Final – Personal Case Study Video

Transcript

Hi, I’m Evan. And I’m currently enrolled in the MA in Indie Game Development course at Falmouth University. In this video I’ll be breaking down some of the work I did during this module. As well as giving my work context within my short term goals, studying at falmouth and my long term asperations in the games industry. I chose to enroll in this course because of the diversity of it’s content. I want to take my existing knowledge of game devlopment and not only improve upon it but also reinforce it with other skills. This is where the first module comes in.

Although my practical skills in game development are already strong, an area I can safely say I lack both knowledge and experience in is that of development practices. So far in any team I’ve worked in, there’s been little to no structure, or at best it’s just a vague trello board with some ToDo notes on it. So I was very excited coming into this module to see what I could from this into the various side projects I work on, both with friends and on my own.

Although I learned something every week during the semester, the two sections I felt were of most benefit to me were the two rapid ideation sessions. These allowed me to apply the knowledge I had gained from previous weeks, and reflect on them more deeply from a practical point of view.

Rapid Ideation 1
For the first rapid ideation session I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and tackle a topic that was completely new to me, the topic I chose was networking. I set myself the goal of creating a short demo that could be played by two people remotely. The theme for the session was given in picture form, it showed a character fighting a dragon. So after mind-mapping and brainstorming several ideas, the concept I went forward with was that of a simple top-down dungeon crawler. Where the players would progress through several rooms before fighting a dragon boss.

The first week was mainly speant learning the basics of Photon, the networking SDK I used. It quickly became apparent that developing a game with networking would require a completely different approach comapared to offline games. Once I felt I had a strong enough foundation, I started piecing together the game. It quickly became apparent that my initial scope for the game was too big. Although the final game didn’t feature the dragon boss from the orginal concept, I’m still happy with the finished product and knowledge I had to gain in order to make it. Although I think my initial brainstorming was sound, were I to redo the session again. I would focus my tasks better during the actual development, in order to fit the theme better.

Rapid Ideation 2
For the second rapid ideation my chosen theme was “rework”. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to revisit a past work of mine, and see what I could do with it. As the basis of this session I took a small game I had created earlier in the year as apart of a game jam. This game centred around bouncing a laser between mirror to hit a target. And I wanted to see if I could convert this game from 2D to 3D. I’ve been brushing up on my vector math recently so I added an extra challenge. I wanted the laser to bounce realistically off the mirrors surface. I achieved this by taking the mathematical formula for a reflected vector and implementing it’s logic into a C# script. By the end of the two weeks I had a playable demo that demonstrated the main mechanic I had set out to achieve. If I had any points of critisism on this session, I would say that as in the first session, my time allocation still lacked focus. Though I had improved over the first session and actually managed to demonstrate everything I had set out to, I feel had I speant less time in certain areas such as visual fidelity I could have added more content.

Conclusion
During the last 12 weeks I’ve discovered several aspects of myself and my habits in my development practice that I have noted and will be addressing going forward, into both my future studies within Falmouth, as well as my other ventures. During the rapid ideation sessions I noticed a distinct lack of focus in my development. I had a tendency to map out the requirements clearly, but when it came time to excecute them I abandoned the plan and simply did what I felt like in th moment. Going forward into future modules, especially the ones containing team-based projects, it will be extremely important to put an emphasis on structure. Outside of college, for a little over a year now, I’ve been working on a side-project with some of my fellow students from my last college. A game which we’ve released a short demo for and have been documenting the development of to a small following. So far our main approach to organisation in this project has been a disorganised kanban board, which rarely gets updated. Going forward in this endevour I’m sure the knowledge gained in this module will be of great help in providing the sense of structure the project currently lacks.