Reflection Cycle 1 – Joshua Crowley

Student number: n9719024

Student name: Joshua Crowley

Professional Development and Practice 

Throughout the course of the past 4 weeks, I was undertaking a shoot em’ up mini-game project for the IGB100 unit at QUT alongside both Jack and Phillip. We were to develop three varied games amongst ourselves, but as a studio, adhered to a set of PX goals and collaborated with one another to learn necessary skills in order to get our games to function how we intended. Having a background in game design, along with very basic C# and Python experience prior to starting this unit, it was somewhat intimidating to undertake such a task in the space of a 4 week period. Amongst our studio, we had two programmers (Jack and Phillip), as well as myself (a game designer). During the first two weeks of class, as a studio we discussed possible PX goals and ideas for our games. At first Jack and I had a different mindset in contrast to Phillip, where we envisioned various themes and gameplay mechanics that would interrelate to our newly formulated PX goals. I felt like at times I had to take charge of the situation where there was moments of disagreement for a long period of time during face to face meetings, where it was important to be as productive as possible in the short timeframe we had. The majority of the ideas that we all thought up did end up in the PX goals and our games in some aspect.

Skill and Knowledge

Looking back on the project, I wish I had undertook extensive research of the C# language which would have eased my frustrations in getting things to work as intended. Rectifying such a major issue in this particular unit in the second cycle is of utmost importance to me as many game developers utilise this language heavily in day to day work. Having worked in Unity previously during a program run by the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) in Sydney, I was somewhat familiar with the user interface that was presented to be, as I worked in a 2D environment prior to this project.

Working in a Team

I was grateful to be in a team that split the work evenly and worked together quite well, despite our game development backgrounds. In our face-to-face meetings, we managed to discuss the necessary material quite well in order for us to do our activity posts at home, as well as providing tips and feedback on each other’s games in order to make them better. On occasion, Jack and I met up to help me figure out my code which was a great help. I couldn’t imagine doing this project any other way as I would’ve lacked the self-confidence and drive to perform such a task independently. I found it a good experience to work in a team, and am starting to learn to adapt to various workflows I am not normally accustomed to, which would be helped by teams switching up each cycle perhaps.

Working Independently

I was quite challenged by the fact that we would have to produce a game each using a basic set of video tutorials and the vastness of the internet. I honestly didn’t know where to start once I finished the video tutorials, which in itself contained a plethora of new information about C# that I previously never learned before. I felt that a four week cycle was a bit too fast paced and wasn’t able to grasp the various coding concepts necessary to build a complete, functioning game as I originally envisioned. I felt that my initial scope was too broad, and as I started to struggle, I narrowed my vision down to two key game play elements. Whilst searching the internet for tips on how to incorporate such elements, I was unable to successfully incorporate many lines of code from various tutorials as they conflicted with one another. In the future cycles, I will stick to only one or two sources with large amounts of information and go from there.

Ethical Considerations

As my first foray into creating a proper shoot em’ up Unity powered mini-game, I felt that it opened my eyes as to just how much is involved in the creation process. I will use this newfound experience in creating games going forward, and will hopefully produce a higher fidelity project in the future.

 

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