Meagan’s PPJ09 Postmortem

Working on The Two Powerful ones has been quite the experience. I’ve never worked on a tower defense game before so it was an interesting challenge to take on. It’s also great to be working on bigger teams, in this case 7 people, because it’s a great learning experience in terms of communication and cooperation. I feel proud of our team and I am happy with the work and progress I put into the game. There were some bumps and set-backs but that’s what learning experiences are.

Successes:

  • Team Dynamic – Wowzers I really enjoyed working with everyone on the team. I was not afraid to reach out to any of my team members if I feel like I needed help or something from them. We had regular meetings that I attended and I think that helped in terms of better communication but also getting to know each other. I was always on Discord ready to respond to and or answer questions. I stayed up to date with what the other team members were working, as did everyone else. It was a welcoming group and I am glad that I could be a part of it. I was ready to put in the long hours and nights to make strides or progress and I noticed everyone else was ready to as well.
  • Learning New Things! – I wanted to branch out my knowledge in terms of texturing so I started using substance painter at the beginning of this project. It was a rocky start because learning is a process but I am happy to say I worked through it. Also, I have not worked with UI too often but it is something I am interesting pursuing. I designed the menus and in game UI icons. It was a learning experience in terms of design and understanding how the player would interact with your design. I have a better understanding of UX/UI and the process it takes to achieve a design that will create a smoother flow of gameplay and the player will understand.
  • Fun – I really enjoyed working on this project and I made it a personal mission to have fun. Of course, there are times when you need to take things seriously like meeting deadlines or delegating tasks, and having balancing discussion but also don’t forget to have fun. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has had a bad experience working in a group project. I am just glad to say that the 10 weeks I spent on this game was time well spent. I think it’s safe to say we all decided to take this idea and just go for it. We wanted to make it the best experience as possible.

Failures:

  • Initial Communication – I definitely took a back seat during the first two or three weeks of the project. I regret not speaking up more in the beginning. I feel like as a team we were not off to a great start because the responsibilities were blurred. I eventually did speak up and offered to take on certain responsibilities but if it would have happened sooner we might have had better footing and progressed further. I became better with communication but like I said I should have been projecting my voice better on Discord and at meetings in the early stages. I learned that it takes a few leaders to step forward to handle a team with this many jobs and responsibilities. You should have someone thinking about the game from an art perspective, someone thinking about the game in terms of design, and someone thinking about the game in terms of programming. Ask question, a lot of questions. The more you discuss and ask questions the more issues you will find and fix within your game.
  • Juggling Responsibilities – I am nocturnal. I met deadlines and got the work done I needed to but I poorly managed my time. If I would have spent more time balancing my sleep and other work I could have been more productive or possibly finished more work than I did. It’s always difficult juggling midterm exams and papers with longer term projects so that was a bit of a struggle. I noticed there were some moments of frantic work on Wednesday which Is not ideal. This relates to my next failure.
  • Set-backs from Small Mistakes – Sometimes I would be working fast to get things done and get them in the game and I didn’t give myself enough time to analyze and edit my work. If I had more time to review my work I could have worked on more iterations and received more feedback to save some time later down the line. So, I definitely need to jump on my work sooner and come up with better methods so I can receive more feedback. I think I might have spent too much time on certain aspects of the project when in reality I should have moved on. I wanted to replace the white boxes that represented the buttons for a long time but I didn’t get to it until later in the quarter. I think I should focus less on perfecting one thing and start branching out.

Overall this was a great learning experience and it was a lot of fun. Everyone encouraged each other and gave great feedback. I have a greater understanding of how important it is to define roles and the team to give everyone some sense of direction. This experience has given me a lot of valuable lessons and memories. I am proud of us.

 

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