Studio One Post Mortem

Yet another Trimester down, and what a better time to reflect on my work.

I enjoyed Studio One. I learned a lot of things about the process of creating games that are really going to help me be the best game developer I possibly could be. That being said, I don’t think I was the best I could be. The following will be things I think I did well, and where I failed.

The Good

I’m very proud of the last two projects I did. I found both Darkest Depths and Transmutation to be games I thoroughly enjoyed both making and playing. I definitely felt like I improved as a developer over the course of these creating these games. During the creation of Darkest Depths I put myself outside of my comfort zone in regards to game design, and I confident that I’m a better designer because of it. I’m a lot more aware of design decisions that need to be made and a lot more confident in my ability to make them.

Being better at design will, ideally, result in better games and at the very least help me ask the right questions when faced with a design issue.

In Transmutation, as I mentioned in that post mortem, I became a lot more confident in my abilities as a leader, and my abilities to keep a team organized (although there is still room for improvement).

Continuing to improve my leadership abilities and group organization skills will be very hand in the future, whenever I am working on a team that doesn’t seem to have any project leader I will be confident in my abilities to step up to the mantle.

 

The Bad

As I mentioned, I feel like I let myself down. I didn’t achieve all of the learning outcomes required of me, such as the audio and 2D assets. Sure, I did lose a bit of time due to “life getting in the way” but that won’t stop and working in the industry life getting in the way isn’t going to change impending deadlines.

In the future, if and when something disrupts my workflow I need to make up for lost time. By using google calendar I will allocate time to update my schedule every Sunday and Wednesday so that if something does disrupt my schedule, I can re evaluate my current schedule if need be. I will also make sure to allocate extra time for project work throughout the week, making using of my nights (as that’s when I seem to be the most productive), so that if at any point throughout the week I’m not as productive as I usually am,  I have a chance to still get done an amount of work I am happy with.

 

What I Should Have Done

Below is a list of learning outcomes I did not meet, and what I should have done to meet them.

Programming

To meet this criteria I should have done more tools development.

I was given the opportunity to work on a 3rd person camera, which I didn’t utilize. I’m sure if I asked, I could have also helped contribute on the clutter generator or the sound controller or at the very least tried to think of another major thing every game uses that I could have developed a tool for.

Specific Skills

To meet this criteria I should have been more conscious of how I am scripting.

Knowing I have these learning outcomes, I should have been more aware of finding ways to do the functionality I am trying to achieve, and designating time in a projects creation to evaluate and improve on existing functionality to make it less hard coded and easier to use.

2D & 3D assets

To meet this criteria I should have contributed more to the creation of visual assets.

This would largely have been a factor of not scheduling my time properly. Again knowing that I have these learning outcomes I should have planned out how I could have achieved these in a way that’s relevant to the creation of one of my current projects.

Audio: Iteration

Although I did achieve the LO for the design and placeholder sections of audio creation, I didn’t achieve the iteration part. I should have iterated on placer holder audio, so that even if a team I was on didn’t end up achieving the audio we wanted from outside sources, we still have have had audio of a decent quality.

Process: Iteration and Post Mortem

This is most likely an example of not recording my work properly. I was apart of every team session in all of my projects where the idea of the project was altered, but I guess I never recorded them in my progress reports. The problem most likely extends from the method I used to report tasks for the majority of the trimester, where I would report all my tasks throughout the week at one time. In the future I will be more cautious with how I report my tasks and report them as the tasks are finished.

As for post mortems, I need to improve on how I wright them. Instead of talking about what went wrong or right, I need to cover why it was good or bad, what was the cause of the issue and how I can attempt to replicate or prevent it from happening in the future.

Documentation

As mentioned above, I need to iterate on documentation a lot more, making sure that any changes that happen to the idea, happen to the documentation so that it always stays relevant. I also need to include an art bible in future documentation so that the game looks the same way as the team collectively imagines it and so its easier to communicate with animators on exactly what we want them to create.

Blog

and last but not least, I need to blog more. On my weekly schedule I will allocate at least an hour per week just for blogging. If any extra events happen (such as future exhibitions) I will allocate an hour per blog at some-point within the fortnight at the latest. This will make sure that I have time within my schedule to blog, rather than the generic tag of “uni work” and making sure that I do it at least once a week should stop them from piling up and if they do, I will have time to separate the blogging sessions to make the workload more appealing.

 

What I Will Do

The major difference between this trimester and main trimester is going to be the severe increase in planning. This extends past just scheduling, but figuring out what LOs I need, how I can achieve them and deciding what LOs I will work towards achieving in the current and future projects in regards to A) What I would like to achieve during the project and B) The minimum LO progress that I want to earn during the project (In an attempt to apply how I deal with the scope of a project, to the scope of the entire trimester)

 

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