January 8, 2008

State of the Guildhall

I think right now I'm operating at about 70 - 80%, but earlier I think I was down around 40 (when my headache was actually making it impossible to think and medicine had only managed to bring it from severe to around moderate). A few notable things have happened over the first few days back. A few level designers (I think 4 in total) didn't end up returning this term for various reasons, which leaves our level design track with only 8 students left.

This kind of attrition is actually very unusual as the application process is very thorough and supposedly pretty effective at identifying who will do well here. We originally started with 17 registered level designers and after only two terms that number has fallen to a scant 8. In a natural selection sort of way, this does mean that the remaining designers are that much better, arguably the strongest of the original 17 (for one reason of another). What this also means is that our cohort is now remarkably unbalanced in an unprecedented way. Typically level designers are the most common students here.

This development required a massive restructuring of the teams for our team games as it just wasn't feasible to divide 8 level designers among three teams, so now there are only two. Jane and I were named the "Assistant Producers" by the Professor (the "Producer") and we were assigned to our teams which, bear almost no resemblance to our teams from last term. The teams each appointed their department leads and spent today brainstorming anything we could think of for our next team game production which we will be pre-producing and prototyping this semester.

I'm happy with the team and everyone seems to get along so I think we have a good chance of making something great. Still, I'm not exactly fighting fit right now, so the pressure of having a pitch doc and presentation due a week from now is a bit unsettling. Anyway, I'm not sweating it, it always gets done and we've got some good ideas to go on so that's certainly a great place to start. The leads and I are meeting tomorrow to start discussing general structure for the project and also how we want to go about distilling the ideas from the brainstorming session into workable game concepts.

That's pretty much everything going right now, like the calm before the storm, though I couldn't be more grateful for it given my health. No homework yet, but the Pitch doc isn't far off, and I imagine level design is going to produce something to work on pretty soon, though I'm excited to work on both so I can't really complain. Things are pretty good, just focusing on rest right now so I can prepare for the road ahead. Alright, now I'm gonna rest and relax while I have the chance...

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