Teamwork? yeah…kinda…

So we are totally going to meet our goals for EAE night. After working towards our goals for this sprint, we have stepped on each others toes more than once with this clunky version control problem. So what s the solution? Karthik! This dude has taken the initiative to finish pretty much all remaining mission critical tasks AFTER the work day. This results in less problems because he has no conflicts and can just get everything done without the need to double and triple check with version control. Honestly without his work I think that we would have struggled a lot more in reaching our goals.

Our game in general feels much more like a game than ever before. I am glad that I can work together with our team. All of our engineers have such unique abilities and I am so glad to be able to work together with them. To help ease the burdens and frustrations, I will try to provide some tasty treats for them and my team. Hopefully we can all end this project without feeling cheated out of work, or hurt by the necessities of dealing with the inconveniences of the system.

EAE day here we come.

So recently we have had some conflicts on our team that have brought up some very important issues and ultimately have made our team stronger. We are coming up on the end of the semester and have to present our game at EAE day. This means that we need something to show. Currently our game has about 5 seconds of playable game. This seems pretty unacceptable for EAE day so we had a meeting. In the meeting among other things we talked about what we need to show at EAE day and how we can get there in the amount of time that we have left. This was a great meeting because we were finally able to tell people to stop talking about where the game will be in a year, and start talking about where it will be in a week. We decided to worry less about changing our game and more about finishing it as it is now and then improving player experience and iterating on the fun. I feel like at this point, we are making strides in the right direction. I am confident that we will have good stuff to show at EAE day.

The downside is that I am struggling to find tasks for everyone to do as we can only have one person working on one scene at any given time. In order for people to not just override others work( or lose there own) I am bouncing back and forth between any teams that might have conflicts and the only advice I can give them is to wait until the other person is finished. It feels so wrong at this point where we are at crunch time….but I don’t know what else to do. We have very clear goals for EAE day and the work would be so easy to do in a day if everyone could work at the same time…but unfortunately we cant. This means that we will have less time for iteration and will have to play with whatever we end up with.

Troubles?

Today I felt some of the pressures of a lead programmer. Currently we are working with unity and a large portion of what we are working on is scenes. Unfortunately our version control only allows for one person to work on a single scene at a time. This means that we need to work in small teams at computer stations rather than for each person to work on the projects alone. it is a bit annoying but we are solving this by breaking the game up into smaller scenes so that more people can contribute. I am feeling a bit of pressure because I feel like Engineers have less work to do(making them outwardly disappointed and inwardly happy. lol), and the producers want everyone to be working. So…As the guy who breaks up the task, I am hard pressed to give everyone meaningful tasks when our system cannot merge scenes, and we are narrowing down our scenes to only the most important. So i am assigning some guys some research tasks, assigning some with creation of prefabs and generalizing scripts, and others with cleaning folders and implementing the artists assets etc. I am foreseeing a bottleneck of labor at the end of the semester when we have done all of that and then need to focus on fixing scenes…

The haze clears…now its getting real

So basically with GDC and the spring break our team has not had much time to meet together. It has been good for a break, but terrible for the progress of our game. It is nice to get back into the swing of things. We have recently been having some serious problems hammering down the direction that our game should be going in. We have different factions in our group that want different things. In a very general sense here is what I am observing: We have the producers who seem to want to flush out the original idea of camera and whatnot, We have some artists who want to try something new and more exciting, and finally the engineers who just want to simplify and work with what we have. Personally I feel that everyone has good points and I am a bit unsure at how we can resolve them. I also feel that this idea of democracy in game design is taking too much time. I love the idea that everyone helps with design…but currently we have a system that everyone says ideas, but no one decides. This means that we waste a lot of time talk about nebulous ideas that have no value as they will never be implemented. I hope that we can resolve this issue quickly and get back on track.