The Thesis Game Begins

The past two weeks were amazingly intense. Through several 12+ hour days that included several sleepless nights; we experienced the highs and lows of presenting our final two prototypes to the industry board. And as of this week, we are finally down to one. In this post, I will recount in my lingering haze some of the important events of the past two weeks. It was wild, while at the same time physically and mentally taxing experience, but we are finally through the wormhole and beginning our thesis game. So I hope you enjoy the journey, or at least can make sense of my incoherent post. I am still in a lucid state, but I am happy to be moving forward.

Last week, we were tasked with presenting our mock presentations to the industry panel. The main reason why we were tasked with giving these presentations were to gauge which game we should choose to be the framework for our thesis game. My fellow producers and I put a lot of work into the presentation. Sadly, when we presented it on Tuesday, we were greeted by Murphy and failed to capture our audience. When Topher and I gave the presentation for re:Genesis, we were bit in the behind by Murphy for the reason that our gameplay video did not play. Since I taught public speaking for six years, this faux pas should have not been an issue because I know to always backup the backup. Yet, through the stress, I dropped the ball on this one and failed not to let Murphy come to visit.

Our second game, Hostile Territory, also experienced a poor showing. The presentation, although the video functioned to perfection, since we had little time to prepare the presentation to coincide with the video, it did not fair much better. As a result, we had to go back to the drawing board and really focus on how to make more compelling presentations.HT one sheet

In addition to composing new presentations, we were finalizing our prototypes. Luckily, we were merely polishing what we had. Given that we focused on white-boxing both prototypes and then present our concept art, we had the freedom to display our mechanics to show our game’s potential. For HT, we focused on the ideas of territorial control and a dynamically changing environment and thus worked to have this ready in the game’s prototype. On re:Genesis, we attempted to show the games exploring and digging mechanics. We thus worked hard to tune the mechanics within the games in order to better emphasize them for our final presentations.

For the industry board presentation, I moved over to presenting HT since the team felt I would be able to communicate the ideas behind the game more efficiently because I was the game’s lead designer. Taking this role, I formulated a PowerPoint presentation centering on the game’s core rules and then prepared a scripted gameplay video for it. My fellow producers and I spent all day and night Saturday putting together both gameplay videos. Our engineers, Sam and Triston, also helped out by tuning HT for the video.

After spending all Sunday writing code for my homework assignment in our engineering class for producers and practicing for the presentation, Monday finally was here. When I awoke to go to work at The GAPP Lab, I was very much hyped for the presentation. I was excited and happy we would be the first to address the industry panel. My fellow producers met earlier in the day to ensure that this time we would keep Murphy at bay.

Regenesis one pageOur presentations to the industry panel began. I started by presenting the team and thanking the industry board for their time, and afterward gave the time over to Topher. Topher gave a great presentation on re:Genesis. Topher has learned to become a capable public speaker and I am proud of his hard work to hone his skills, especially in presenting to a room full of industry professionals, previous cohorts, our professors and classmates. It was a great showing by him.

Now it was my turn. After two months of my team giving their blood, sweat, and tears to our work, we were finally at the moment of truth. And I was ready!

The time presenting flew by. The five minutes I spoke seemed like no more than 10-seconds. I definitely enjoyed the experience. It is not everyday you get to speak to a panel of professionals. It was fun and an exciting moment in my life! Afterward, all of our team’s producers stood in front of the panel and were poised ready for questions and comments. For a moment, the fear and uncertainty of what they would say rattled in my head. To my relief, the questions and comments were great. They were not pedantic or convoluted, but to the point and fair. Every word they uttered was accurate and definitely reflected the prototypes we presented. Their suggestions were also valuable to helping us making a decision as to what game to move forward with. The panel seemed eager to help and it was definitely noted through their observations.

At the conclusion of our time, I was elated. All my anxieties and fears proved incorrect and the feedback we gained from the experienced helped us to choose HT as the game that would be the framework for our thesis game. Although it will definitely evolve over time, we are finally on our way to creating our thesis game. And that is a start! Tally ho!

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