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  • Charlie Kowalski

Production II Development Blog #1

Hello!


This is my first development blog for my Production II class in which we create video games and iterate on them using Agile/Scrum processes to replicate the environment of the game industry. This blog will be answering a few questions given by my professor concerning the last four weeks of work where we spend three weeks creating a new video game every week then using the four week to choose our final game concept, create a "finished" demo, and give a 10 minute descriptive PowerPoint showing off our game to the rest of the studio to see if we would move forward to the next stage of development with our chosen title.


Looking back at the past several weeks, which one do you consider to be the team’s strongest prototyping week?


Week 1: Our first week was full of questions and knuckleheading our way through issues that arose. We started with brainstorming and landed on a rouge-like Cthulhu game and driven by finding some very in-depth resources on the topic, I was able to get a lot of iteration done on the demo but ended up almost hitting the max allotted hours for the week. On the other side, our team didn't seem to match my pace and left me wondering if I was going too fast, or the team was going slow.


Week 2: Week 2 felt the repercussions of Week 1, I settled on the conclusion that I was putting forth too much effort and tried to dial back to achieve a better balance between me and my teammates. We deiced to make a 2D fighting game, but, we learned at the start of the sprint that all games must be 3D to have a chance at greenlight. In retrospect, this just leads to a lack of motivation around the team and generally just a game I was not happy with.


Week 3: We started the week with a sit down with the team, I expressed my dislike of the team's effort with our producer and he called a meeting where we completely revamped our work ethic and restarted our brainstorming process to get a fresh start. We decided on a 3D sound-based adventure game that took hours of back and forth to foster a strong idea and felt so much better than the previous weeks. The workweek was way better as well, starting from an proper artist to programmer pipeline, a better balance between me and the other programmer, and great level/puzzle design allowed us to make a final project we felt confident moving forward with.


Week 4: Not much went on this week with the team dynamic, we continued with the momentum of the game from the previous week and focused on light mechanic implementation and heavy into our greenlight presentation.


Strongest Week: Week 3


What made it so successful?

The biggest change was me starting the conversation with the team and the producer about the issues with the team and the work we were putting in. Going into this class I was very passionate about it because this is the closest thing to work experience I might reach before leaving the college so I was ready to go all-in. Into the first week, I felt that wasn't being matched. After our discussion, the whole energy of the team changed and we had more conversations about what we were looking for and giving really good feedback to each other allowed us to improve sections we thought didn't need improvement for an overall better game.


How did you contribute to this success?

Every change or movement needs a catalyst, I think I contributed by being the catalyst. Every member was feeling something was off but no one was fostering the conversation and I think my biggest contribution was starting the change. Moving forward I think the biggest adjustment I would make is to speak up sooner since I didn't our second week succumbed to the same issues and allowed our game to fail.


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Hello and welcome to my third development blog! It has been a while since I've posted one due to being swamped with capstone work and work for other majors but I am here to talk about my experiences!