Now the project, senior show are all completed. I have been thinking and review the senior project process and found out things that could be improved. I would like to share with you about what we did right and what we did wrong through out this 9 months project from my personal perspective.
What went right:
This project left a lot of great memory of working as a team. It simulates the professional teamwork pipeline.
We were able to follow the general guidelines and complete the project in a timely fashion.
Each of the member actually care about the project.
What went wrong:
The biggest mistake is that we allowed the CS team took the dominant position in the co-production. In the ideal situation, DIGM team should’ve made the decision and design the game. In this case, CS team could’ve act as a position of problem solver. They should’ve provide the function that we needed instead of we provided the art assets that they asked. DIGM team should have acted as the designer of the game mechanic and have the CS team to fulfill our technical requirement. However, the reality was the opposite. CS team decided what they could make so they put DIGM part of the team in their cage and eventually developed what they could make instead of what we wanted to make.
The second biggest mistake was that we went on 2D game. All of the DIGM member were good at 3D art but only one of them were in the position of 3D generalist. In our 4 years of education in GMAP program, we were especially focused on 3D game development. There was no acceptable reason for us to make a unprofessional 2D game for senior project, which was the most important project EVER in this program. Building a 2D game was not only ugly, but also a waste of our talent and resource. I have complained this 2D/3D issue in the past and the final product did not convince me at all. People were supporting 2D game except Ziyang and myself. Building a 2D game might be more comfortable for the CS team on coding and data transmission, so CS team was fully voting for it. Also Jordie had better 2D art skill when Resh and Patrick were fine with either way. Therefore, the team went on this weird 2D+fake 3D game. Compare with Mirrors of Grimody and The Knowledge we seek, 3D games are always more beautiful then 2D game. (EXCEPT we got super talented 2D artists who could make art like Ori and the Blind Forest or even Limbo)
The third biggest mistake was we did not start earlier enough do pre-production. Although the team was formed in the summer, but we did not have a full member meeting nor a solid concept until late August. There were a lot of cooler/more brilliant concept were ditched. I remember Resh made a spaceship game prototype was really awesome and it was the biggest shame that we did not push that concept. Zach got a prototype of a semi-music game. Either of them should be our senior project game. If we used them as our senior project, I believe we had a better starting point at fall quarter. Especially if we chose Resh’s spaceship game, we could have a better chance of even winning the GDC conference. I basically made up my mind to joined the team because of Resh’s prototype. I had all of the cool sci-fi designs and ideas that there was no way to present in Remote Raiders. I felt cheated. (lol)