Here is the first of several posts I will be making this week in fairly quick succession. I have fallen somewhat behind with blogging as we had to prepare for a mock pitch at relatively short notice, so the team needed to put a lot of time into this. We have since given this pitch and I will document this in a later post
I have also been working very intensively with my team on many of the finer points in the game such as the level design and menu design, along with how this all relates to the core mechanic of the game. But today, I have decided to take a break from this to ensure that I catch up with all my documentation before I proceed further and fall further beind on this.
On Sunday 4th July, all of our team came together to have our sprint retrospective (Perry, L., Quinn, L., Tenney, M., Tsaklev, G. and Waters, J., 2021.). This sprint retrospective was late as we are in week 6 which would put us half way through sprint 3.
The meeting began will all members of the team stating what we have been working on during the last sprint and a half and what we intend to work on or would like to work on during the next stages.
I stated that I had been working on the concept art for the tree of life and that in the coming period, I want to focus on 3D art and also level design.
In the next section, we set up a Miro board (Miro, 2021) and listed four sections which we would determine how we would progress with the rest of the project.
These categories were as follows:
- What went well
- What did not go well
- Ideas as to how we can improve the team
- Actions for the rest of the project
What went well
We agreed that among the things which has gone well so far are that the core mechanics of the game have been implemented. The core mechanic which is to manipulate the materials of the scene within the game to change their function has been implemented and I will document this in a subsequent post.
Creating prefabs, which are essentially objects that have been created with a set of specifications and can be dragged into a scene in a Unity project (Unity, 2021) have been utilised and they have sped up the process in preparation for level design (Unity – Manual: Prefabs, 2020).
Additionally, the team agreed that everyone within has a unified understanding of the project and the vision behind the project.
What has not gone well
Above all, we have had a lot of difficulty getting everyone together at the same time and consequently, we have not always held meetings when we committed to holding them. This is part of the reason why Sunday’s retrospective has been delayed. This generally has been difficult as all members of the team have different commitments and working patterns. This comes with the territory of doing a masters on a part time basis, but we have been continually working within this.
We also aimed to have a playable demo by Week 5, but this had not come to fruition. We still have time, however, to get the game on track for August.
We spent longer on the ideation phase than we should have. We generated a lot of ideas but there was a long delay in consolidating them and finalising the last idea. I found this too during the first rapid ideation session of the previous unit. I have also done personal projects in the past where I have spent so much time on the ideation and the pre-production/research stage that I have found it became a form of procrastination in itself. One positive take away from this, however, is that we now have a very strong and coherent game idea.
We also have not yet identified our target audience, but we have all agreed that in our case, given our resources, this is an ongoing process.
We initially listed several ideas as to how we could improve the project and how we all work, but these eventually turned into actions which were transferred to the action board
Among the actions we agreed were that we would have more collaboration between each team member and their specialisms, as opposed to team members working in isolation and reporting back to the team. To facilitate this, we will create more channels on our Discord server (Discord, 2021) for different streams of discussion.
We will also ensure that we hold the stand-up meetings and retrospectives to ensure that we can reflect on our progress more easily.
We have also created a roadmap of the remainder of the project to illustrate our progress so far on each task within the project and also to define deadlines as to what tasks and assets should be completed by each week.
Here is the roadmap that we created to illustrate the reamining six weeks of the project.
From this, my next focus will be on the level design which I will be doing with at least one person. Given the time we have left, we are going to try to create at least two levels plus the hub level, but we will endeavour to create three.
I will also be focusing on the 3d art as and when it is required and also the menu design.
I will document our recent progress with the level design and menu design the the next few posts.
2021. Discord. Discord, Inc. [Software]
Docs.unity3d.com. 2020. Unity – Manual: Prefabs. [online] Available at: <https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/Prefabs.html> [Accessed 7 July 2021].
2021. Miro. San Francisco, CA: RealtimeBoard, Inc.[Software]
Perry, L., Quinn, L., Tenney, M., Tsaklev, G. and Waters, J., 2021. Stand up meeting – Sunday 7th July.
Unity Technologies. 2021. Unity (2021). [Software]