Wrapping Up, Mark Hurley, PPJ 09

What Went Well?

In my opinion the production was very successful, and we were really capable of coming together and making a great game in the second half of the term. As a member of the team, I helped considerable in one aspect that really held us together: our ability to pick ourselves back up and learn from our mistakes. After talking to some seniors and receiving a rather difficult critique, I was one of the first team members to make it clear that we needed to really work hard to make up for lost time and address all the feedback. Some feedback required entirely reworking some aspects of our game (I spearheaded rewriting the GDD to be more fleshed out and clear) and some just required a bit of course correction. Overall, one of thing I did well in production is contribute to this “learn from mistakes” attitude.

 

In addition, I was able to help Jeff for a lot of his leadership during production. Since I’ve acted as team lead before, I have some knowledge on what to look out for. Occasionally, Jeff would message me about leading the team. I always did my best to encourage him and give whatever opinion I had on the matter. I think this was helpful for the Jeff’s strong overall leadership.

 

Another strength I had over production was my ability to get down and really work for certain weeks. The main examples are the unit models. For weeks, the team still only had programmer art for different units. And, over the course of a week, I was able to fully model, texture, and pose 3 unit types for the game and implemented them in unity quickly. This fast development really helped our team turn our production around in the middle portion of the term.

 

What Could Have Gone Better?

By far my biggest failing was my inconsistency with work. Since I had a difficult class the day before workshop, I often spent the majority of my time working towards that and couldn’t do as much for the project as I initially wanted. This happened far too often, and I feel the game could have been pushed even further if I just dedicated more time.

 

I also lacked communication early on. This was a problem for a lot of the team. Too many of the programmers and artists just didn’t talk to one another and it really showed in the miscommunication early on. I’m no less guilty, leaving Jeff as the main translator between the two sides when I know I could have helped.

 

Finally, I need to learn excel. I don’t know if I’m just being too hard on myself, but I feel I should have been capable of doing more effective balancing work. Since one of my role as lead designer, I need to more often immerse myself in balance charts and GDDs than I did during this term. I was able to do a lot, but I always had the nagging sense that I could have been doing more.

 

 

Overall, I think the production went great. There are minor issues or areas we could have improved upon, but we overcame those, and our successes far outweighed our failings. I hope The Two Powerful Ones will continue into the next term; there is so much more this team can add and improve on the game.

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