Monthly Archives: December 2014

Topher! Post Mortem

WOOT! 3 semesters in the books and 1 to go! I’m excited to have a break after the last few crazy weeks. I had to run in our post mortem today. One section we had to write about ourselves. So here it goes:

I think that I have grown a lot in the past semester and even during the summer. Over the summer I started to work on a side project of mine called “StepPets”. Being the producer on the team I had to effectively lead team meetings, work on different parts of the design and to consider scope. Using the experience from the past 2 semesters I was able to run those meetings and have an outside learning experience that has made me better. With help with my friend Binoy, I was able to tackle my problem areas and really shine as a producer. Some areas that I worked on was speaking up when I think there is a problem, always considering the scope of the project and asking tons of questions. I brought this into fall semester and I was able to present a clear representation of what our game is, kept the engineers focus on what we needed to get done and lead meetings to determine the structure of our game while considering the scope of the project. I think that I deserve an A in this class for the improvements in not only this class, but improvements overall as a producer and a leader.

I’m excited for the break and all the video games will be player!

Team Post Mortem

Here are some notes that I took during our Post Mortem with the whole team and the Professors.

We had a good moment before IGF.

We have involved people in class but it’s causing us issues. Stuff isn’t getting done. Communication is an issue. We need to watch out for it. What as a team do we do that we need to have better communication?

During the beginning of the semester the engine caused problems.

Lack of commitment. The art help get us going.

People liked hansoft

Overwhelmed people others are doing ok.

People liked the prototype process. Jose and Ryan really liked that. They didn’t like that we didn’t integrate into the process.

Overall – Positives
All excited about the art.
Sorted out some of the problems with engineers.
Great razor
‘Friday engineering meetings were good.

Overall – Negatives
Design has been a concern since the start of the game.
The design approach needs to be changed.
How the design is managed needs to be changed.

We need to figure out how to get all the engineers into the project and working on the different parts. Engineers don’t want to build something that is going to be disappear or not going to be relevant. Somethings need to be thrown out.

I think that was a productive post mortem. We talked about the problems we were having as a team and what we need to do next semester to fix them. We have a list of different things that need to be worked on to increase team productivity and overall game awesomeness. Knowing who are target audience is something that should drive our design. If we are just building the game for us, it’s going to continue to look like several different games.
Keeping the Demon theme in the spring semester instead of constantly changing it. Everyone was onboard with the demon theme before. We had great concept art and high morel. When we switched to a more tech theme, it was cool but not many people were interested in it as much. Once we talked about bringing the demons back everyone was happy about it but not excited like they were before. Keeping the theme during the spring semester would have allowed for more art iteration during the summer. We would have seen the problems with the tube being to rocky before we had our new lights out mechanic.
Overall, my team is pretty great they are doing some awesome work on the game. There is just some quarks to work out in the process of making this game.

EAE Day

The time has come again. It’s EAE Day. This time we are the higher class!

The Hostile Territory Producers started earlier in the week to prepare for the day. We came up with a build and two different game modes. We talked about what we needed and what we would like from EAE Day. Casey wanted to do a tournament and give out prizes for the winners. The professors approved the idea and we got prizes. Allen volunteered to meet me on monday to setup for the day. Triston, Sam, Sty and Skip also joined us in setting up our booth. The booth setup went pretty well. We got everything setup and ready to go a few hours before the event started. We were able to test our build and find some problems that needed to be fixed.

Sam and Skip were able to change a few issues with the build in a few hours. Throwing minions wasn’t too hard anymore. It is key that we can throw a bunch of minions to capture the territory in our game. The tweaks felt good and allowed for the fast paced gameplay that we wanted.

The professors came over to all the game booths before we officially opened. Each of them really enjoyed our new mechanic and told us what a great job we did by switching to it. It takes a lot of work to pivot a few weeks before EAE Day but it was worth it. We will be uploading the new build to IGF shortly.

We started EAE day with people playing our game and forming a line. Each person would play a few rounds then continue to move on to the other games. A few of our first players were these little kids that kept playing against each other. It was nice to see the express on their faces when they were playing. One of them ask me how much it was. They were pretty cute. Our reception to the game was pretty much the same. Most of the people really enjoyed the mechanic but had problems with the camera. Despite the camera issues we got great comments on our art, being able to swap the tiles and the overall progress of the game. We will continue to work on the 3 C’s (Camera, Controller, Character) so that it is smooth to wall walk and capture tiles.

At the end of the night we had to shut down each computer one at a time due to people continuing to play it. We had one tournament last night that I ran. Casey didn’t show up until later in the night. He was drunk and wasn’t able to perform his duties.

Overall, it was a very successful night. I’m happy that everyone liked playing it and that we didn’t stop having people wanting to play our game. I’m excited to see what we can do with our game before we have to publish at the end of next semester.

The week before EAE Day

It is the night before EAE Day. Our team has worked so hard this past year to get the game ready to be shown tomorrow. It is quite exciting to showcase the game that we pitched to the industry panel almost a year ago.

This week we worked on getting the prototype builds that we create a few weeks ago into a working version of the build. There are a few different tiles that we have included. Each are randomly turned 90 degrees and placed. This provides the tube with it’s new unique look. Shelwin and Sty developed a shader that fades in and out the tiles when the player turns them off and on. The shader looks really cool and adds the juice that we have been looking for.

For tomorrow we have our lights out build and possibly our detonate build that we can play test with the crowd. We will be holding tournaments for the people to play against each other. We got some awesome prizes that we can give to them.

For producer art class we had to create an animation where we had to interact with object. I decided on a squirrel and a lamp. With iteration I found that it would be fun to see the squirrel knock down the lamp. I had to use a camera rig to get the shots that I wanted.

Here is the animation that I created. Please enjoy!

Topher