Game Designer & Programmer

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Senior Project - PPJ #15

My priorities changed a bit this week, but mostly for the better. I spent the majority of this week working on the GDC pitch presentation and demo with a lot of other members of the team. I focused less on any physical work on the build since I was waiting on Gillian to finish up the final clothed models. She’ll have that done very soon and I will hopefully get the final clothed models in-game and animated! I’ll edit this PPJ to reflect that work since I plan to do it tomorrow anyway.

The pitch has been a major source of stress for the team for the last couple weeks. We are working insanely hard on getting better at talking about our game. This week, I spent a huge amount of time in the labs discussing decisions with the team. My first big session was with Gabe and, later, Arden. In this session, Gabe and I worked on taking the feedback/advice we got from Jichen and Lloyd about presentation structure and focus. In the past, we’ve suffered from taking too detailed of an approach to talking about our game. We have a complicated game with a lot of smaller features and regurgitating them onto an audience all at once doesn’t do anything to help them understand what our game is about. If anything, it makes people more confused. I focused a lot on simplifying our pitch down to the core parts and putting more emphasis on how those core parts work together. That means that we will focus much more on the hook mechanic and the core objective rather than team synergy, different play styles, or visual theme. I’ve simplified the presentation structure into something we heard from both Jichen and Lloyd:

Elevator Pitch: The short summary of our game. Very surface level, designed to grab attention, notexplain all of our game in one sentence. Will go pretty hand-in-hand with the hook


Hook (The What): the main “toy” of the game. In our case, the fact that we took the ground out of the game. This section is designed to explain what the players do in the game and how it is interesting and innovating.


Core Design (The Why): every game has a goal, and this section is designed to explain that goal. Beyond that, however, the focus of this section is to explain how the hook is integral to the core design of our game: why are players doing what they are doing and why does using the hook matter? This section is hard.


Potential and Demo: this section is more developer facing and explains why we are a good fit for GDC / what we will do in the future. This section still needs work. After the pitch, we also have a live(?) demo that we are working really hard on. We are practicing it a lot and have designed it to hopefully show the base bits of our game to help players who have never seen our game understand the basis of it.

 

The second session was more on the context of our presentation. We realized that we talk about our game as developers waaaaay too much. In a WIP presentation, that’s fine, but when you’re introducing the project to a group of people who have never seen your game before, you have to approach the explanation from a player point of view. That means talking in the context of the in-game world, and not in the context of mechanics and development. We are focusing on giving the audience some context as to how and why the characters in our game are doing what they do in the hopes that it creates a more engaging presentation that relays the information in a much simpler, easy-to-understand way.

 

What went well: We have made so much progress this week on the game as a whole and I’m insanely proud of how the team has handled this crunch period. Everyone has worked a ton of hours this week. We finally have a name for our game!

What could’ve gone better: I wish I had made more technical progress. I feel like we’re cutting it close to the deadline for the GDC pitch build, but in reality we have allotted plenty of time to get everything in. This presentation is super draining to work on and really difficult.

Hours:

Presentation: ~12 hrs
Demo: 4 hrs
Anim Stuff: 1 hr
Tech tweaks: 2 hrs
Total: 19 hrs

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