Reflection Post

Professional Development and Practice

How well my skills matched the tasks required:

In regards to blog posting, team work, report writing and creative brainstorming. These are all tasks I have become very familiar with during my time as a student and I was ready and willing to apply these skills to Mini Game 1 Assessment. I felt as though my experience with these kinds of tasks proved extremely useful throughout the WordPress Blog Site aspects of this assignment. I am confident that the work I have produced there is a clear and concise documentation of the required content for this game project.

There was one aspect of this assessment in which i had no prior skills. Creating this shoot em up game was my first experience using Unity engine and C# coding language. Prior to this course I had heard much about Unity and C# through previous university courses and actually played many Unity games before. I had come to know these tools as a vital component of becoming a game designer. I was both excited and anxious about the prospect of finally diving into these for this course. Once our group had created a clear vision for our individual game projects I was ready to implement that vision into Unity with the assistance of the course content tutorial videos and workshop sessions.

The harsh reality I discovered was that learning a new coding language and software program is a daunting task. Our group had already decided to make a ‘therapeutic’ style shoot em up game but after working through the tutorial content I was absolutely stumped as to how I would convert that knowledge into a calming experience for the player. My lack of prior C# skills and inability to effectively utilise Unity forum tutorials (of which I combed through countless) to improve my game caused my final product to fall dismally short of my original intentions. As a result I did my best to work within these skill limitations to create a simple experience that fit the intended visual style and theme.

As a result of this assessment I am now acutely conscious of how I need to improve my skills within Unity and strive to create a more complete game experience for the next assessment.

How this activity affirms what I think about my career in game development:

My goal with this course is to get a career in game design. In my degree I am majoring in Design with an Animation minor. The reason I chose this path is because I recognised very early on that I am better (and enjoy more) producing games rather than working with the back-end coding aspects of game development. This assessment undoubtedly reaffirmed my current career path as I thoroughly enjoyed creating the game idea, working out the associated mechanics and art style (all game design and animation components) but also gave me valuable insight into what is required to get there.

This assessment made me forced me to confront my current shortcomings in regards to back-end game development and recognise that they cannot simply be avoided. I realised that even if I continue down my current career path I will need to vastly improve my back-end knowledge to allow me to do the aspects of game development I truly enjoy. I hope looking forward that as I continue down this path I will reach a moment of enlightenment where all the back-end components finally resonate with my way of thinking and I am able to truly put my game ideas into tangible action.

Working as a Team

How I managed communication within my team:

The majority of our team communication was done during prac class time and over email each week. Initially I did not think this was going to work as I am used to being in constant contact with group members through Facebook. I have always thought it vital to be able to instantly contact group members. Because the common student of my generation is always less than 10 minutes away from their Facebook I find its use invaluable for organising, assisting and asking for assistance at university.  In this instance one group member did not have Facebook. I was pleased to discover that email, along with a well organised Google Drive of all our group content sufficed for this assessment.

This assessment forced me to practice this more formal method of communication. I think this was a good experience for my career looking forward. My understanding is that most companies still use email to regularly communicate and update each other during game development cycles.

Working Independently

Balancing individual work in a team-oriented environment:

Early on during the assessment our group recognised we needed to create a clear vision for our game project in order to allow us to effectively complete our individual work. We spent a good amount of time agreeing on the Wisp in the Dark Forest game concept. This was an idea we all liked which I felt strengthened our desire to do a good job making and documenting it.

Balancing my individual work with group tasks was made easy with Google Drive. All of us had constant access to each others work and as a result we were able to create a stronger group project overall. This experience reaffirmed my attitudes towards online file sharing for group projects. Don’t know where I would be without Google Drive. Will always set one up for future projects.

Ethical Considerations

How the product I created might enhance quality of life:

For this project we wanted to go against the typical shoot em up style and create a game that was therapeutic. By doing this we hoped to create an experience that is calming, chill and fun to play. If we achieved this I would have liked to think that a game like that would enhance players quality of life. Although, as mentioned previously this vision did fall short because of Unity knowledge limitations. Regardless I feel as though this game enhanced my quality of life. As I taking more steps towards my career goal, building my knowledge base and creating connections with fellow students. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of finally making my own game!

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