Jed Merrill, Producer/Game Designer

Week 3

Tuesday, September 10, 2013.

I tie for first arriving at Master Games Studio South today. The glow of nothing but 100 glowing monitor buttons is eerily like standing on top of a night sky.

Demonstrable progress. That is the theme of our AM Rapid Prototyping class. Each person on the team, every day, should be able to say the game does this or that new as a result of their efforts. Preferably several things new.

Roger discusses the implications of yesterday’s Sony announcement of the Vita TV.

I think Vita TV is a smart move by Sony, as it will make developing for the struggling Vita more attractive to developers. Instead of one install base, they’ll have two!  I also think Sony anticipates some kind of announcement from Apple this morning, and don’t want to look like an also ran if or when Apple upgrades Apple TV to play games like IGN’s April Fools Day announcement of iPlay anticipates.

iPlay

Vita TV will play PSOne, PSP, and Vita games, and will also mirror a PS4 if you have one elsewhere in your house.  Of course, this leaves the way open for Vita TV 2, which may play PS2 games as well, then Vita TV 3, and ultimately an entirely cloud based service, drawing the best of Gaikai and PS4+. In form factor, the Vita TV reminds me of a blend of Apple TV and ChromeCast, with an Apple TV price.

I am tempted to skip out on the last half of class to watch Apple’s 11 am press conference, but don’t.

Afternoon.

Amy is back from PAX, and invites the Producer class to spend three minutes each discussing what is going right and what wrong with our first rapid prototypes.

As we speak, she writes down the challenges, and addresses each of them during the second half of class. Part of my answer is that I would figure out what each member of the team is capable of even before game storming a new idea. How experienced are our engineers, especially in the language (Moai) our first game is to be made in? Does our artist have a portfolio?  Yes, he had to to be admitted, but we haven’t seen it.  How can John and I as Producers both push and help them?

Wednesday.

Prior to class, we each submit a one page summary of our thoughts on the readings. We also do a pitch called FutureCast, where we predict the future of games twenty years from now. Jose suggests we look to the past for hints about the future. I focus more on what is emerging in the present and how those elements will express in the market as they reach and surpass critical mass. I also discuss past ideas that the market was not ready for (Virtual Boy?) but may be soon, like virtual and augmented reality (Oculus Rift and Google Glass, but in future forms.)

Thursday.

I prepare a one page summary of our 8-Bit Fudge game for next Tuesday’s practice presentation.  It looks good, but we’ll probably get Amy’s opinion Tuesday night and completely rewrite it before Thursday.

Weekend.

I finish my Level 2 Gamification certification with Gabe Zichermann!

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