General / 03 May 2020

I would like to first apologize for the lack of updates over the past 2 months. Working remotely has been challenging for me and my team since our game is networked and has specific requirements for us to be able to play and test the game. With that being said, we have proudly finished the game and are excited to show it at the online version of the senior show this year.

And now for the postmortem. There were many things that went right and wrong for our team throughout the semester. I think in general we did a great job of improving what we were doing wrong and by the end of the semester, we were in really good shape. We had identity problems with the game early on; we couldn't land on a solid game loop using our existing mechanics, so we decided to pivot as a team. We shifted from a golfer shooter to a more golfer brawler type game. Both of these ideas are brand new concepts to video games, so we struggled initially with landing on a solid direction to take it in. We eventually were pleased with the idea that the player's golf club is both their utility tool and their weapon. By doing this, we can keep all aspects of the gameplay for focused, instead of having to choose between 2 alternating mechanics that just didn't really fit together too well. 

One of the things that I think my team really improved on was our communication. Since we were working in a 14 person team, having organized meetings was difficult. We would have too many people just bouncing the same ideas off of each other and wouldn't get anything productive done. We switched to a more focused version of our regular meetings by splitting up into smaller groups. We had a systems and animation team, and then we had a level design and environment team. These 2 teams would each have their own meetings, this made communication a lot smoother and much less siloed. 

We made multiple changes like this throughout the semester to improve communication and overall teamwork and productiveness. I think the biggest step that I have made personally over the course of this project is my ability to lead. I had not really taken any leadership positions in my life before lead artist and product owner on this project. I was nervous at first but throughout the semester I learned how to address and resolve conflict, organize and manage a team, and carry the responsibility of the final product. I'm excited to enter the industry to apply everything that I have learned throughout the process of this incredible project. For anyone who is interested in learning more about the game, my school is hosting a showcase of all our games and personal reels on Friday, May 8th in a livestream at 8:30pm EST.