This week was defined and singularly devoted to preparation for our Halves presentation, which was unexpectedly rescheduled from Wednesday the 20th to Friday the 22nd due to the resignation of EA’s CEO and the abundance of company-wide meetings that followed. (Incidentally, how very surreal that we were present and working on the executive floor for this episode of corporate politics!) Thankfully, we were able to optimize our presentation with the additional days, and we succeeded in concentrating the complexities of our project into an audience-friendly and approachable review of our progress thus far.
Since last week was our Spring Break, and because no newsletter was produced, it’s first important to note that we conducted one round of playtesting then, and also began the assembly of our Halves presentation. Although we’d created a rough PowerPoint outline during Spring Break, we decided to each create our presentation slides individually for Halves, due to the fact that Shaveen, our resident PowerPoint god (and the party responsible for executing our Quarters slides so splendidly), was attending a conference for most of this week and therefore unavailable. On Monday, the tactical error of this choice was made evident, as it proved difficult to achieve the aesthetic cohesion of our past presentation and realize the quality standard we hoped to meet. Thankfully, Jiyoung and Carl provided us with their reliably useful feedback on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during our team rehearsals with them, and on Thursday–at last–we triumphantly attained visual fluidity. Because the road to that point was arduous, the accomplishment of this rather mundane goal became meaningful. In addition to our PowerPoint presentation, we also created supplementary materials to be displayed at an exhibition table following Halves. Martin and Vera edited a “highlight” reel of a few of our playtesting sessions so that attendees could receive a concrete idea of our process and findings, Star made a posterboard display of our level design and our data collection process, and Emmanuel and Anabelle built an interactive demo of our Origin module. Though attendance at our Halves presentation was impacted by its rescheduling, the audience was still healthy, and we were pleased that a fair number of familiar faces from the OCCO generously took time out of their day to support us: if any of you read this, your encouragement was tremendously appreciated, and we thank you! Concerning the organization of our presentation, Nathan introduced the team and to the project; Martin explained our playtesting process; Star and Vera covered our data progress; Anabelle detailed the development of our Origin module; and Emmanuel discussed our challenges, metrics of success, and milestones. Shaveen also rejoined us, and we were thankful for his presence once more. The delivery of our presentation was catastrophe-free, and we received questions from the audience about the possible future implementation of our process, and about our current usage of Origin. Following Halves, Ben approached and congratulated us on our performance: this was, undoubtedly, the highlight of the day, and the week.
Shortly before the composition of this newsletter, we received word from Blade that his initial implementation of our custom level is complete: this is exciting, indeed! Though next week is GDC, and the majority of our Heidegger work will halt due to our commitments there, we’ll be incorporating our fresh custom level into all further playtests.