Development Blog: Week 4

Week 4 marks the first milestone of this semester project: ¼ walkaround and ¼ sitdown. On Wednesday all the faculty members came to our team meeting and provided feedback on where they feel the project is at and where we should be headed. Besides the many specific questions raised by the faculty during ¼, we were left with one big meta question that came out of the amalgamation of them all: How should we approach this project when it comes to actually building things?

The feedback we received was in general a mixed bag of both positive and somewhat negative thoughts on this cozy delivery service platformer we landed upon. Out of all the feedback we received, nine out ten was on building the gameplay demo. Before, the team learnt from the faculty advisors that the point of this pre-production project is not to deliver a demo so that the rest of the faculty could judge how well the process was, but rather dig deep into the messy process of experimenting with all sorts of funny/weird/innovative gameplay ideas. The team should never burden itself on technicality, especially looking back at how this process went about during the last couple of projects of similar nature. Demographics is another popular question among the faculty. “Who is this game targeting? Is this game made for children only? Or is this game targeting both kids and adults like pixar animations?” It is useless to pitch/make a game for everybody because we could lose the opportunities to design towards a particular group as Brenda put it. The more specific the team could narrow down on the demographics, the more streamlined the process will be.

Here is a short list of the reasons the project is changed:

  1. The actual production team following the pre-production team is handed a design document which they don’t want to implement. The production team felt cheated on because they are not given a chance to create something original.
  1. The problem sometimes is in the original documentation. Documentation is really hard to write well and it is very hard for the faculty to give the team notes about the documentation to make it better.
  1. It is outright hard to grade a pre-production package.

After much discussion with the faculty advisors on Friday regarding the way we should approach this project, we came away with the conclusion that it is not in the best of our interest to make a 2-3 minute gameplay demo built with an existing game engine. Rather, and surprisingly, powerpoint and google slide is the tool we should consider when thinking about prototype. That is not to say though the other approach should be erased out of the equation entirely. What lies in the future is totally up to us.