February 13, 2008

Failures and Setbacks

Well, here it is 11:30 on a Wednesday night, and I have just returned from another unsuccessful integration session for our Extinction prototype. Tonight was our integration for prototype milestone 2, that is, roughly two weeks since we began work on producing the prototype. Some of the work that was supposed to be completed from milestone 1 still isn't working successfully, and a handful of the features and assets for milestone 2 have yet to be implemented. I guess, in the team's defense some of our goals were pretty ambitious, but I did the best that I could to ask them to push back and no one did (I think Prof. Stringer would say this was a classic mistake #13 - wishful thinking or #14 - overly optimistic schedule).

Regardless, what we have seems to be at best a poor representation of the game we are trying to make, and we need to write a GDD for next Tuesday that is supposed to be informed based on what we have learned for prototype. The whole idea of the prototype is for the team to "find the fun" in their game and use that to build the final design, but we can't even manage to get all the pieces working at the same time, so we haven't even had the chance to see if it is fun or not. I think we are learning a lot about the team, the pipeline, the working processes, etc., but it's not helping us get much closer to our goal. It just seems like right now, there's not enough time for anything, moreso than usual. We have the revised GDD due next Tuesday, our final Oblivion project is due this Friday, we're trying to learn a new editor (Radiant) in level design, next week is GDC, and then the week after that is finals where we need to show our prototype in some working / fun order.

Anyway, I guess I should try to stay positive, and all this ranting isn't really helping. It's just that sometimes this place can really take it out of you. One of the first phrases I remember hearing when I came here was, "Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard." I think if you learn one thing while you're here you learn that. I think we have a good idea, I really do, it's just a question of how well we can implement it. Alright, well there are some things I should do to prepare for tomorrow's meeting before I can go to bed, so I better get to those sooner rather than later. Night, all.

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