AWAKE

Year 3 Game Design & Art

Critical Reflection

As my project reaches the end, I’m reflecting back on the project as a whole as well as the  latest build of ‘Awake’. This has been the biggest project I’ve worked on, which has proved to be very challenging. Especially so because I’ve been working alone, typically in projects from previous years I’ve worked in small groups where the tasks can be divided among team members.

Although working alone has had many difficulties and challenges I feel it has given me a better understanding and appreciation of the timescale involved in the development process when creating a game. I feel as though this has improved my planning and management of multiple tasks as I have had to complete them all myself. Though I had some experience with this already in last years project as a team leader, this time I wasn’t delegating jobs and tasks, but instead finding out what was possible for me to complete alone.

My main difficulties and weaknesses lied with the coding, struggling with Unity on my own slowed down my development process a lot. Then moving to Godot, though I had additional guidance, support and online resources, proved to be far too much for me to learn. I felt overwhelmed and unable to progress with game prototypes and testing. If I had carried on alone I would not have been able to make a demo of ‘Awake.’ Moving back to Unity and working more closely with our coding lecturer James was definitely the right decision. My main regret is not realising and accepting that this was too much for me to do alone sooner. Learning a whole new program while also balancing multiple other tasks was difficult to manage and resulted in development in other areas slipping.

Working with closer guidance was much more helpful and productive, in hindsight I would have chosen to do this sooner. I feel that would have resulted in a more complete final game, as well as much more testing and iteration which would have improved the game. If could go back do anything differently I would have either sought out help with coding much sooner in the project, or tried to team up with another student more familiar with coding that could have made use of my art skills and made a project with them.

In the areas of the project I am more familiar and comfortable with, such as the art and asset creation, I am much more happy and pleased with the final outcomes. Developing a style guide early on and using it as a set of rules to train myself to work with certain limitations was both useful and interesting, I believe it led to me creating better work than I would have done with out it. Although I’m happy with my environment and character design, I would have liked more time for iteration. I feel my strongest area in this project was User Interface design, which has improved from previous years.

Finally the additional, non-game project work, was an interesting experience. I found this to be the area where I learnt the most new skills. Managing social media pages with Twitter and Instagram taught me a lot about awareness and brand. Creating merchandise for the degree show was satisfying, working with physical media is something I enjoy but don’t often get a chance to do in game design. Creating the development film/game trailer was a good way to analyse my own work and how I choose to display it to others.

Overall I’m happy with the outcomes and learning experiences of this project. Though a little disappointed with the game itself, I feel like I have created a lot of good work in this project and also enjoyed doing so.

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