- Fire Particle Assistance (1 hr)
- Cool Down Bars (1 hr)
- Playtest (30 minutes)
Total Time = (2 hrs 30 mins)
I helped Javier with some particle work. I also worked on some concepts for cool down bars which can be implemented later (after the class concludes).
What Went Well
We received a lot of positive and helpful feedback on the playtests, my friends really enjoyed the game and it was nice to see people having fun playing our game. I started working on something that can be included if the project is continued which it is planned to be. Things are breaking less which is great.
There wasn’t a lot to do in terms of art assets and tweaks. There are some things we won’t get into the game before class ends that is a little disappointing but the project is continuing so I guess it will reach that potential. Finals are coming but I don’t think it will be that big of an issue
Final Sell presentation
Some of my strengths on this project were organization and teamwork. I usually helped Jeff and Mark divide and assign the tasks for the art team. Also I tried to be present and available to my teammates so if they needed something they could ask and I could jump in and help. Typically if someone was relying on my asset I would try to complete it in a timely manner so they had time to complete their task before class. I liked being in communication and available to those I worked with to complete certain features (for example working with Michael to complete the tutorial).
My biggest weakness was poor time management. I often waited until the last minute to complete tasks or I did not prioritize my classes and projects properly. I didn’t leave enough time for revision and review so that would have to wait until the following week. Sometimes I had concerns and I didn’t speak up enough or I didn’t take initiative. I wasn’t afraid to ask questions or reach out but I feel like I lost some initiative to call meetings and clear up concerns throughout the quarter.
Three Things That Went Right
- Scope: I think we set a reasonable scope that could be reached in the time we had. We set great goals and we met them by the end. We were aware of everyones specialities and their abilities and assigned reasonable tasks that allowed us to reach our goals!
- Teamwork: I think we were able to achieve our goals because of our team and how well everyone worked together. We have many independent people on our team who were not afraid to take initiative and get work done. It felt like everyone would tackle issues together and communicate. We all worked together to give helpful feedback and critiques to improve the game and each others work.
- Commitment and Motivation: Everyone was motivated to jump in and take care of tasks. We might have had some late nights but people got their stuff in which was great. Even when things were done there was motivation to polish and keep changing things. It felt like this team didn’t lose momentum and people were always looking for something to work on.
Three Things That Went Wrong
- Deadline: We started this quarter with stricter deadlines but as the quarter went on the deadline was pushed back later and later. Most people had late nights on Sunday and Monday.
- Playtesting: We struggled finding enough people to playtest. I’ll admit we received helpful feedback but every week it was difficult to pull enough people together to meet the set number. I know many of our team members, including myself, had a lot of personal matters since it was summer so that was also difficult to work around at times.
- What is HacknPlan?: We would always discuss what everyone was doing each week so everyone was aware what was going BUT we ignored hacknplan completely (I am guilty of this). I feel like we neglected to update tasks on hacknplan which made us forget about certain features and then we would have to pick up the pieces later.
For future projects I want to take initiative when I can and improve my time management skills. I want to complete tasks and leave time for revision and review. That way I have time to edit before the next build or meeting. I’ve had late nights because I did not stick to deadlines and I know others have as well because they were waiting for certain features. So I want to become more organized in terms of tracking my work and progress on hacknplan and I want to adhere to deadlines and give myself stricter deadlines. Overall becoming organized internally should help with my time management issues.
I am very proud of this team and how much we have achieved! I had a great time working with everyone.
- D-pad icon for tool tips (30 minutes)
- Tutorial images (2 hrs)
- Small UI and Menu edits (30 minutes)
Total Hours = 3 hours
I helped Micheal with the tutorial by creating any visuals he might need. Then I made some small edits with some of the other UI including D-pad icons for the tool-tips.
What Went Well
We got a lot of playtesters at an event on Saturday and I got a few to test the game out as well. I received a lot of good feedback. I The tutorial is finally coming together and I am HYPED. I can’t wait to test it out among players.
I went home this weekend for medical and family reasons but I still stayed in touch. I got some smaller tasks done such as the D-pad icons but next week I will be ready to dive in and fix any major issues if they surface.
- Play testing
- Updating UI and touching up assets
- Tutorial Wireframe (3 hrs)
- UI Edits (30 mins)
- New Map (1 hr)
- Helped with Sell Touch ups (1 hr)
- Tutorial Dialogue (30 mins)
- Meeting Concepts (3 hrs)
Total Hours = 9 hrs
I worked on the tutorial script/dialogue and then I wireframed it so we had a visual guide to refer to if there were questions. Also I edited the blessing slides on the sell presentation and I made some small edits to the UI where it was needed.
What Went Well
The tutorial is in a better place now (no it didn’t die). We got great feedback from the playtest that helped us find the right information to include in the tutorial. We also received great feedback in general that will help with balance in the future. I feel like we are slowly bringing it all together.
We got really close to meeting our playtest requirement but we didn’t quite get there. BUT we have a plan for the next session and we plan to collect more data. There is some disorganization within the project, it feels like there isn’t a hierarchy or priority list. It feels like we are all running around trying to fill in the gaps. I’m hoping this could improved by dedicating a meeting to solving it. Also I get very sick, so that didn’t go well.
- Tutorial Visuals
- UI edits
- Playtest for balance
- Find tasks that need to be wrapped up for artists
- Meeting – work directly with people make small art edits (5.5 hours)
- Loadout Images (1 hour)
- Loadout Descriptions (30 minutes)
- Pause Menu and UI edits: (2 hours)
Total Hours: 9 hrs 30 minutes
I made some edits to the Pause Menu to account for tooltips. Then I tweaked some UI elements and started making small edits. I grabbed some images for the towers to insert into the Loadout screen. Finally I wrote the Loadout descriptions with Javier.
What Went Well
Some of my tasks this week were “fill in the gap” type of jobs which is good because we need to start closing those gaps and wrapping things up. We had some productive work sessions which helped. The tutorial and tool tips are coming along.
I had some family planned stuff this weekend that took away most of my work time on. I didn’t account for that enough but the Pause Menu is in the repository but it hasn’t been implemented. The descriptions were not implemented either but it should be a quick task to complete before we playtest later this week. I feel like there are a lot of pieces out there and we need to connect them, like the tutorial, the main menu screen, and the tool tips.
- Keep editing the UI in response to feedback and other alterations
- Edit Main Menu Buttons
- Pause Screen implementation
- Tutorial and Tool-tips UI edits
- Loadout Menu – spinning tower images
- Help with particles or any additional animations
- Created Maps from Javier’s Designs (2 hrs 30 mins)
- Playtest session (30 mins)
- Created some UI elements for tutorial (2 hrs)
Total Hours = 5
I traced three of Javier’s map designs so they are ready to go. I do have to make a few edits on the second and third map, I just noticed a difference in the outlining. After that I worked on creating UI elements for the tutorial. Mark created the Box and The Box arrow I just added some outlining and shading and then I created the rest.
What Went Well
We keep moving forward with progress! I went home this weekend so I had my own play test with friends and it went well; we received great feedback. I noticed the load out screen is wrapping up and Javier presented some new maps. I am pretty excited to start seeing everything come together.
The art team is running low on tasks, it was a little difficult to keep myself occupied this week. I think we might need to have a design discussion so we figure out where everyone is and assign tasks for people to move forward. I did work on the map designs but I am just now realizing I need to make a few more edits to them, and clean them up a bit. Outside of this class this week was utter chaos so that was a fun time.
- Map Edits/touch ups
- Tutorial UI
- Render tower images for Erin (load out screen)
- Design Discussion (30 min)
- Cool Down Bar mock-ups (1 hrs 30 min)
- Pause Menu/Tool Tip mock-ups (3 hrs)
Total Hours = 5 hrs
I wanted to finalize the tool tips position so I started exploring ways to implement it into the pause menu and game screen. The cool down bars also need to be implemented, so I started thinking about new ways of displaying the bars and the tool tips on the screen effectively. The last two images are examples of what the icons could look like for the cool down bars.
What Went Well
I made some progress with the tool tips design and position and I could say the same about the cool down bars. I have discussed the design and placement of tool tips and the cool down bars with teammates. I think we could finalize the design this week and finally start implementing these features.
We have been kind of stuck on the idea of tool tips and the cool down bars for a while. There is a bit of a conflict concerning screen space and the players attention. We want to display both on the in game menu in a way that the player does not need to look that far from their UI to read the tool tips or to see what blessings or effects the other player has used. That has been a bit of a design issue we have been working out.
Finalize tool tips and the cool down bars. I want to start implementing them so we can test the layout in future playtests. That might help us solve some design issues. Finalizing UI so we can test it is the priority so I can jump in there when needed. (Maaayybe new map designs).
- Meeting/Play test session (2 hrs)
- Concept/mock-up of Loadout Screen (6 hrs)
- New UI icons (2 hr)
Total = 10 hours
The first image is the final iteration of the load-out screen, the second is in the earlier stage. We still have some decisions to make but we are closer to implementation. The last image are the new icons for the blessings and the new tower.
What Went Well
I received helpful feedback on the icons and the loadout screen design. Teammates are sharing their progress and everyone is giving great feedback. The playtest session was a lot of fun and I look forward to more in the future. We also had a productive art meeting this week.
This week was chaotic so I wasn’t that present on the discord and I forgot to keep track of my tasks on hacknplan. I should have been on top of my tasks this week. It’s just a bump in the road and next week I can pick up the pace.
I want to finalize the loadout screen and start implementing it. I want to revisit the tool tips since we have finalized UI and had more design discussions. Then I can work with the programmers to implement that feature as well.
- Meeting/concepts for new blessing particles (1hr 30m)
- Drawing new tower and blessing particle ideas (3hr)
- Tool Tip concept (1hr)
Total Hours (5hr 30m)
We introduced 4 new blessings so I spent some time coming up with ideas to represent their powers in terms of particle effects or symbols. The last two slides are my concept for the tool tips instructions.
What Went Well
I feel like there is more direction in terms of making decisions. We have more people to bounce ideas off of. Im glad I could sit down with Raul and come up with ideas for the new blessings and tower because we didn’t follow a strict creative process like this before. I got to discuss art tasks and future plans with Raul a bit as well. We are getting out of the design and concept phase which is great.
I want to reach out and communicate more so everyone is on the same page. I realized that I wasn’t sure what some people were working on this week. I think ending meetings with everyone’s tasks and listing them out loud could work. Not everyone is on top of the hacknplan but we could start small and move forwards.
Start designing the loadout screen and creating the elements needed for its development. Talk to Javier about the particle ideas so he can start creating and implementing them. Go over the tool tips design with Mark and Jeff. Finalize this weeks ideas and begin creating them!
New Tower Concept (3 hours)
Clean Up UI Files (2 hours)
Meetings (4 hours)
Total Hours = 9 hours
I got started on creating some simple concept art for the new tower addition. I also cleaned up my UI files and introduced new art team members to them so they have access to tools they may need in the upcoming weeks.
What Went Well
We had very successful team meetings over the week. We nailed down some core points of focus and defined goals. It seems like we have a grasp on priority and what needs to be addressed. The new members are working on being integrated to our workflow but we had a great time at our full team meeting and I look forward to working with everyone over the next couple of weeks.
Since we did combine it’s going to take some time to settle down. The new members have to get situated and in time communication will strengthen. We have only had one full team meeting but I am sure a routine will form and the process will smoothen out.
I want to start creating concepts for the tool tips so we can start implementing help options or subtle instruction (less hand holding when it comes to gameplay). I plan on meeting with Raul to go over the plans for the art team. I will revisit old assets if necessary but I will most likely transition to new UI concepts for our load-out screen and loading screen if I complete the previous tasks.
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.
- 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.
- 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.