Cycle 3 – Reflection – Vincent Bornaghi

Over the course of this semester I have developed my previously non-existent Unity and coding skills to a level that I can quite happily say that I am proud of. As a programmer I can now code relatively basic tasks without aid and am able to complete more complex ones with far less trouble than I did in the first weeks of the semester. The internet is a wealth of knowledge for such things as coding and I was able to teach myself fairly successfully. My group members both had previous programming knowledge and were able to assist me when I had questions as well, which was really useful and much appreciated. In terms of game design and the artistic aspect of game development I have development my skills in this field in regards to Unity but otherwise I haven’t improved a great deal. I was already quite proficient, which meant I could focus on my weaker programming skills.

On top of the development of my technical skills I also grew as a team member and a person. There were times were it was easy to become frustrated at the group but knowing that we were all stuck together regardless but things into perspective. I know that in the workforce, you can be thrown into teams you do not enjoy being in, that’s part and parcel of life, so make the most of it. However these were just moments and overall we worked really well as a team. I for one, heartily dislike group work but I can admit that I enjoyed working with Dylan and Joseph. Our ideas were often so different that it allowed us to do a broad range of things with prototyping and aid each other quite considerably.

The most effective strategy for us as a group was our solid communication. Without it we wouldn’t have achieved even half of what we’ve done together and individually. Mutual respect meant that all ideas were discussed and opinions provided and listened to. Everyone would reply promptly to Facebook messages and blog posts were often posted ahead of time in order to peer review them. As a group we really kept on top of communication and I feel like this has really aided us in the long run. As an individual, managing my workload has been key to consistent, and consistently good results. As I saw in Cycle 2, with personal issues and a lack of motivation, my game was poor compared to the first and my result suffered for it. However this gave me the kick that I needed in order to better organise myself for uni. In future I’ll be sure to properly plan my assessments and dedicate the time necessary o complete them to a standard I am happy with.

When working in groups, it’s important that everyone respects each other and to not think your opinion or idea is above anyone else’s. I feel like we all did this quite well and this has contributed to our relatively positive results this semester. I hope that this last game is a good reflection of my, and our, progress and that you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Vincent Bornaghi – N9463020


Cycle 3 – Reflection – Joseph Koppe

On reflection I felt my skills matched the task of creating this game much better than the previous week.  I felt as though as the game designer I was given the opportunity to focus more on level design and game look and feel rather than coding.  As a developer I do need to work on my coding skills, as this has been my greatest hindrance throughout the course of the semester.  I’d also like to try in future to make my own textures to use within a game, as I feel it is something I would enjoy as well as being conducive to the game design component of my degree.

Communication within my team I felt had its ups and downs.  Sometimes I have difficulty understanding why people choose certain methods when we were prototyping our game, and this caused me to either recede in my opinion or speak louder.  I wish to take it upon myself to be open-minded about different ways and perspectives for doing things.  I feel as though as a team we get along really well inside and outside of the project, and for the most part we constructed this final product efficiently and cohesively.

I feel as though my work habits got progressively better during the semester, and I’m unsure if this will be reflected in my results, but I feel as though I understand the workload of building a game a lot better because of it.  I had originally put myself under more pressure to complete the games by leaving them a little too late.  In a sense I was still behind schedule, but I gave myself a much better timeframe in the latter projects.  I realised early on in the semester that the break in between 2016 and 2017 for university was too large and that it affected my productivity when I returned to it.  So in future I will find a means to be productive in between that break so that I can maintain a solid work ethic.  I think by the end of this semester though, I had gotten to the point where I could be very productive at will.

This game of the ones I have made I am most proud of, and I genuinely believe that it is worth playing insofar as receiving entertainment from it.  I would like to think that whoever would play my game, and understand my fledgling experience in making games, and the time frame and constraints we had – would be relatively impressed with it.  But perhaps I am saying this because I feel this way, and I certainly had fun playing it myself.

Cycle 3 – Reflection – Dylan Van Beek

Throughout the semester I applied existing knowledge in unity, games design and programming and combined it with research into new areas of games design that I had not yet explored.  This allowed for me to expand upon my current knowledge in some areas, as well as learn completely new elements in others.  With any gaps in my knowledge, for example, in scene swapping, I could look at the learning resources provided throughout the semester.  If there was a problem with a specific coding or level design question I could contact my colleges and they would generally be able to help me out, otherwise I would use the vast resources of the internet to fill in the void in my knowledge.

In addition to the technical skills gained through individual research and group collaboration there was also the element of being able to work in a likeminded team, who each had their own goals and ideas that they could bring to the table, but then I designed a game that had my own spin on it, or utilise their ideas into my own game.  However, with others ideas being brought to the table there sometimes became a debate of ideologies, and made me question my own ideas in a reasonable manner, and I’m sure it allowed the other group members to do the same.  It also allowed for new connections to be made, and with good communication we stayed on top of workloads and knew where everyone was at most of the time.

During the semester, there were strategies that seemed to work, and others that didn’t in managing communication.  The main mode of communications was Facebook Messaging that enabled us to discuss ideas out of class, arrange meeting times and share concepts or express any issues we were having.  All group members had a quick response time which allowed everyone to know it’s a reliable source of communication.   Also, with previous teams, the level of communication hasn’t been as good, however, the team cohesion allowed everyone to feel part of it and their opinions mattered.  The team also didn’t just shut down ideas, but could discuss and reasonably conclude and resolve any matter which would arise.  For example, in Cycle 2, debates sparked about the topic on which we should focus on for our overriding theme and feel of the game.  Also, each of us had our own past experiences with game design subjects which was all able to be brought to the table. Debates were overcome because we had mutual respect for other member’s ideas, and each of us made us all question our own ideas and opinions.   Furthermore, most activities were completed in the workshop, and uploaded later that week for remaining group members to review and comment on.

Furthermore, each of our responsibilities were delegated with reasonableness and we completed activates on time, most of the time, and if there was ever an issue we could just communicate online to resolve any problems.  These problems may include technical problems with our game, or studio work queries that may have been overlooked in the workshops.