Jordie Post-Mortem Remote Raiders

 

We had senior show! And despite my nerves the presentation went well and our expo was nice, overall it was a giant end-all-be-all of our senior project class. I was pretty exhausted by the end of it.

What went right:

  1. Giant team meetings once a week

We had team meetings with everyone in one room once a week starting towards the middle of the second term. If we had started out with this in the beginning we’d probably have ended in a better spot.

2. Communication with CS side was pretty decent

What I saw with one other team was their CS and DIGM sides not talking with each other and basically blowing up the entire team. We, for the most part, communicated as much as possible.

3. We finished!

This one is pretty self explanatory.

What went wrong:

  1. I did not let others help me and took on too much work more than I should have. And I’ve not been the best at communication.

In the first term, I took on figuring out our characters, designing and figuring out the 2D rig/base, all of the technical stuff surrounding our characters all by myself. I thought this was fine for a while and didn’t realize that it was burning me out and I wasn’t achieving, on my own, what as a team we should have been. It went much better during the second term where I had Pat and Jimmie’s help with them.

I also had issues communicating. I often had to work on tasks the night before the deadline with how my term schedules often worked out which left me with no time to say ‘hey i need some help’ nor did I plan to receive help/have a back up plan if I fell through. I will for sure not let this happen again.

2. Our game wasn’t as well balanced to our team’s skills as it probably should have been.

While I love our game concept, and I am pretty happy with what we managed to do considering all that happened… we could have done better. We had really only two 2D artists, and there ended up being a lot of 2D assets with widely different styles. And our textures in our games, while nice, didn’t seem to be what we were going for, which in my opinion was more like our first map. I don’t think a 2D/3D game was a bad idea.. but it could have been done better.

3. We did not achieve as much of a cohesive look as probably should have (see items 1&2)

To put it simply, we don’t have /one/ cohesive look. It’s a pretty giant mess in that point. Our game is fun to play and things work fairly well but our visuals have a lot to be desired, at least in my opinion.

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Jordie Spring Term Week 9 PPJ

This week, as next week will be also, is just work, work, and more work. Not for senior project alone.

So this week I worked on fixed up our presentation on Friday. Which was fixing the videos, getting feedback from Wagner, making sure everything worked properly. Friday was also making buttons and making sure we had all the files we needed for when I go to get the T-shirts printed.

Saturday was a fun day of waking up to “Hey we need to fix this thing by one hour’s time” which was honestly not a fun thing to wake up to. Thankfully Ziang helped out and we fixed our poster. Turns out a few hours later we needed to fix it some more. So into the labs I went, as my computer is dead and I have no means of doing anything otherwise, and fixed it. Then fixed it again because I didn’t click the right drop down menu and it ended up being huge.

Sunday was honestly a work day for another class and this Monday I’ve been practicing to be off ‘script’ as well as I made something for the class to have tomorrow since it’s our last class as seniors. IDK if I’ll be off script all that well… I’m way more nervous than I should be. Mostly because I literally said at one point was “our character…. is blue.” I was so stupid in the moment and couldn’t think of what I wanted to say. It was the whole “SAY SOMETHING QUICKLY INSTEAD OF PAUSING FOR AN UNGODLY AMOUNT OF TIME!!!” and things happened. That was not a good presentation for me.

Crossing my fingers that tomorrow will be a better day.

Jordie Spring Term Week 8 PPJ

So on Tuesday we gave a presentation and I was pretty nervous once again. Hopefully with some practicing I can calm down again. I’m really excited and nervous and it’s such a big deal once Senior show comes. I just know in the back of my head who will be watching, especially my parents, and I wish to do well.

Friday we gave our presentation again to Wagner who gave wonderful feedback, we’re closer to finalizing it. With his great feedback we worked on the presentation on Saturday, practiced Sunday, made final edits on Monday.

All in all we’re really focusing on finishing this presentation and making it fantastic.

Jordie Spring Term Week 7 PPJ

Woah boy, this week was long. It felt as if time stood still.

This week I worked on our marketing materials to send off to Troy who is working on the Senior Showcase Pamphlet. It was a lot of Fiddling around trying to make our character look good as well as give him an updated image for our game screenshot. The design we saw this week was a surprisingly cool palette… and our materials were also in the cooler color range. It just didn’t work.

We focused reworking our presentation in the Saturday meeting as well as  preparing for everything else related to senior show. We needed more recordings of our game (which we wonderfully used an old camera script from Pat on) as well as some small updates in the game itself. We need shirts printed, buttons made, the works. And it’s all due June 5th, so soon!

Time is a funny thing, when you want it to go fast it goes slow, when you need it to slow down it goes fast. Which is what happened on Monday as we tried to fix up the trailer. I reworked it entirely based on a script Resh and Pat made… to be completely honest it was laughably bad. Meme worthy bad. However, it was also a decent starting point to figure out what we want. Resh and I are going to have to sit down and fix it up but we’re one step closer to the result we want…. we just need more filming.

Everything seems to start with getting more materials. We need more specifically tailored things and less B-Roll footage. Which is a this week’s problem now. Crossing my fingers!

Jordie Spring Term Week 6 PPJ

This week is mostly polishing and getting ready for senior show. It’s hard to quantify what is even going on at this point. It’s a lot of little things that add up to a lot.

The most important thing was this week we reworked our new logo for Remote Raiders for large printing needs that happened at the Saturday meeting. Fun times for me- I keep having mandatory work weekends on the days of our meetings so I can’t even attend the full meetings sometimes.

Still going strong and I’ve been fiddling around more with our press kit and I still have a small trouble spot with spacing I’ve been trying to hammer down. Once that’s fixed and I gather more content for it we should be ready to go!

Jordie Spring Term Week 5 PPJ

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Press Kit Start

This was a slow week for me, overall. Recovering from ECGC as well as catching up on homework was a lot to handle at once.

The first important thing for us to do was to create a survey as well as send it to all the lovely people we met at ECGC that gave us their email. Which went pretty well and we got some survey data to improve things moving forward. And now we also have a Newsletter that we can use from now on to keep people updated with all of our improvements moving forward as a studio.

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Newsletter/Survey Format

Next was the press kit. And while it’s not done, nor ready to show to the public, but it’s completely formatted with most of the information in it. I’ll have more of our marketing materials done soon but this is a good start. We also got some pictures on our Instagram from the event and used our twitter to have some fun.

Overall while this week was more “slow” than our normal weeks it was mostly focused on getting our stuff together for philly tech week and preparing for the beginning of senior show presentations.

Jordie Spring Term Week 4 PPJ

ECGC Extravaganza week. Aka: Does one ever stop being tired?

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Fancier Fish Booth

This week started with a kick in the pants out the door as four of us, two CS and two digm, set out for South Carolina in order to expo Remote Raiders!

Our booth looked so snazy all set up and we got a lot of people to play our game which of course was one of the best parts. I’m pretty sure I could demo our game with my eyes shut at this point. We got some nice compliments as well as pointers to what was good and bad about the game in it’s current state. Some developers gave really good suggestions that we can consider further.

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Serious playtesting

There was a VR village there which was SUPER neat! I got to try out the vive portal demo and made a friend in line. Heck, I got to meet a lot of people while I was there. From my perspective, as someone who doesn’t know a lot about games, it was a big learning experience. Not only that but comparing our stuff to the people that were there… we’re in a better spot than I realized. Not to say other games were bad but I didn’t expect the level of development there to be so early in some cases. Some games were really raw but no less fun.

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Final Day, Final Picture

The last day was both exhausting and very exhausting. While I was sad it was over, I was very happy about the experience. The team did well and we were happy to hear how the rest of our team did at the final update for senior project. Fancier Fish was successful on all parts and we accomplished what we set out to do. There was just so much I am finding it hard to express just everything that went on. OH! Fun thing: Both resh and I won some Rachet and Clank stuff! And Resh won a fun mask. Resh is very lucky when it comes to raffles lol. Which was also cool- since the last one we attended was for charity.

Jordie Spring Term Week 3 PPJ

This week was also fun, and by fun I mean not-fun-at-all. From sun up to sun down my day was filled and planning for/ getting everything ready for a conference took more than I realized. Thankfully I knew the deadlines I had to hit and when… although it was the same amount of hours as last week.

Monday was our usual digm meeting in which we figured out we really couldn’t record our ‘b-roll’ footage that day… which lead to the scramble to get the screen recorded footage we needed.

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Tuesday we had a meeting with Rob at noon (YAY SLEEPING IN! … Does it count if you dont got to sleep until super late?) where we touched bases, everything seemed in order besides that footage. Tuesday we tried to film but it failed miserably. Almost epically. Resh and I managed to get some things we needed while we were together later that day. I also called around for a place to print our shirts locally and sent out a dozen emails inquiring for quotes. I also called the print center to see when I could put in the order and have it printed by. Turns out I could literally submit it that day and just wait the 15 minutes per piece until it was done if I wanted.Tom_Card_2_Front

 

Thankfully Pat got everything together and on Wednesday we got our footage! Honestly this week is a blur but I’m pretty sure it was Wednesday. Anyway, Resh was originally going to cut together our footage however things came up so I ended up doing it instead. Didn’t take too long until I tried to export it. LOL It took at least

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Card Back

an hour. Then again I was combining a lot of HD footage. That night I worked on our other printed materials, mostly the business cards before I delightfully just passed out.

 

Thursday was ‘hey when’s this meeting?’ with Arianna- Zach changed the time randomly when we already had it scheduled and I had work with no means of attending the ‘new’ time. So instead I talked with him and we decided to meet later in order to pay for the print order. That fell through. So instead we decided to just pay once we got there. And that night was mostly sleepless from a few different sources of homework- as well as finishing and preparing the posters for print. The biggest trouble was from our main poster which I just couldn’t get to size down below 40mb super easily. Then again it’s a 5 foot tall poster.

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Main Poster Edits

Friday…. Meeting, posters, whirlwind of everything to do! So tiring but at that point I was just glad the big push for everything was over. These last couple weeks have been exhausting. Although that didn’t stop the ‘work’ train as I had so much homework I had to finish before we left on Monday as well as actual work from my part time job.

Saturday was playtesting! Four or so members of Polyscape Games came to test our game. It was pretty fun to see them plus we got some nice data to look through.

Sunday a few of us got to playtest their game The Knowledge We Seek. I mostly avoided it as I happened to know all the answers to the puzzle.. having seen their CS side’s presentation. As well as the fact that I DO NOT want to chance using an oculus again. First time I used one I couldn’t even walk afterwards I was so dizzy and motion sick. We also talked about how the conference stuff would be going the next day.

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Instagram Photo of FancierFish at Polyscape Playtesting!

 

No classes Monday! Which was not from cancellation and was more so me missing classes in order to attend the East Coast Game Conference. And was a very long 7-8 hours in a car. Conference time is upon us, nervous, excited, I have adulty business cards… Hopefully things go well. Either way tomorrow will be an amazing day.

Jordie Spring Term Week 2 PPJ

This week has been: “Wait- I have to do what??” followed by 23 hours of work.

Monday we had our Wagner meeting where I found out our internal deadlines had shifted. I wasn’t super happy with that but it is what it is. That night I threw together the marketing materials to hand over to Rob. Then came Wednesday.

I was doing research into our printing needs as well as when the conference was and figured out on Wednesday we had at most until Friday to get our printing materials sent to us in time and thus my two days of ‘hell’ started.

I started with getting everything in order as soon as I could- what did we need, what were the dimensions, what are the designs? Initially we hadn’t given much thought to the vertical banners, we had a few things we wanted to do but it seemed like they wouldn’t be approved in our budget. Our budget was approved last week or so and I was getting caught up when I realized we had no time. So over the span of two days (less really because I had health problems on Wednesday) I finished designing as well as creating (and recreating) the banners for print standards.

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These were the ‘rough’ forms of the designs I showed the team

We now have two six foot tall banners, one main four foot table banner, and three different business card handouts. (Resh was nice and made the back of the cards) I was not able to complete the fourth in the time allotted. So for this conference we won’t have it. We will (hopefully) sent it off for the next one soon.

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Fun Ad For Playtesting Session

This weekend we had a small work day which I was only able to attend a few hours off before having to go to a VFX shoot for my film friend’s senior project.

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Playtesting session with 6+ people!

The next day we had a playtesting session where I edited the survey Tom and Zach had thrown together as best as they could to include some questions we thought would be helpful for us. It seemed to have gone super well and I’m pretty happy to get all that nice data. Hopefully we’ll get some really good data at ECGC too.

For this week I need to make sure the main poster is done, as well as our fourth poster, so we can print this week our posters as well as prepare our amazon order for our banner stands and other miscellaneous things. I’m also hoping on our work day saturday to be able to work to update our character animations.

We’re officially going to the East Coast Game Conference next week! It’ll be a task to manage classes as well as prep for the trip. This’ll be a long week.

Jordie Spring Term Week 1 PPJ

Breakdown:

Meetings:

For the first week of the term my Boss had scheduled me to work. (it was scheduled before the team meet times) Thankfully my team filled me after the fact.

This past Monday we discussed with Wagner where we were as a team and our general concerns about how GDC as well as the programmer’s deadlines will affect the rest of our production. It was reassuring to get his opinion.

Work:

This is including some of the work I did over break as well as week 10.

• I worked on the marketing budget as well as gave the final OK for the team to present to the budget for review with EGS (4 hrs) 

• I honestly don’t remember when but I worked with Resh on our spring ghannt or at least the initial one before we formalized our deadlines this term. (3.5 hrs)

• Over break I asked the company email as well as continued to monitor and post on our social media accounts. We’ve actually been getting messages and things which has been interesting to see. (1 hr)

• I worked on updating our posters for the ECGC that we’ll need to be printing. Now that we have our budget approved I have to also make sure our 6 feet vertical banners are ready to go for print this week. (2 hrs)

• I gathered our marketing materials for round one for senior project requirements, it was interesting to collect everything in one place, getting everything from concept to concept mock ups to alpha state to beta state was amazing to see our progress. (1.5 hrs)

Total hours: 13 hrs

Positives:

• We’re ready to go for this term!

Negatives:

• I didn’t get to attend two meetings because of work