Reflection Cycle 2 – Joshua Crowley

Capture8

Video link: https://youtu.be/zOJpeFjX7ZY

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRACTICE 

In this second cycle of game development for IGB100, we were instructed to create a first person game based on a recent news topic or current affair. The conception stage in Week 5 required us to create various game ideas from various news topics, and we easily came up with at least 10 ideas amongst ourselves. As we have now familiarised ourselves with each other’s way of thinking from the previous cycle, I believe it was easier to then nail down what our final game idea and PX goals would be. My game design background allowed me to spur game ideas quickly, and was able to adapt and add various elements to other’s ideas. However, one bit of confusion amongst our team members was whether the game idea required actual shooting mechanics, or at the very least, a weapon of sorts. Our team member’s qualms were fixed when tutors clarified what was expected of us.

SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE

I was somewhat more confident in my C# programming skills compared to the previous cycle, after being exposed to terminology that was foreign to me prior to starting the unit. I started active development on this game relatively early in the cycle, as I was more interested in working in a 3D environment and could full realise my vision for the game. However, issues I encountered during the implementation stage included health, collider detection, and complex enemy behaviour. It was due to time constraints that I was not able to research as to how to accomplish these tasks. My game is actually playable with most game functions working as expected in comparison to my previous game, which drives me to strive harder in cycle 3.

WORKING IN A TEAM

Once again it was great to be working amongst a team who were proficient programmers, and were able to guide me in the right direction in terms of how to tackle programming tasks. Although one team member was absent for one week, we were able to catch up in person later on in the week and check on each others progress, with Jack helping me to get a portion of the game working as I originally expected. I expect that our games in this cycle are more cohesive due to the amount of communication between us that allowed us to be on the same page in terms of game play elements.

WORKING INDEPENDENTLY

The videos in this cycle helped me understand how various programming task functions more easily and how it is reflected in-game due to the 3D environment. I watched the 4 videos early on in the cycle so I could test various elements that could potentially make it into the final prototype submission, and allowed me to learn the necessary code to make my game function at my own pace. I believe once again that the initial scope was a bit too vast for the time given to complete this piece of assessment, in particular the game objects. I was only able to implement the cat as the primary enemy, and have basic UI that is necessary for the player to experience the game ideas as we originally intended. Sticking to primarily one or two sources of information allowed me to understand and implement new features within the code I have already written, a big reliever after being confused last cycle. In the next cycle, I hope to further hone my independent learning skills by acquiring information in person from tutors and peers, in addition to online sources.

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

In terms of a social issue, our game aims to address the issue of mobile phone addiction and hope it brings players to realise exactly what its like from a whimsical perspective. Potentially it could stop people from texting and driving or text and walking after how challenging it is to manage two tasks at once. After having already being exposed to the Unity development environment, I hope in the next cycle I will be able to focus on the game idea at hand, instead of tackling problems with the Unity UI and programming mishaps. My eagerness to develop games has grown whilst partaking in this unit, and will create a portfolio of projects with past, present, and future work for potential employers to peruse. The constraints I have worked within in the past two cycles gives me a rough idea of what can be accomplished in a short amount of time if I put my head to it.

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