A Little Bit of Everything
Loadout Menu – Defaults & Quality of Life – 3h
Playtests – 1h 30m
Sell Presentation Updates – 1h
A nice and busy week with lots of variety in my tasks.
Loadout menu feels a lot better now. Default loadouts work, new button maps are in (and I got a chance to poke around Rewired), and, most importantly, NOTHING BREAKS. Oh, yeah, and there’s a “back” function if you want to choose the other map. Joseph Brown picked up the trailer task, which freed up my hands to work on coding, which was nice to get back to after a few weeks of not actually touching the game very much. Feels good, man.
FINALS ARE COMING. Frankly, though, I’m not too worried. I have a lightweight courseload this term and I for one am extremely pleased with how this project is going – no worries here. Getting enough playtesters was difficult because it’s hard to find 40 people who want to do ANYTHING beyond the required during finals.
Polish Polish Polish and F I N A L D E L I V E R A B L E S
— Personal Postmortem —
My largest strength in this group has been my strength in previous ones: communication and a willingness to jump on anything that needed to be done, from administration to code to chasing down people I know in crosswalks to get them to playtest our game. This is enjoyable from my end, too – I love having my hands in so much of the development process, and I had many opportunities to do that here.
My weakness was a lack of focus and time – too often, I found myself waiting until the last minute to get things done or getting caught up in other parts of my life entirely, to the detriment of my work here. Also, my code was not clean or well-documented, and that’s on me as a developer – I have a tendency to forget other people might have to go in and work on things I’ve done, and I have not always left them the easiest roadmaps.
Three Things that Went Right:
- Many Hands and Good People: we were able to go a LONG way because we had a good sized team of competent individuals who were willing to collaborate, communicate, and contribute. People were self-directed, independent, and took pride in their work.
- People Did Their Nonsense: They (we) might not have been the best about moving tasks around on the Hacknplan (sorry Jeff), but gosh darn it if all our deliverables didn’t get in on time and by the people who were supposed to submit them. This team was an administrator’s fantasy, where people did their assigned work and I never had to nag.
- Commitment to Polish: Even when everything worked, this team was always thinking of things we could do better, smoother, cleaner, prettier. We know there’s infinite room for improvement, and we used it.
- Bonus: Our Git flow was so good I didn’t even think about mentioning it here; it was a non-issue.
Three Things that Went Wrong:
- RIP Sunday Night Feature Lock: As the term wore on, we found ourselves more and more lax about internal deadlines, which meant a lot of late nights for people like Jeff who were up waiting for work from folks.
- Lack of adherence to the Hacknplan: I’m as guilty of this as anyone. We’d talk tasks for the week then completely ignore everything we’d listed out, forgetting about bugs or features until they were past due.
- Playtesting is Hard: This team was a lot better than a lot I’ve seen, but it’s still tough trying to get everyone to bring so many friends on when we all hang out with the same people.
It’s been a great quarter with an even better team, and I’m so proud of the work we’ve done. Cheers to having time for polish.
Going forward, I plan to schedule out my time for projects more concretely to allow for people requesting tasks of me to know ahead of time when they should be done. I will have to anticipate that not every team I work on will be as good at communication and Git flow as this one is. And I plan to increase adherence to internal tracking and deadlines, for everyone’s well-being.
Bonus content: I am Very Good At Making Presentations