In project 3, we were assigned a student from the Audio Engineering degree for whom we were to create an interactive experience that would showcase and expand upon a chosen musical piece that they had composed. The game design team consisted of myself and Victor Weidar who I have worked with before on other projects. We were partnered with Doctor Duck (find him on soundcloud) and the three of us went on to complete Cosmic Traveller.
Duck came to us with a strong idea of what he would like and held realistic expectations of us. We went back and forth with ideas and feelings we wanted to portray with the game as we explained where in the project it could be placed and discussed which elements were core to the experience. Duck only wanted to push for 2 main aspects which were HD space sky boxes and that he loves Stargates. Understandable. Also, it seems, highly workable into a game experience.
Duck presented us with a example images and links to images and references that he felt would best suit his intended theme but gave us freedom in the execution and final look of the game. I believe this degree of creative input and freedom from micromanagement was a large part of why the project deliverable reached the degree of completeness it did. It allowed the two game developers to discuss what we believed we could reasonably implement based on our previous projects and also allowed us to experiment with new practices and functionality, without overreaching. In essence, the overall process of this project allowed us to test our limits to create something that we could all be really proud of while encouraging us to learn more.
Doctor Duck also viewed and reviewed the work as it was being made which meant that we were able to keep good track of his experience and whether it was serving his purposes. Again, he gave us freedom and trust that we were creating something of quality which, I think, is due to his experience as a creator. I believe he understood the process of producing a work and how it can solidify in the last stages. Much push back I have experienced with work for other people has come from a lack of understanding of the creative process, which was neutralized in this case.
Project 4, the Home themed game, would have been a good opportunity for us to gerner more interdisciplinary work for the final product. We didn’t and I think this was ultimately a good thing for this particular project. Involving people of other disciplines in the project would have had many advantages such as better quality work, more of it due to the load being split, I would have gained valuable contacts that I could organise early for future projects for instance between now and next term, and would have given me insight as a project manager into how to effectively organise and involve other people and departments in a project.
The complication i think this would have introduced were that I would have had to learn how to manage several individual departments and organise the level of communication that would allow us to get everything done. The project began with massive lapses in communication between certain team members which was stifling to the project. All of which would have added extra stress which I know would have burned me out as a developer and manager in a very short period of time. Also I felt confident that I our team had the capability to fill in areas that may otherwise have been a new aspect for other creators, such as audio. I have experience with audio production, enough so to take control and responsibility for the relatively limited number of effects and musical elements that we had planned and set out for this game. In the future I intend to push myself to incorporate other people that can flourish in my team environment and really find out what a team can do with focused individuals that are working within their strengths for something hopefully greater.
In future projects I look to incorporate audio and animation students in the nuts and bolts production of elements, but I will consult with film for mood and audience feedback theory. I know that I intend to make experience and narrative games and feel that input from media creators that deal solely with that element (as in film which is about capturing an element through mechanics rather than an animator who is primarily trying to imitate elements) would be a huge asset for direction.