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Week 8 – What I did on my Fall Break and the pointlessness of purple.

So many things to talk about. First, I’ll start off with a retrospect on the first 8 weeks of my graduate career.

Time

When I decided to come back to school, I knew it was going to be a massive time commitment. But honestly it’s been one of the best ways I’ve found to help me structure my time in a much more productive way. Specific assignments and tasks, it turns out, make me much more inclined to learn about something rather than just going “Hey, I think I’ll try to learn Maya today…” like I attempted over the summer. Not surprisingly, I didn’t open the program once until my first day of Game Art I. But having that kind of structure and people to report to and give me feedback has been most invaluable. I really feel like it’s helped me progress as far in as little time as I have.

Teams

I love working in teams. I feel like this is something that working for 5 years between school has taught me. As mentioned above, I like having people to report to that give me feedback and brainstorm with me about how to make something cooler. It’s also nice to get to know everyone on a professional and personal level. It’s great to see the varied skill sets of the different people and learn all about what they like, what they love, and what they hate about games.

The Other Artists

This is where things get sappy. I really couldn’t have asked for a more talented, enthusiastic, diverse, and supportive art team than this one. Every one of them has so much to share with the rest, and they do, and I feel that we have a very close-knit community because of it. From the prototypes to Gabe’s class, it’s always so fun to see what everyone is working on, the approaches they took, the skills they share, and just the camaraderie. I often feel like I am the weakest of all of them, but they still treat me as equal. Which leads me to my next point.

Not trying hard enough

One of the things I worry about most is that I’m enjoying the hell out of grad school because I’m not trying hard enough. I still seem to get around 6-7 hours of sleep a night, I’m not struggling too much with the homework, and I still manage to be productive at work and with my friends and family. But a lot of the time I feel like my work is sub-par and just isn’t what my team is looking for or what they need. Especially with the Game Arts I class, my recent work has been abysmal but I am limited by my knowledge of the software and overall lacking in technique. I try to research what I can but a lot of times I don’t even know what to google and that extends the time it takes me to complete a project. It’s frustrating to me and I’m sure my teammates. I feel like if I just had more time I’d be able to complete the projects and solve the problems, but I know I’m never going to have more time than I do right now, and even less in the near future.

I can’t fix the time issues, but I can be a bit more proactive about how I approach them. I seemed to have decent luck with researching the hell out of techniques before beginning a project, that way I don’t have to start over on many of them like I’ve had to in the past. This will save me some time for revision and polish. I also think I need to care a little bit more about my projects. To be completely honest, I’ve fallen into a trap of “this is good enough for my skill level” thinking, and that is dangerous to my work and my academic career. So I am going to work harder on caring more, trying harder, and really focusing in on what I want to accomplish on a project and how to accomplish it (for school, work, and my personal life). It is as Ron Swanson says:

Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.

┬áNinja Edit: This is not fishing for compliments by the way, I’m being totally honest and trying to articulate my emotions for a completely accurate picture of what this program is and what it’s taught me. The Feels! What do they want with me?!