Bat Sim…Part 3 – A Producers Thoughts

start-4Behold! Our start screen. 🙂

This was literally finished the night before the final presentation. Thanks to our wonderful artist Robert Zhu.

In this last part I want to give my parting thoughts about the project and the lessons I learned from it.

1. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If the game isn’t good. SAY IT

2. If things aren’t getting done. TALK about it.

3. Put your heart into it.

Let me talk to that third point. For the trial run, I knew going in that the game wasn’t in a good state. And when I was preparing for it, I was a little depressed about it and I didn’t go a good job at hiding it. I was wearing my emotions on my sleeve. And in the feedback, that was mentioned. Or, at least that was my take away.

So, if you’re going to do something, do it well and give your all. I learned this lesson and fortunately it wasn’t too late. I was able to really do better for my second and final pitch. The game showed well and I was having a good time up in front of people.

Being a producer is a learning experience. I have had to learn how to really communicate and I’m still having a hard time with it sometimes. That will come in my next series of posts.  Onward and upward.

TO ZAXXON!

(my second prototype)

 

Bat Sim…Part 2 – Learning the Hard Way

So we went with our original idea. Playing it safe.

Shortly there after, one of our engineers was able to get things up and running quickly. This was a blessing and curse at the same time. Let me explain.

Bat Timeline

This is a graph that whipped up to show you what happened. Amount of effort is on the Y axis and time on the X axis. With the two arrows pointing to key moments in the project.

The first is the blue box. At the top of the hill we had a sim up and running and looking decent for how short of time we had been working on it. We then decided to take it easy and not focus on it and let it slip. And you can see for a while there not much happened.

The second arrow is the trial pitch of the final game. At this point, we had our heads handed to us for how, not good, the game was. And because of that we got out butts in gear and pulled the rabbit out of the hat.

Let me give you the producer side of this. I had noticed that the game wasn’t progressing as well as I was hoping, yet I didn’t really do anything. Acting on blind faith that everyone knew what their tasks were. WRONG!

There was confusion and poor communication. My take away from this was, when I need to, be a hard ass. The other was, I need to learn how to effectively communicate with artist. I know we need art, but how, what and when are very key questions to ask.

Bat Sim…Part 1 – In the Beginning

landing-right-recover           Bananas

 

I’d like to introduce you to Simon the bat. Our little protagonist for Banana-nana Bat. He lost his bananas and must find them. Duh!

Now you might be thinking, oh, that’s clever. Well…it is, but it was pulled out of the hat at the 11th hour.  This post will be slightly longer because I haven’t been posting all month and I have a lot to cover/say. My apologies. 🙂

The assignment was to take a toy from the dollar store and use it as inspiration for a game. We (Team 4) randomly chose these little Halloween rubber spider, bat and rat decorations. From this we had a brainstorming session which was a 5 out of 10.

(Quick aside. Brainstorming. If you were to get honest answers from people I’m pretty sure everyone would agree it never really works in its current form. )

From this session we succumbed to the temptation of “Low Hanging Fruit.” We decided to do a 2D world exploration game using the sonar to expose the world around you. We wanted to have multiple bats with different sonar patterns and multiple locations. We ended up scoping it down to one bat and one location for the sake of the prototype.

Well, the next lab, the following Thursday I gave the initial pitch. To which Roger proceeded to explain to us that when he first started this program one of the first, if not the first  game they made was of Marvin the bat. Who explored a 2D world and used sonar to see the area around him….

Well, instead of going with something new and innovative, we decided to play it safe.  We went ahead and kept our initial idea. Afterall, this was the first time WE’D done a bat sim right?

Right…