PDF Download: Newsletter: Week 3
Week 3 is over, and our first prototype has been delivered to Sony. This week was a mad rush of asset creation, bug fixing, and implementation. The story that we developed last week remained mostly intact throughout the assembly process, and the whole thing finally came together Friday morning.
In hindsight, we should have had a complete, start-to-finish project ready earlier in the week; originally our schedule called for merging and final implementations to be done by Wednesday so that we would have time for bug fixing and testing. Unfortunately, the schedule slipped and many needed assets were not ready until the day of delivery. The team did an admirable job bringing everything together at the last minute (kudos to them!) but in the future we plan to schedule better to avoid that kind of crunch.
Regardless of the issues we had, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished during our first cycle of prototyping. The world really came together in a seamless, powerful way, and the emotional elements worked exactly as we imagined them to. There are, however, a few things that we would do differently, given another chance.
Our early brainstorming was truncated and limited due to the beginning of the semester. As we started our first cycle right on day one, we had some issues getting together as a team due to learning our schedules, elective and side project work, and sorting out equipment and material needs. Ultimately we got hung up on mechanics and game design, instead of focusing more time on developing our character to begin with. While our octopus did grow a deeper character over the course of development, more work spent on just defining the character earlier on would have helped us focus our design efforts from the beginning and saved us some time spent on mechanics that proved unnecessary.
Additionally, we didn’t have a clear view of the entire level until very late in the project. While this was partially a factor of splitting up of work between 4 programmers, it would still have been useful to see a regular “merged” version of the game as much as possible, in order to help find weak spots and inform our plans for focusing programming efforts.
With these lessons learned, we look forward to starting our next assignment! Beginning Monday, we do it all again, and we’re excited to see what more we can do with some experience under our belts!