Design Postmortem

Once More Unto the Breach

One more time I want to say hello to anyone reading this and to my team we have done it we shipped the game! I am over the moon with what we have created and how smoothly it went. In this Final post, I will review my personal thought on how the semester went as a whole. That being what I thought was done correctly and what can be improved. I also will share the key points I learned over the course of making this game because there is a lot. Overall I want to keep this brief no reason to keep you here for long, reading this is the time you’re not playing the amazing game.

What Went Right

Let me first start off with the positive side of this project what contributed to it being so successful. First was the strong idea at the beginning I wanted to make a strategy game similar to the X-COM series but with a large twist, it’s in the Medival era. This changes more than people would initially think the removal of guns makes it so combat is always up close and cover is a null subject. With this strong idea in place, I got with my awesome producer Dylan and he made a plan for the start that held true until the end so his careful planning and management of resources made a stronger product. With his plan in place, we now had to truly get to know the team and every single person on the team had their own key skill that made them unique this allowed us to play to each advantage we had. With this crazy talented team, we fostered an environment of competition which is not always the best but we knew that it would only benefit us. Every single member of the team wanted to one-up the other by getting better work in faster this made it so we almost never had a time where new work wasn’t able to be shown. The last thing we did was allow everyone to at least speak up if they didn’t like the direction I was taking the game and let them pitch a change to a mechanic if I felt that their idea would only benefit we would plan to see if we had time to change and implement their suggestions. Lastly, we forced a programming style so all the code would stay consistent this allowed much more readability making crushing bugs a quick task.

What Went Wrong

Now for the not so pretty parts and they all fall on me. From the beginning, I had a strong idea but I didn’t plan to have a team that worked as fast as it did the scope was too small to start. Midway through production, we had to add a lot of features and assets just to pad out the time in the class. Game documentation was not updated enough and was not to the standard that it should have been when the game started production. When we would add new features it would take me weeks to add them to the documentation which made it so the more proactive members of the team would get confused because the words I would say wouldn’t reflect what was on the page. I also did not test things thoroughly so when we added new features and I gave the ok to put it to the main build there would be a lot of issues that popped up because instead of testing for ten minutes I would test for two and give the all-clear. The last main thing that went wrong was communication with other teams I wanted animation a certain way and that idea would go through two people before reaching the animator. That caused a lot of miscommunication when it came to what I wanted and we just started taking whatever we could get. Now from this, I did learn a great deal and one key thing that could have fixed the animations so I will share that in the next section.

What I Gained

This section by far could be 30 pages but no one will read that so let us keep to the promise of this being short. “So that animation fix Alex how do you fix that?” well thank you for asking kind fellow and the answer is short and sweet REFERENCE give them more references, not just a text with what you want. Going back I would record every single little thing I would want for each animation and send it to them to add some flair to it this would make it so there is much less of a disconnect and moving forward this is how I plan on doing it for all animations. Another thing I think I truly understand now is that being in a position of leadership your work type that being how you work and present yourself reflect greatly on your team. This is something that I have been told time and time again but never understood until now. I understand a lot more about how workflow connects now being it from concept to model to texture and rigging finally animation it is a fascinating process and I know as a lead way I can make this go faster next time. My leadership skills have improved greatly as well being able to organize and prioritize has been a huge thing this semester and without this class, I couldn’t have done it. The biggest thing I learned over this project is how much you can make with so small of a team, TEN, ten core people directly working together on this project and I could not be happier with how it turned out from them.

Final Words 

All in all this project was a huge success on almost every account. We didn’t get to animate the enemies which sucks but can see ways to avoid this next time. This was my first time being a designer and I loved every minute of it. This project has made me want to lead more projects and that’s what I plan on doing with my last semester. This class gives us the opportunity to work on a game a second semester although I would love to keep working on parasitic I think it is time to call this one closed and open up new possibilities. I am so proud of what this team has accomplished and I can not wait to see what everyone makes in the future. 

Get Parasitic

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