I worked in teams as a collaborator for both Designer’s Game 2 and 3.
For Game 2, I made a script that used a serialisation method to read in levels to the game, ‘Beat Rider‘. It loaded in pre-made songs with manual creation of notes separated by commas which then was exported as a CSV (comma-separated values) file which was then what was read in by the script I made. Both Designers were stoked with what I created, with only minor issues with the Designers understanding how to create new music sheets. I thoroughly believe that for this game, I was always up to date with what was going on and was always there to help if need-be.
An example of additional work I did to the game where the Designers needed help, was when I implemented a new bar-switching system. In playtests, the feedback was received that it was quite difficult to keep track of the movement of the player, so the Designers came to me and asked if I could implement a system where instead of the player moving, the bars would move, controlled by the player. As well as this, I was also in-charge of sorting out the right way to lerp the bar movement in the final touches of the game. In the end, the game was fun! It could have been juiced a bit more, but the mechanics were solid. I had an enjoyable time helping make it, and I learnt quite a bit whilst helping out, like reading in CSV files in Unity, and how miniscule of a lerp time you can do.
For Game 3, I worked with another team on their game. I started off by beginning to create a scheduling tool for the Designers to use, as for one, I needed to fill the Tool Development LO, and two, both Designers didn’t have Microsoft Project installed or similar software that could handle scheduling for them. During the development of the game, I helped fix bugs that threatened to slow down the Designer’s development progression for their game, as well as introducing them to an addon for Unity called Fungus, which handles and displays narration and conversation very nicely in Unity games. I implemented the Fungus dialogue into their game by activating it on a trigger event, which then broadcasted a message to Fungus which would then activate a character to speak.
About halfway through the development of their game, I decided that their camera was terrible, as it was locked behind the player’s character and as the character turned, it would show a very jagged movement. Also if standing on the spot, and turning, the character would suddenly turn 90 degrees and continue to turn normally after that. So I went about creating a new camera that could freely move with the player’s character. The camera allowed delayed movement when the character was turning, as well as being able to freely rotate the camera on the X axis via the right joystick, so you can look around the character if you choose to. I also edited the standard CharacterMovement script so that the player wouldn’t turn 90 degrees suddenly as soon as you turn when standing still.
Right at the end of the development, on the day of the exhibition, I implemented a feature that places a marker above the ball if the player is not holding it, so that it is easy to find the ball in the vast fields of the dog park.
One thing I recommend the Designers do in the future, is to ask for more help of me. I could tell at stages that the Designers in charge of the game I was collaborating on were struggling. A good example of something they could have put me in charge of creating would be a quest system, telling the player what dogs they need to still speak to before the game ends. This system would have worked wonderfully in the game, it definitely should have been upgraded from being a desirable, to being a must-do, even if it was then passed onto me to do, if they were running out of time, I would have been very happy to help. I was only informed that they required such a system when we did the class reflection of the exhibition. I was a little be annoyed as I could have easily achieved this ‘desirable’ when the game was still being developed, as a lot of the time I spent in class was doing nothing. The Designers didn’t ask me for help much, I had to always ask them if they wanted help. Another issue I had was that I didn’t even have access to their repo until halfway through the timeline, and in the final week and a half, the active repo had been changed and I was never given access to that.
Since the Designers I was with for Game 3 didn’t satisfy my need to work hard, I asked other groups if I could help with anything. Gareth and Carlos’ group stated that I could help with a few little things, but Eli was their main programmer, so I just helped a little with the scripts they created in class, looking over Gareth’s shoulder just as a second pair of eyes if he missed something or could improve on what he had. I made the same gesture to the other two groups, but with no response to needing help. It was a pretty cruisy few weeks, as you can tell by reading back at my last few Weekly Roundup blogs.
Working in a group is great, I really enjoy working in groups, but what there is no communication between members, the team falls apart. I really wish the Designers for Game 3 would have told me my camera was not fully functioning, I had to find out for myself when playing their game at exhibition. I did not have access to the latest version of the game, the last one I had was over a week and a half older than the exhibition version, so I couldn’t test the camera in it. It didn’t help that I don’t have an Xbox so I don’t have an XBox/Microsoft controller handy at home. What went wrong was after the camera was rotated past 90 degrees in either the leftward or rightward direction, the mechanic of the camera automatically lerping back to it’s original position activated, and you would be fighting it to get past the 90 degree rotation. It is fine to ask me for help and for me to blindly create a mechanic which I can not test myself, but when I ask if everything is swell and it works perfectly, please tell me if it doesn’t, I really don’t mind, seriously.
Overall, I am kind of disappointed by the way this project went for me. Sure I still did a lot for the whole project, including creating a schedule, making a camera, implementing Fungus into the current narration system, making important features stand out, and fixing project-threatening bugs, but I know I could have achieved so much more, if only I was given the chance. I believe overall, my teamwork skills are of a high-ish standard, I tend to always ask if more help is needed from me, and I work hard to swiftly achieve what is given to me.
This is Daniel Jochem, signing out.