Monday, May 29, 2017

Daniel Ingman PPJ: 5/23 - 5/30

[POSTMORTEM CAN BE FOUND AFTER PRODUCTION INFORMATION. IT IS THERE, I SWEAR]

This week I implemented the new AI model and its new texture.

AI model in-engine

AI model w/ animated texture


As well, we spent a good amount of time in meetings and capturing final footage. This was a god-awful process as we were able to figure out that capturing footage from anywhere other than the default headcam view in VR is next to impossible. Placing a separate camera in the scene and piping footage from that takes the view away from the player rendering them blind, so that didn't work. We tried using Unreal's sequencer toolkit, but it failed to capture any movement of the whip, spline, or ball, and eventually caused a memory leak in my computer and gave it a BSOD. 12 hours well spent, so thanks for that.

Hours spent: 23 hours
  • AI texture final touch-ups: 4 hours
  • AI implementation: 2 hours
  • Footage recording: 14 hours
  • Presentation practice: 3 hours
Pros:
  • I got more sleep this week, thank goodness
  • AI model is present.
Cons:
  • A lot of hard work that could have been spent on other things went to waste.

With that out of the way, let's dive right into the postmortem.

Overall, this was a very positive experience for me. Being able to work with a team that got along very well and worked very hard was a rare experience and I'm glad it happened to be my senior project team. A lot of things went very right during this quarter, as I shall list:
  • The team got along very well.
  • Communication was strong and constant.
  • Meetings were productive and frequently attended by most team members.
  • The CCI team was a design equal and not just a workforce.
  • The core mechanics of our game came out very strong and fun to play.
  • The game is visually striking and has a strong identity.
  • We released on Steam Early Access.
In terms of what went wrong, a few things did. Mostly:
  • Some topics should have been handled earlier (better recording of footage primarily).
  • Time management was an issue for me, personally.
  • Vital portions of our game did not make it into our presentation or the showcase build.
  • Basic game mechanics of our game don't function yet (menu, etc).
  • Some team members didn't have access to the required hardware that they needed in order to properly work on the game.
So what did I learn from all of this? Well,
  • Think of your game in terms of mechanics first, then fill in the gaps with your setting/story.
  • Find people you like to work with but also whom you can trust to do their work well and deliver on time.
  • Do lots and lots of concept art, frequently.
  • Create a style guide.
  • Playtest and iterate often.
Whew. This was a great experience but a draining one, to say the least.

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