It’s hard to keep up this blog when it feels like most of the rest of the cohort has given up on the ritual. I guess I’ve always just liked the catharsis of blogging, so I’m doing this for myself more than I am for EAE or the Projects class or anyone else. I don’t know if that gives me an advantage or anything, but at the least it means I’m doing one more post. Maybe more over winter break or something but I can’t say for sure right now.
The truth is we’re all fighting the burn out at the end of the semester, and I’ll be very relieved after EAE day and finals week are over. Not that I’m not proud of all we’ve accomplished this semester. Several people outside the team have told me they think our project is the furthest along out of all of them, and I’m not inclined to disagree. We pivoted earlier than most other teams, and because of that we’ve had a lot more time to develop our new direction. I don’t know what will happen with IGF, but whether we’re nominated for anything or don’t receive any attention at all, I don’t think we wasted our efforts.
Next semester we plan on developing at least one more level, refining our current level further, and ultimately publishing the game on whatever platform we decide. For the last few weeks I’ve been leading design meetings, and I think they’ve led to good results. We haven’t had a lot of time to add things since IGF, but we plan to have a brand new tutorial area done by Friday. Teaching people how to play remains our biggest hurdle, so we’re treating the tutorial as the top priority.
I’ve picked up a lot of sound design skills from my Sound for Film and Digital Media elective class, and I hope I can use them even more in the future. Next semester I’m taking Experimental Gameplay and Virtual Worlds, both of which will force me to develop my own games and levels completely on my own. I’m very glad us producers don’t have to take another production class, because they’ve all been fairly lackluster. It’s vastly disappointing that I haven’t had the opportunity to take a class like Experimental Gameplay in the previous three semesters, but at least I can take advantage of it now. I still only possess rudimentary game development skills where programming and art are involved, so I’m hoping that by the end of next semester I will finally be able to develop my own games from scratch.
That’s really what this whole program has been about for me: the freedom that comes from the knowledge and skill needed to create games as an individual. To be an auteur not just of words or music or coding or gameplay or story, but all of them combined. Like a modern-day Renaissance man, I yearn to possess the ability to make works like Undertale or Braid or Gone Home that will stand the test of time, further video games as an art form, and possess a style unique to myself. And if I can’t achieve that ideal, then I just want to make great levels or contribute to video game development in whatever capacity I can. Here’s hoping I land a job after next semester. I’ll be sending out applications during winter break and probably all next semester targeting QA tester positions in particular. See you on the next level.