Jed Merrill, Producer/Game Designer

Week 11

Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

Week eleven begins with the distraction of a fire drill, conveniently timed on a chilly, rainy day.  I use the time to coordinate with Jose and Nidal about this week’s build.  Eric is getting a five year award for his work at an edutainment company, and will join us at 10:30 for a five minute SCRUM stand up and longer design meeting.

After Eric arrives, we start the design meeting, which I run.  Without going into too much detail, I think this is the most significant meeting we have had all semester in terms of getting on the same page.  After discussing various legal issues relating to the game and The Void, we connect our game design to Steve Jobs’ idea of making a dent in the universe.  (Or maybe in our case, fixing one?)

We draw a bright line between simply converting existing police training into a new medium (no) vs solving a national problem (yes).  We then talk about what resources it will take to get there and what our game design needs to be to get those resources.  At 1:00, we are kicked out of the room by people who have the room reserved, and we agree to continue where we left off at 9 am Thursday.

Eric says afterward, “That was amazing in there.”

He invites me to attend the Game Business elective class Thursday nights and thinks I would add something to what they are teaching there.

Thursday, November 5, 2015.

Another great meeting!  We use half of the grad student lounge to outline more of our plans for the future.  Two highlights:

We need to make the tech “invisible.”

We need to emphasize user experience from here on out, both in the intuitive sense and the immersive sense.

I upload a new build of B.E.S.T. to IGF, after which most of the team has lunch at Cedars of Lebanon.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 9.17.33 PMI also spend an hour on the phone today with the CEO of Game Nation, who may offer us a partnership similar to what we have with The Void.  We plan to meet in person in Orlando during I/ITSEC.


Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 9.12.11 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-06 at 9.12.02 PMUnrelated to B.E.S.T. but every bit as cool, I get a call from Grammy nominated violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, who is referred to speak to me about entertainment business by a mutual friend at CEO Space.  I am a huge fan of her work, which includes Silver Screen Serenade and Wish Upon a Star, a Disney tribute that is probably better than the original Disney music.

Friday, November 6, 2015.

2015-11-06-08-28We are LIVE on!

B.E.S.T. is one of 775 total entries received for the 2016 IGDA competition, though most will not be part of the Student Showcase category.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, November 7, 2015.

I meet up with Matt Anderson, my Paper Prototyping professor, at a cafe in Salt Lake.  Having seen my innovative work the last ten weeks, he thinks he might be able to get me a Game Design internship at React! Games, where he works, and we talk about my other background and plans.  He is also starting a studio called Octothorpe, an archaic word for the symbol #.