Week 10: Halves, Adjustments, Focus

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote about our project. Two weeks ago we were on spring break, last week was our halves presentations. So it’s been a busy few weeks. Let’s recap halves…

Halves

So first, what is Halves? Halves is a project’s equivalent of a midterms, but in the form of presentations. Most of last week was focused on getting the presentation together and wrapping up some of the details that went into it. Presentations happened Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Our team was scheduled to go Friday, so we had the rest of the week to prepare and practice. It was a difficult week trying to make sure everyone was on the same page. After we gave our presentation, the faculty have some strong feedback that we didn’t convey well what we have been working on, and what our final deliverable will be by the end of the semester. During this process, we found that there were several communication breakdowns between people on the team on what our plans were. Though they sounded similar, the fundamental differences were causing some uncertainty between team members. Since we are past the middle of the semester, this meant that we had to make a few team changes to help on the communication flow. The biggest change to happen was an adjustment of roles to help with clarity. Tony is now fully moving into being a designer, and I (Cody) will be fully taking on production duties.

Post-Halves

The week post halves meant making sure we all got on the same page. With the adjustment of the team, we sat down to go over everything we wanted to make sure to accomplish. While we all had a pretty good idea, we just needed to clarify some of the details so we could work toward the same goal. Since the first half of the semester was mostly focused on making sure the Tech was set, we didn’t get much chance to really build the game itself. Now that we are post-halves, we can get better focused on building the game itself. We divided the final plan into two main categories: Toolkit and Insights.
We divided them into these two categories to better define the pieces we need to get done. Under Toolkit, we have the essential parts of software done.
– Twitch Integration
– 1 Main Character
– Environment
– Gameplay mechanics
– Movement/Basic navigation
– Special movement (swimming, diving)
– Jump/Climb/Stealth
– Projectiles
– Libations
– HTML Layout
– In-Game UI (Gods) (playtesting kit)

Insights were more focused on reasoning behind decisions, and some of the pieces that set the tone and reasoning for why we made the choices we did this semester.
– Documentation for Programming (Lumberyard wiki) (Game Programming)
– Level Designs (how-to)
– Concept Art/game look
– Relationship Consequences (mapping)(gods)(signposting)
– User Stories (viewer) (streamer)
– Playtesting (best practices)
– Sound Plan

These were pieces that the whole team felt achievable, and committed to. While it’s a lot to get done in the next few weeks, our team has committed to do these and will work as hard as we can to make sure these are all completed and done well. At the end of the semester, we want to be able to show off these features in a video that can be shared to people within Amazon, Twitch, and around the Entertainment Technology Center here at school. This week we’re working on building out some of the basic features so we can use them in a playtest this coming Saturday. It will be testing some of the basic interactions in-game from the viewer’s perspective. As we make these adjustments and preparations, our team grows more excited at the end of the semester begins to get closer.