Jed Merrill, Producer/Game Designer

Week 3

Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

Eric and I meet with Brian and Jose again this morning after our stand up meeting and discussing the game design document I put together Saturday.  Jose recommends a format for one page design documents based on this GDC 2010 talk by Stone Librande, so I watch the one hour talk and put together a document less focused on marketing and big picture issues and more on design and mechanics.

After the meeting, I continue work on our website and assemble a list of major and community events representatives of B.E.S.T. will show up at this Fall, from Salt Lake Games Con to UDEN and IGDA events to I/ITSEC.  I start to read up on what we need to do to have a presence at I/ITSEC.  I’d like to get us into the Serious Games Competition associated with the event.  Eric handles scheduling for the week, something we will switch off throughout the project.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 4.40.12 PMI attend the 7 pm IGDA Salt Lake meeting at the Church & State: Economic Evangelists incubator.  I report to Josh on my trip to Seattle and he suggests EAE grad Brianne Christiansen and I might report in more detail to the group in January, if she is still in town. Jeff Peters talks about realities of the game business, a few of us talk about how to make Call of Duty appeal to girl gamers, and I talk about B.E.S.T. while others talk about their games.  A handful of us hang out outside of the building until almost 11:00!  Feels like home.

Thursday, September 10, 2015.

I have the team review a poster sized draft of our One Page Game Design Document, and get to work on making it digital.

Eric, Shahbaz, and I have a talk with Brian about whether to use a prefabricated character in B.E.S.T. or to model one from scratch, which Brian thinks would take him two months as a professional modeler.  Eric seems to think we can get it done in the next five weeks.  I would prefer to go with a Mixamo character through IGF and have Shahbaz work on the detailed model(s) in the months following our late October deadline.  For now, since Shahbaz and Eric are working on the modeling, we are going with the full scale model, but I am not 100% confident we can finish in time, and there is a lot more to do before late October…  We may have to revisit this topic on Tuesday, if not before.

We get some welcome help from a third year graduate business school student named Bella, who offers to do a market analysis for us as her capstone project.  I have a pretty clear idea about where we are going, but look forward to working with her on even more options.  As someone with a business school background, I definitely value this kind of research.

GameWarsAlso good news, Ahmad hears back that one of the two projects he submitted to Utah Game Wars is a top eight finalist!  Unfortunately, we won’t know until next week if the selected project is B.E.S.T. or Lazy Eye, a western themed medical game Ahmad helped develop at the GApp Lab.

Friday, September 11, 2015.

SeriousGames_Logo_generic-300x46I look into the requirements for the Serious Games Competition that will be held at I/ITSEC on December 3rd.  The deadline to iitseclogo_generic-round1submit the web form is September 16th, just five days away, and the rest of our submission needs to be in by the 20th!  Official rules.

What does a Producer really do?  Fill out web forms.

b36ef706-c5bc-44d8-91b5-1b0a26ca9cecI take a few hours to get us entered into the Serious Games Competition and also the Lassonde Center’s September Get Seeded event, asking for $3,500 to $5,000 to help our team of six travel to I/ITSEC in late November/early December so we are not scrambling at the last minute.  The cost will likely be higher than that, given that the event is in Orlando, Florida, but anything over $3,500 requires higher up approval.  We can make a case for more if we are selected by students on Tuesday, September 22nd. Get Seeded is notoriously tough on innovators, but I think they will like B.E.S.T.

In the late afternoon, I work on our WordPress temporary website.

I forward to the blog instead of our Facebook page.

Saturday, September 12, 2015.Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 3.31.04 PM

I catch up on the two hour Apple Keynote, which includes the announcement that Apple TV will now play apps, including games!  How will this affect our industry? The “new Apple TV” with Siri Remote and tvOS, coming late October, reminds me a bit of the new Steam Link, coming November 10th, crossed with a more advanced version of Nintendo’s Wii U TV or Xbox One TV. Cost:  $149 to $199.  It won’t all be Angry Birds or Flappy Bird, either.  Disney Infinity 3.0 and the latest console Guitar Hero are coming to Apple TV, along with fun looking iOS imports of BeatSports and Crossy Road.  I’m kind of looking forward to playing Boom Beach and Infinity Blade 3 on an HD or 4K TV…

iphone-6-rose-gold-007As an Apple fan, I am also looking forward to Apple Pencil, the cloth keyboard, iPad Pro, Watch OS 2, 3D Touch on iPhone 6S Plus (now in Rose Gold, 4K video, 12 MP camera, and Live Photos), and other Apple innovations and updates…  How will the new Peek and Pop inputs affect future gameplay?  No announcement of Smart Bands for Apple Watch just yet, but overall an impressive update.


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