Production Blog 4- Into the Woods
Welcome to Sprint 4 review! Time seems to fly rather quickly these days, so lets get right into our producer lesson this week: team communications!
One of the most annoying things that can possibly happen to you in a team is getting work handed back being told it is wrong, but not how it is wrong. What should you do differently? What was the point of it in the first place? Are you even working on the right project? This is by far not the only thing that poor communication can cause in a team: you can suffer from work being not done at all, timelines being inaccurate (or even forgotten), errors and bugs being left unaddressed, or even inter-personal conflicts on your team! The best part is that as a producer team communication is literally your job. Whether it be expectations for a group of artists, a single modeler or just group expectations for a specific build, it lands on me to ensure everyone is on the same page of the same book.
Obviously talking to people is a great way to start good communications, but communicating is not just about speaking at people and having them listen. You need to listen to your team in order to maintain a good environment of communication. If you simply listen to how people are talking to each other and what they are saying, you can easily get an idea of what they do and don't need. Providing them with that support is so much easier when you give them the metaphorical spotlight. This is also important when you are communicating as a team, to ensure that people who are not as inclined to vocalize their opinions can also be heard.
It is important to act on the information you have once you have made certain it is correct. While listening to everyone is great, if someone tells you about an outdated issue with a script and you haul off and re-write the thing, how are you to know what was actually broken? I use the phrase Trust but Verify in situations like this, something I learned in the military. I trust that my team is giving me correct information, but I am ensuring I have the most up to date information when making a choice about what to do.
Lastly you should know that good communication is not something that magically happens, you have to work up that rapport with your team mates and get to know them a bit on a personal level. Not only will doing this help your communication, but you will also help create a positive work environment. I do not know about you folks, but I like being able to talk with my coworkers in a relaxed fashion (but only when it is not interfering with work getting done naturally).
Next sprint I will speak on the backlog and how it changes during the course of game development! But for now let us look into what our teams accomplished this sprint!
Sprint 4: An ever changing world
Really quickly I want to share this sprints burn down chart, as you can see it looks a bit different from before. A lot of this has to do with modifications made to the backlog during development, changes like this are not out of the ordinary and I can already tell you that more like it will probably occur in the future.
But that is enough of charts, here is some of what our magnificent team accomplished this sprint!
3D Art: Talia and Erika
To start with we have a pair of enemies that Talia was able to texture for us. It is great to see them fully realized and ready for action in the game!
Next we have enemies that were modeled and textured by Erika. As my Designer has pointed out, it is great that both of our modelers have been producing really similar work despite being 2 different people! It helps the game maintain a consistent feel and theme, which is harder sometimes with modeling teams. Good work both of you!
2D Art/Animation: Daniel, Atley
While this is not the image that we are actually using up here on Itch, I though it important to showcase this animation that Atley created for our game. The contrast of the player character in the foreground with the enemies peeking out from the background is wonderful and gives the you a true sense of being in the woods.
Next we have an example of some of the excellent animation work that Daniel has been providing for us. His efforts have given the player character life, and I think we can all appreciate when the models on screen at not just T-posing in different directions.
Level Design: Eric and Reggie
I am going to be following my Designer on this part and not really showing any of the level designer work, as we want you to explore it for yourselves! What I will instead say is that both of these guys have been working their tails off to ensure that the levels are balanced and set up so they can work in any sort of pattern they will be placed in. Eric and Reggie have both also finished blocking out their last set of tiles, when all is said and done, the player will have 96 different tiles that can spawn in the world. My math is pretty rusty but I believe this means there is a few hundred thousand variations on the world that spawns when you start up the game! Truly amazing work from these two this sprint!
Programming: Jt, Chase and Paul
First we have Paul putting more work into our enemy behavior and functions. This particular enemy is designed to split into 2 smaller enemies once the first one is defeated. While they obviously will have proper models introduced in the future, for the time being I like to refer to them as "Angry Baguettes" and no one can change my mind on this.
Next up we have an image that really does not do the accomplishment justice. Chase has created and attached a loot table for the game, so now we can more easily reward players for opening chests and defeating enemies! This system will be of great help as we move forward so we can quickly balance the game rewards for the players.
Last but certainly not least, we have gifs showing the implemented day/night cycle that is present in Into the Woods. JT has made it so not only can players be informed about what time of day it is, but also they can skip the night time if they so choose. Truly wonderful work!
Here we sit at the end of another sprint! Hard to believe there are only three sprints left for this game! I hope you all have taken time to playtest and give feedback for us, its the best way to ensure we are on the correct path for the games development. Have a great day and be sure to look into the other games that CAGD has to offer on Itch.io while you are here!
Get Into The Woods
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