A Personal Look Back

In this section I will reflect on some of the lessons I have learned and share them, as well as some photos of the experience.

Photos from the Intersession brainstorming session

The team discussing the direction for the project.

I am explaining a proposal to the team.

I certainly learned the importance of good note taking during group meetings to keep track of things.  It is important to have a process when approaching a task, especially game design.  As an artist, my first step is always research.  Once I know what I have been assigned to create, I will scour the internet and other resources for references or ideas that will help or even just inspire me in a direction to go.  Once that is done and I have a nice little collection of references, I move on to concept sketches.  I do mock-ups of the character or object and using my research try to create a rough concept of the asset.  Once I have something I’m satisfied with I run it past the lead (or team).  If they approve it, I start a final set of drawings or a character sheet.  If they don’t approve it, I listen to what feedback they offer and return to the drawing board to try another rendition.  It can be a long process, but I know it is helpful and a requirement in the end.  Although, I never was one to complain about having to draw. Ha ha.

If there is anything we learned on that project, it was how to work as a team.  Everything we did had to approved and coordinated by the team.  As a member of the art department I had to communicate with both my fellow artists as well as the scripters on what was needed for the game.  When it was decided that my cartoon designs would be the basis for the game’s art style, I offered help and tips to the other artists to make sure all the assets stayed cohesive in design.  Pretty much all of the character designs had to be “filtered” through me so that they were all in the same style.  I spent several hours redrawing all the characters into the same cartoon style.   Teamwork was key at all times though, I always made sure the designs I turned out met the approval of the team.  If there was a problem or bug with some of the sprites I created for the game, I would communicate with the scripters  to find out what the problem was and what could be done to fix it.    One of the main foundations I learned about teamwork was that communication was the key to making it work.

The concept art and the final character sheets for most of the characters.

This was a list of bugs the scripters prepared.  We were quick to get working on them. Ha ha!

We also learned a hard lesson on version control and naming conventions.  There were several occasions where issues would arise, when assets could not be found due to improper naming conventions.  On other occasions, problems occurred when people were adding assets to the wrong version of the game.  We had whole levels missing assets at times.  There were days that really left us with headaches over these things. However, in the end they were lessons hard learned but well received.  We learned the error of what we had done and would strive to not repeat them.

This is the whiteboard, where we kept important information displayed.

This was a reminder of our daily routine.

What was that about saving assets in the wrong locations?  Ha ha!

These past two years in the Game Design course, have been a long trip.  I have learned many new things and pushed myself harder than I think I ever have.  I have met many good people and forged relationships that will not be forgotten.  If any of my former classmates are reading this, I salute you all my former comrades in arms. Ha ha!