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  • Writer's pictureAlexander M. West


So it’s a couple weeks after cuts and after everyone has situated themselves into their new teams. Let’s start with the teams. If you didn’t read my previous blog post I recommend to read it it’s got some good info on how I feel about what games got cut. To give the short and simple, DuckMaster and Reboot got through in our class with a total of 12 people. Where did I go? Funny you ask that cause I ended up on DuckMaster the game I said I don’t think any programmer could work on. I still stand by the fact that there isn’t much room for multiple programmers on this project but we’ll make it work. Since I’m on DuckMaster I’ll talk about the 12 people who ended up on the team and what I know about them.

The Producer: Louis Klarfield

He was the original producer on the team. Kind of strange how we ended up with only one producer on a 11 person team but that was up to producers and their choices. Louis has a lot on his plate to deal with right now with us aiming for (hopefully) publishing at the end of the semester, and the fact that there are 11 of use he has to oversee, that’s a difficult and new challenge that we haven’t seen yet in our experience.

The Artists:

Jamie Abar (Lead)

Currently doing props for the levels, namely rocks and trees. She was the original artist on the team and did a bunch of cute animations and 2D art for the original concept. Past this I’m not really sure what her interest or speciality is, but the stuff that has done and is currently doing looks great. She’s also doing a good job at being a discipline lead!

Alec Rubin

Currently working on animations. He started on rigging already and it looks kinda janky but he knows what is wrong with it and how to fix it. I really don’t know anything about him but am looking forward to what he can do with character animations.

Kenneth Taylor

Currently doing character models. He’s also going to be doing storyboards when we get to that phase. I don’t know much about Kenneth but I have heard that he is really good at what he does. Looking at some of his past work and his current work he’s got some talent and enjoys what he’s doing.

Sorry artists. I don’t know much about what you all do or know many of you personally.

The Designers:

Robbie Meech (Lead)

One of the original two designers, Robbie seems to be serving a generic designer role focusing on the fact that he’s a lead. He’s doing pretty well at holding meetings and keeping them on topic while also conveying that information to everyone else. Looking forward to seeing more of his work later on in the project or to see the fruits of his organizational skills.

Marc Bonilla

One of the original two designers, currently working on UI and UI mockups. He has a large role on the designer team with UI/UX for mobile platform and took up the challenge himself having not done UI/UX or anything for mobile. Excited to see the UI mockups he comes up with and seeing what he learns and how he grows through this project.

Tom Lunday

The only other team member I have previously worked with. He prefers and likes doing more systems, tactics, and strategy stuff. Currently working on gameplay feel and making sure all the mechanics connect in some way and are interactive. He has already brought up some design issues that still need to be solved and looked at while trying to offer solutions. His secondary role is making mechanics, which is important for a puzzle game because ideally you want a crap ton of mechanics that add to the many puzzles over time.

Garrett Harriman

He also plays a massively important role as he is taking on the role of puzzle designs. With the ever changing mechanics and systems in play he’s having a tough time getting off the ground. His thought process and initial stuff looks good and interesting so I’m looking forward to seeing the puzzles he comes up with. I’m also looking forward to making tools that he can use to quickly iterate on different puzzles.

Spencer Whiteway

Currently working on the story. Since our game’s pull is the cutesy simplistic direction we are taking it we figured we would like a story to match. The story would hopefully add to this and create a reason for what is going on to pull more players. There’s been a lot of iteration and development on the story and it should land in a good spot by the end of the project.

The Programmers:

Alexander West (Me and Lead)

Currently focusing on Systems/Tools. This is what I enjoy the most and want to get some experience with so I’m working on getting tools for the designers and programmers and implementing the larger systems.

Michael Zheng

The original programmer. Currently working on mechanics because that’s mostly what we have for right now. Trying to find a place for him to do the AI that he likes doing, something simple so that doesn’t take too many resources. Secondary role is going to be optimization as this is something that is new to him and something that he struggles with. After all that just generic whatever comes up. A strong programmer that I have high hopes for.

Will Gordon

Currently working on mechanics because again that’s mostly what we have. After that it’s just going to be generic whatever is available. He hasn’t really found something he enjoys over something else. Looking forward to seeing his work and seeing how he does.

The scope of the project has greatly increased and there have been some challenges that I hadn’t initially thought about being brought forward. The big one being publishing.

I This is a large challenge we agreed we would like to aim for but not an absolute end goal. There’s a challenge in getting together all the required documents and making sure we are abiding by real world laws if we want to publish. A lot of this is on the producer figuring out legality and copyright issues.

The other big challenge is the amount of people we have on a team. In the past we’ve worked on 4, 5, or 6 people teams which is a manageable amount. Now we are working with a 12 man team with only 1 producer still. One way we are going about this is having discipline leads so we don’t have these long boring meetings that not everyone needs to be in. 12 people meeting 30m wasted is a potential 6 hours of individual work. Each discipline lead meets with their discipline and they’re open to all members. After this leads have a meeting each week to make sure that we are all on the same page and there is an open line of communication.

I’m really excited now after getting a better idea of what challenges I can overcome on a new team. There’s a good place for me to do something portfolio worthy and there’s a good place to learn some more about production cycle considering our team is massive. Later blog posts should be about individual work and massive challenges that pop up.

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