Week 12

This week, Future Tech continued working on making the mod playable in preparation for playtests scheduled over the course of the week, and finishing up the art assets.

The artists continued working on the artwork needed for our mod, including the policy designs and buttons, as well as the leaders for the leader screens. The programmers continued their work towards getting their work ready for the playtests scheduled for this week. When we managed to get our mod prototype working, we invited several faculty and fellow students to playtest our mod and provide feedback. We met with John Dessler on Wednesday and he helped us to think about how to best present our work to both the faculty and client. We arrived at the idea of making several scenarios to show the faculty as guided experiences during soft opening. This allows us to also put more effort towards fleshing out the social aspect of our project, which the client emphasized that we should not forget about. On Friday, we ran our guided experience scenario idea by both Drew and Barry, and both agreed that it was a good approach to take.

Over the weekend, the team will work towards getting the scenarios up and running for playtesting, so that we can start the iterative process towards the final versions of our scenarios.

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Week 11

This week, Future Tech continued working on art and programming tasks and figuring out the exact goals that we want to accomplish with the mod.

The artists continued to work on both concept art and art assets that will be put into the mod. Carey completed several concept art pieces for the policy screen backgrounds. After discussing with the rest of the team about which designs were best, he refined the policy designs and created art for the policy buttons. Seewon unwrapped the four child unit models. He also drew portraits of the units. Elwin and Kai worked further on the mod design, and continued discussing the events design with Jennifer. The programmers continued working on figuring out the mod tool and working with it. Megan focused on making a playable map, managed to make changes to both of the art and layout of the policy tree, and got our start screen working. Both Megan and Shaveen worked on learning the XML and Lua scripting.

Jesse visited our team to help us figure out our goals for the project. He was able to provide clarification of our goals and the team was able to narrow down our definite list of goals for the project. In the middle of the week, the team met with Barry to update him on our progress thus far.

Over the weekend, Carey and Seewon will complete working on the policy backgrounds and screens and finishing up the units’ portraits. Next week, the team will continue working towards getting a playable mod up and running in preparation for playtesting.

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Week 10

This week, the team continued to make steady progress on the art assets and programming for the mod, and worked on further defining the vision for the project.

The artists continued working on the 3D and 2D art assets. Shaveen remodeled the default child unit model. Seewon completed concept art for the child unit, including concepts for the default unit as well as worker, soldier, and worker. Once the concepts were done, Shaveen modeled the three other child units. The programmers continued working with the modding tools and figuring out how to get our assets into the mod.

In order to focus our vision and gain a better grasp of our end goal, the team met with Ralph and Anna. During his visit, we first provided Ralph with an overview of our project that because he was unable to attend our halves presentation, and listened to his opinion. Later on in the week, Anna came by to help us focus our direction and figure out ways to better market our project to our target audience. From their visits, we gained a clearer view of our direction.

Next week, the team will continue work on both the art and programming aspects of the mod, as well as finalizing the mod design.

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Week 9

This week, Future Tech gave its halves presentation, received its new internal tool, and further solidified the design details.

On Monday, the team practiced together for the halves presentation in the morning, and gave the presentation that afternoon. The team did a solid job demonstrating to the faculty and fellow students the progress made on the project thus far, and clearly laying out its plans for the rest of the semester. Later that afternoon, we received our new internal tools from Firaxis. The team worked on installing the tool and getting to run properly on our machines. Pei-Lin began researching the tool and figuring out how to complete the steps necessary for getting our assets into the tool and making our mod. Shaveen and Megan assisted her with the research process. Shaveen worked on importing 3D models, and so far he is able to modify the existing in-game models by replacing one with another, and scaling them bigger and smaller. Megan looked at the UI modification tools, and she can now place buttons on the screen, give them actions, create a custom UI screen, but not take a pre-existing button screen and overlay buttons on top. The designers along with Carey and Seewon met to solidify the most important parts of our design and entered these details into the design document. Elwin used the design document to begin assigning tasks to the other team members.

Next week, the team will continue to figure out the tool and working on producing the art assets according to our design document.

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Week 8

This week, Future Tech continued to work towards solidifying the design and preparing for our halves presentation next week.

In the beginning of the week, the team met to begin preparations for halves, and make sure that we had solidified our intent so that it would be clear during our presentation. On Monday afternoon, Sebastian Deterding paid our team a visit and we received some useful feedback on our project. The artists continued preparing 2D and 3D art assets, including textures, tech tree and policy icons, and animations. Over the course of the week, the designers worked to finalize the mod design and entered into a master design document that the rest of the team can refer to if any questions arise. On Wednesday, the team discussed our halves presentation plan in depth, and hashed out all of the details about which elements to include and wrote these up in a detailed document. We assigned six members of our team to different parts of the presentation, and each person began preparing his/her own slides and speech. On Friday, the team put everyone’s slides together into one PowerPoint presentation, and began practicing individually.

Over the weekend, the team will continue to practice for our halves presentation on Monday, and we will take full advantage of the practice sessions that we have scheduled in the RPIS.

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Week 7

This week, Future Tech continued working towards completing our first milestone goal.

With the game mod design on its way to a finalized state, the team began working on rough drafts of the assets that are needed. We decided that our first milestone would be to get a design document together and concept art started to give to 2K and Firaxis before our meeting with Barry on Friday. This would help the team gain momentum on starting to work on the mod, and provide the client with a sense of the direction that the mod is going in.

Based on the art information that Firaxis provided, Shaveen modeled and rigged a rough child base unit that Megan gave a hammer and put in several poses. Seewon unwrapped the model and made some tech tree icons for the new tech tree. Carey made new policy buttons and a policy UI mockup. Jennifer put together a document containing the design description, flowcharts, and 2D concept art and sent it to Firaxis. The 3D concept art was added and a second version of the document was sent on Thursday due to the team having a license issue on Wednesday evening.

On Friday, the team met with Arnold Blinn to introduce our project and get his feedback. Drew came in to talk to the team briefly about our current progress and to discuss our plans for what to show during our halves presentation. Afterwards, the team met with Barry to get his feedback on the mod design and also asked a few questions.

Next week, we will finalize our plans about what to show at halves and continue working on producing assets.

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Week 6

This week, Future Tech finalized our concept selection. The artists began working on concept art for the mod while the programmers researched the mod tool capabilities.

On Monday, the team came together to finalize our concept choice. We decided to pursue the human trafficking concept. While we could have come up with an engaging mod for hunger, the resulting impact would not have been as strong as that of human trafficking. The artists met to discuss preliminary art assets that could be worked on while waiting for Kaiyang to create a solid design based on our brainstorming from last week. On Wednesday, the team held a quick stand-up meeting to gather information on what everyone had accomplished thus far, and what their plans are for the rest of the week. Late on Thursday, we received news that CMU and Hansoft had finished their legal tussle, and we were cleared to use Hansoft as our project management software. Jennifer and Elwin entered the team’s tasks into Hansoft and gave the team a brief overview of how to use the program. Kaiyang presented a high-level concept of the human trafficking game mod to the team, and will work on the rough draft this weekend.

Over the weekend, and into next week, the team will continue researching the mod tool and coming up with concept art to put into the design document in preparation for our upcoming client meeting.

Week 6
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Week 5

This week, Future Tech presented to the ETC faculty during Quarter Walkarounds and attended a client meeting.

Over the weekend, the team prepared PowerPoint slides and ran through a few practice runs of the presentation. The faculty came around in groups, listened to our presentation, and provided us with helpful comments and feedback regarding our project. On Wednesday, Barry Caudill from Firaxis was kind enough to drive up from Maryland to meet with the team and help to clarify our deliverable for the semester. We talked with him over lunch to get his initial impressions of our concepts, and also ask him questions that the team had about the industry and other topics. After lunch, the team and Barry met with Kate and Greg via phone conference. They told us that they liked all of our high-level mod and social concepts, and gave the reins to Barry to guide us through the project. After the meeting, we met again with Barry, and he said that we could sit on the ideas for another week to see if one would win out and start working on the mod. On Friday, the team collaborated in small groups to expand further upon our human trafficking and hunger concepts, and the producers completed some project planning for the semester.

Next week, the team will begin designing the mod, and start working towards making a design document and concept art.

Week 5
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Week 4

Future Tech continued to explore mod ideas over the course of the week.

On Monday and Wednesday, the team continued to brainstorm ideas for the project. Elwin and Kaiyang worked together to look at the notes from our team’s previous brainstorming sessions, select the best ideas, and put them together into two cohesive possibilities for our mod for the topics of human trafficking and hunger. John Dessler visited our project room to look at our logo, poster, and half-sheet. He gave us his feedback on them, and also provided some advice about best practices for working in a large group. Evan Hirsch paid us a brief visit on Thursday to get a general idea of our project and the direction that we are pursuing. He returned the next day and provoked the generation of two new ideas focused on the use of the Internet and social media.

Over the weekend, the team will prepare for our Quarter Walkarounds presentation on Monday. The team has been facing the challenge of not being sure about what direction to take and implement, but our meeting with Barry, Kate, and Greg next week should clarify our deliverable details and help us to move forwards with the project.

Week 3
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Week 3

This week, Future Tech focused on locking down our top world issues so that the designers could start generating ideas for our mods.

On Monday, the team met and discussed the possibilities for our project and mod. Martin came in and answered some
questions that we had about the limitations of the Civ V modding tool and gave us tips about Civ V best practices. On Wednesday, we held our weekly meeting with Drew. He introduced us to Shirley and she listened to what our project is about. Drew gave us some suggestions for the global issues and addressed concerns that we had about the client and project. He gave us the all-clear to extend an invitation for 2K/Firaxis to come visit us. After the meeting with Drew, some of our team members held a tech meeting to discuss the modding tool and items to be researched before we start creating the mods. Once the tech meeting concluded, we reconvened the whole team to vote on our world issues and narrowed the list down. During our meeting on Friday, we ranked the remaining world issues according to a set of criteria. Anthony Daniels paid us a visit and discussed the project with us. The team completed several brainstorming
activities to come up with design possibilities related to our chosen global issues.

The team is continuing to work on the promotional items and will have them ready for printing next week. In the meantime, the team will be coming up with ideas for possible mods based on the world issues we selected, which are human trafficking, loss of animal diversity, and food/water.

Week 3
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