Presentations, Feedback and 1-1s with Adam

Today’s presentation didn’t go as well planned. I was in charge of doing the 5 Days presentation that I’d been working on over a couple of days. We hadn’t developed it more than the basics as the next big step would be to choose our one idea and then develop it further; this will occur after presentations. Unfortunately, due to me being awful at speaking, I skipped over a lot of crucial details to the game and its experience. Because of this, it didn’t get the full picture across and so there was confusion. I feel that until I get comfortable presenting, this won’t be something I can fix too easily.

presentation-feedbackAbove is the Etherpad that the class wrote on during the presentations.
There weren’t many suggestions this time due to the stage we’re at, however, there were a couple of interesting links that I could look into to see if it could add to the game at all; I will only do this if we decide to go forward with 5 Days.
In terms of verbal feedback, these were some of the points that were raised:

  • conflicting narrative
  • doesn’t seem original enough
  • people enjoyed the idea of morality and how people play
  • mission based was interesting
  • backstory either needs more or be gotten rid of
  • needs to be driven by narrative

I agree with some points such as the conflicting narrative, however, I felt comment that the idea wasn’t original enough felt a little unfair. The games mentioned that were thought to be similar were nothing like how we imagined the game to look, but this was my fault as I didn’t obviously explain it well enough. Maybe I should have created more visuals so that people would get an idea of what the game would look like.
Making the game more mission based is interesting as it means we could get rid of the original brief backstory and focus on the contracts. We could create backstories for the targets so it makes the player think about morality and whether they assassinate someone or not; this could evoke an interesting player experience and is definitely something to bear in mind.
For the notes I made, see Sketchbook 3, Salmon pink tab labelled Feedback from Presentation, pages 23-25).

There were a couple of things that I forgot to mention in the presentation which was frustrating as I feel that this could have helped explain the idea better. For instance, we decided as a team that we wouldn’t develop the games too much in light of any feedback we received and therefore the narrative wasn’t fleshed out, it was more of a starting point. 
The mechanics were meant to be the selling point of the game, for example, you have to be strategic about what traps you use and how you place them otherwise you can accidently kill the targets, destroy the organ you need or get caught. You have to stake out locations, map your targets journey patterns and strike once you feel you know the targets movements well enough. I personally haven’t played many games like this so I felt that with our story and contracts, this could be an interesting game to play. Admittedly, quite a few people said they would still play the game which restored some confidence. We shall have to see what we take forward and develop accordingly.

Phase 4 Breakdown
Here, Adam talked about how the weeks are working until we reach the deadline, yet he also spoke a lot about the presentation of our work. I understand that organisation of work is important and I always try and make sure that I have everything in a coherent order by the deadline, however, I haven’t thought much about the way I actually present work. This is definitely something that I will think about doing for next semester for the final hand-in as branding yourself looks professional and adds an added spark to your work. 

Team Meeting and 1-1
We discussed which game we favoured to take forward and make the GDD for. I personally didn’t want to work on Delta as I felt that it would be too risky and is very heavily mechanics based, therefore I wouldn’t have been able to help much. It could have pushed me to try a new skillset but this is the year that we need to make something that looks polished and industry standard so I felt that was too much of a risk.
In terms of 5 Days, I felt that there was so much that I wanted to work on and develop but it would take too much time and we’d end up rushing it. As it is an idea that all three of us love, we may take this further after we graduate so we have less of a time constraint and can develop the game to a better standard.
Bell Jar was my second favourite. It would be quite complex for us to complete, however, this is the third year and we need to step it up a bit and be ambitious and I feel that this is the game to do it.

We decided that BellJar would be the game that we take forward. Luckily we all felt the same which made life easier in terms of developing a plan of what to do next.
2016-12-02 20.56.47.jpgAs a group, we devised a plan broken down into areas of what we would need in the GDD. By making the GDD as in depth as possible, this will help us next semester to get properly into the making process. Of course, some elements will end up changing as we progress but by having an in depth GDD, this means that we can have a solid foundation to build and adapt from. I feel that the above list is a great building block to start from and I am excited to get to work on it.
See Sketchbook 3, Salmon tab labelled Team GDD Plan, pages 32-33.

We then had a 1-1 with Adam. It went well as we got positive feedback from him. We discussed how it would be best to make an alpha build rather than a vertical slice as we want to try and get it to greenlight on Steam. By having an alpha build on Steam, we can get live feedback from users and be able to adapt accordingly. There was also talk about doing expansion packs which could be interesting as this gives the game a replayable factor. There’s certainly a lot to mull over but this feedback has been positive and useful.
Another valuable point Adam made was that we have to decide what job roles we will be taking on next semester. Before the semester is up, I’m hoping to write up a role for myself based on job specs in the industry which Millie and James can look at and ‘sign off’.
One final point Adam mentioned was that because we did the above breakdown sheet off our GDD, the Practice Based Research Document is no longer needed as we have effectively made a new, expanded and more developed already. This has helped me now to focus and now I feel ready to start the next stint, phase 4.

Due to spending a lot of time on this project, I will be dedicating this weekend to getting my creative writing tasks completed so that I am on track for the workshop in a week and a halves time where we will all be peer assessing work. 

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