of Workshop I.
  2. Slack, Trello, and Perforce: Workshop II saw our enlarged team communicating with Slack, adding and tracking weekly tasks with Trello, and keeping all our files for easy access and organization with Perforce. I felt Slack was amazing because you could split it up into different channels and it was easier, than say GroupMe, to contact other individually. Trello was amazing, and I’m glad we decided to start using it. It allowed us to really keep track of who was doing what that week, and there progress on it too. I’ve actually started using Trello for other classes and clubs. I definitely plan on using it during Senior Project. Lastly, we have been using Perforce since last quarter, but it wasn’t until Workshop II where it became a requirement to use. Honestly, it took me a few weeks to really understand how it worked, but once I did, it was an easy way to upload and get content from others.
  3. A lot of awesome stuff!: Just like Workshop I, we produced A TON of stuff; including 2D art, new animations, new enemies, better levels, and new abilities (just to name a few!). There was a lot of artists, so we got a lot of assets that really filled up the levels in. I did some 3D asset production, but most of my time was spent on the 2D side. Unexpected Allies now features a 2D Hub Map where you are able to pick the levels to play and that was really fun to create as a different medium in a primarily 3D game. We created more and new levels, only keeping one from last quarter. Levels were now designed smaller, with multiple routes and things to do, and encouraged replay ability with our crystal collection system. Overall, we have a ton to show from our time with Unexpected Allies, and I can confidently say everyone has something awesome in it to show in a future portfolio reel!

3 Things Wrong:

  1. Trello: Even though I personally loved Trello and used it on a daily basis, I felt we could have used it even more as a team. There were many times were tasks were never marked “Started” or even “Done!” so it was up to the coders or others to message those individuals personally.
  2. Time Management: Even though I like to pride myself with good time management, some weeks were extremely difficult for me. I took a lot more credits, had coop going on, and I think I caught every sickness going around from January to mid-Feburary. I don’t like to use any of them as excuses but I should have planned my week out when I knew it was going to be a busy work week! Or made Unexpected Allies my number one priority.
  3. Time in Unity: I personally felt that I did not spend as much time as I wanted to this quarter in Unity. I did occasionally go in and implement things; I was really happy how the start and pause menu came out, but I wish I had lended my time to things like level implementation. I did get to work with particle effects early in the quarter and – man – they are a lot of fun. Definitely on my “Things to Learn Over Coop” list.

Lessons:

  1. Making a game takes a lot of work, time, energy, and motivation. In the future, I definitely want to wear more hats. I want to challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone and really spend some time on it. I got the chance in Workshop I when I modeled Rick, but unfortunately this term it was absent.
  2. You need a killer mechanic in place to really have your game go above and beyond. I felt that there was no true “fun mechanic” players experienced, and it reflected in the playtest surveys. Going forward I want to focus on having the game be fun, even if it just placeholder art, or buggy! You look at games like Rocket League and they have found a mechanic that has the player coming back and back even if your doing the same thing (basically). We did a great job of salvaging the story and design from last quarter, and believe we made a pretty great thing. I like how the team really adapted and we figured out ways we could improve the game without using too much time or using already created assets.
  3. Big teams means communication needs to be top notch. Even though I tried to encourage constant communication, I ultimately dropped the ball. From the start, we should have set up “Work Hours” in the labs where anyone could drop by and we could work on the game together. That would have probably helped with the Saturday/Sunday submissions.
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