1. How you have approached learning new things and/or finding new information during the semester?
For the most part, I did not need to develop any new learning techniques for this class. I kept up to date with the weekly learning material and followed the video tutorials for game development without much trouble. My main issue was with creating my own programming for my game ideas in cycle 1 and 2. For these cycles I worked on creating a game alone so I had to deal with problems on my own as I went. By the time I began creating each game in Unity, the mechanics and theme had already been well defined. So if I ran into an issue I couldn’t resolve on my own, I had to wait til the next class before I could fix it.
After a harrowing experience creating a game in cycle 2, I decided to be more proactive about my programming knowledge so I wouldn’t have the same issue in cycle 3. I found out that there was the option to create one game together as a group rather than individual games and jumped at the chance. I knew I had value knowledge to contribute to the team on the level design and animation side. I hoped that team members would be able to help me improve my programming ability if we worked together. This ended up working out really well. I was very pleased with how our Side Scroller game turned out in cycle 3. In future I will be sure to take a more proactive approach to learning with my peers during game development.
2. What additional, non-technical skills have you developed during the semester?
As expected, second year of my game design degree has been much more time consuming than last year. Consequently I have had to improve my time management skills and professional/ social capability to interact with those around me. As mentioned in the last question, I recognised my limitations as a game developer and acted upon it by encouraging my team to come together to make the third game. I believe the ability to bring together a team will be an invaluable skill moving forward as a professional.
As mentioned in a previous cycle reflection. One of my team members doesn’t use social media so most of our communication was done through email. This forced me to improve my ability to convey information through email which was something I did not have to regularly do before this assessment. I developed a style of emailing that was casual enough to allow for simple, quick updates on our game development. While also keeping things professional.
3. The most effective strategies you used for managing individual and team activities?
Bi-weekly team meetups played a vital role in bringing both our team and individual work to a high standard. Because we met up so often the work from week to week was always fresh in the mind and we kept expectations up for work to be completed on a weekly basis. We outlined a no judgement policy early on so if someone was unable to complete their allocated task we wouldn’t get upset so long as they told us in advance and explained why they were struggling to keep up.
In terms of my individual work. I definitely had difficulty keeping up with the workload towards the end of the semester. This was mostly due to workloads piling up across all my subjects. To deal with this I laid out all my assessment along with their due dates. Then I powered through each assessment one after another giving priority to that which was due first. I realise this is a pretty common tactic amongst university students. These last few weeks were full of stress. But I would like to think I channelled that stress into a drive to finish my assessments. It was very gratifying to create a game in cycle 3 which I was satisfied with.
4. The ethical responsibilities associated with working in a team-based environment. Areas to consider could include: justice (fair work practices); responsibility (specifying tasks, completing activities); honesty (avoiding deception); and reasonableness (level of participation, reaching consensus).
As mentioned, our group made sure to outline what our expectations were of each other early on in an effort to avoid and malpractice, deception and fair levels of participation. This worked really well for the most part. I am confident that we were able to work fairly amongst ourselves, effectively manage tasks, avoid deception and reach consensus with our ideas. Towards the end of the semester it became more difficult to maintain good contact but when we organised our team meetups all members did well to make time to attend and put honest work in.