Each post is made by our team members, showing work and progress week to week as we meet our deadlines. Or sign up for our Newsletter to keep updated!
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:
- 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:
- 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.
Woo. We presented well at Senior Show a few days ago. Now it is time to look back on the process to create Remote Raiders. I believed in the beginning that Remote Raiders had a lot of potential and today, I still believe it has a lot of untapped potential as a project. In the beginning, as a team we didn’t really have a solid defined direction other than ‘use your phone as a controller.’ I think both personally and as a team we didn’t do enough pre-planning. In the end, I am happy and proud to have been on and made Remote Raiders but, I think it still has a lot of fun left to be found. I’ll start with a quick rundown of the things that went well.
What went right:
1. Having the full team work meetings helped assure us that everyone was working and I always would get a lot done during those meetings. These were a big positive in my book.
2. When we were coming up on deadlines, we would really pull together as a team and be organized. We would use hit list and bulletins for tasks and buckle down.
3. The concept meetings were always fun and we really formed the main ideas in our game at those meetings.
What went wrong:
1. Early in the project cycle not everyone was entirely on board with the concept so elaborating and exploring the concept for an art style was difficult. Our 3d maps with 2d characters seemed like a charming idea at first but it limited our ability to really elaborate on our designs and looking back it seems more like a compromise than an aesthetic choice. This was because we had people who were only really adept at 3d and were planning on making a 2d game.
2. For much of the project, I had trouble finding exactly where I fit in on the team. Jordie often would take much of the 2d work and anything else was often shuffled off to Jimmie. JD handled the 3d aspects of our game. I was often left as a middle man doing odd jobs. I should have asserted myself for more active tasks.
3. With almost any team that isn’t exactly on the same page, communication was a hampering factor. Personally, I often felt out of the loop with events going on or there was a language barrier and I had trouble communicating.
4. We reached a little far and ended up cutting back or half assing a lot due to missed or approaching deadlines. I personally don’t have the most amazing time management and could have been much better on that front.
Senior show was over yesterday. Back to view 9 months journey of senior project, we experienced lots of happy things and also some sad things in the progress. Be honest, I am actually not really excited to make Remote Raider. Since I am an animation student, I thought I can use what I learned to make an animation for senior project, but most animation students choose to make a game, so it left me no choice but joined a game team. However; since I made the decision I tried to be nice with others and did my best to achieve our goal, but the result is not quite like what I imagined at the beginning. I would like to summary three most important right things and three wrong things.
The right things:
- We set up a meeting on every Saturday to gather all members work together, which makes easily to catch each member`s process and work quality.
- In order to finish all missing parts, we wrote on the whiteboard how many things we left in a meeting at the winter term. We assign each member to do one part. It provided a clear overview of what particular things we need to do, and then we finished all very quickly.
- In editing our senior show PowerPoint, we finally mentioned all of our important things we need to talk for our game project after lots of changing and adjustment.
The wrong things:
- the schedule conflict happened in the team with high frequency. At first, we set up a time to meet together but we always missed someone by tons of personal reasons. It led me very hard to follow our goal and objectives each week because we did not have an agreement with everyone who were doing what. Beside, not all of our members were passionate about doing this project. We planed that each member worked the senior project at home but there were always some situations, like health issue; schedule conflict, that slowed down our progress. Later on, we added up a big meeting on Saturday to gather all members doing work together. This meeting significantly improved our efficiency but it was kind of late to figure out this solution (the second last week of winter term).
- We did not have a clear agreement in art style. Assets like character, map and trap were totally three different styles. Although, some of us realized this issue and we already proposed this issue on our group meeting back in fall, but our leaders did not treated it seriously. Even though, they realized how serious this issue was later, they still kept saying”we will figure out it later.” It made me very confuse about what is more important than those obvious issues. By the ways, my modular pieces are not presented very well in the actual map.
- We planed our game with a high ambition nine months ago, but we constantly lowered our goal and quality again and again during the process of making it by both technical problems and personal problems. At the beginning, we planed for six characters and then we turned down to four characters because our character designer submit designs very late. Also, in some weeks` objective, I had no idea what other members did. Also, I still think it`s better to make a fully 3D game than 2D game because we had at least three members in digm team were good at 3D modeling, rigging and animating, it`s a huge waste for our talent.
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)
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.
Breakdown: The senior show begins this Sunday. Except for finishing the requirement stuffs of class, this week I spent most time on practicing the presentation. Our team also presented the game conference of Drexel in Saturday.
Hours: practicing presentation: 5h
Friday`s meeting: 1h
Positive: almost done.
Negative: should have more practicing.
We have attended our Drexel game expo in Creese student center. We tried to expose our game as much as we could. The most important thing is that people love Remote Raiders. We witnessed the players talked and shouted to each other as a part of gameplay. We also got a lot of useful feedback. Moreover, we understood that when the player complained about something means there is something wrong out there, but what they suggest usually not the best solution.
Next Sunday, which is 7days from now, will be our senior show!!! Woooohoooo!!! There will be playtesting and free food.
Until next time!
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.
Tuesday we were fashionably late and gave our latest rough in of a presentation. With additional feedback we presented for Wagner on Friday, getting more feedback on what to improve.
With all of that precious feedback we had a long work day on Saturday to work on it and get a bit of practicing in. Sunday was far more practicing, getting the timing down, and Monday minor edits took place.
Together we’re smoothing out the rough edges for once fancy (Fancier) presentation June 5th!
Bad news first: The trailer got delayed, and in general we’re a bit behind schedule on that stuff.
Now for the good news: We’re almost done! Granted, it’s very “make or break” right now, but the game is finished and we’re spending the rest of the week putting finishing touches on the trailer. It’ll be a great show when I’ve got a bit more to actually share with you all!