Team Meeting Reflection

Today, we worked through a rough start for our sprints. We wanted to outline what sorts of trips we would need to go on in order to get first-hand references and research based on the location research I did last semester. Due to the gutting of the project we did, it meant that some trips wouldn’t be needed as those aspects were no longer of use to us and the development of Twilleir so this will hopefully allow more time for us in other areas of the game development.
As well as trips, we needed to outline roles, tasks we would be needing to do as well as what was going to happen in terms of visual identity, sprints and calendar.

You can find all the minutes on the team meeting post.

The meeting today was very productive and we managed to nail down a lot of crucial elements. For the trips, we narrowed down what areas we still needed to visit through thinking about the importance of it and why we needed to go to the locations:

  • Torre Abbey, Kent Caverns and Dartmoor National Park
    – Kent Caverns would give us some great visual imagery for the Dungeons that we will be creating through pictures, videos, sound clips and rubbings in order to get some textures and colour schemes. 
    – Torre Abbey won’t be open unfortunately due to seasons/opening times but their gardens will be available to visit so this will give first-hand research for the Garden environment. Things such as colour schemes, pictures, videos and sound clips will benefit our development of the environments as they will give richer insight into what a garden should look and feel like.
    – Dartmoor National Park is in the same area as these two and we felt that it would offer amazing imagery and references due to its rural setting. We can get a range of video clips, pictures as well as an idea of lighting as we are planning to get photographs at times of day such as sunset/sunrise etc. It will also offer inspiration for the look and feel of the Garden to improve its development.

  • Cheddar Gorge
    – This will be a ‘maybe’ depending on how the Caverns go. If we manage to get enough resources that we need from the Caverns then there will be no need to go to travel all the way to the Gorge as we will have enough Dungeon references. We need to think about time and cost effectiveness and so if it’s not needed, it needs to go. This will be decided after the Caverns visit.
  • Treadwell’s Bookstore
    – Due to us already being in London this Thursday, we will be taking the opportunity to visit Treadwell’s bookstore as this will offer us insight and references for the Shop front as well as the ‘Book Shelf’ which will hold recipes, information on ingredients etc. Provided we have permission from the store, we hope to take photos, sketches and sound clips to provide good starting resources for the development of the Shop environments and its assets. 
  • Winchester Old Bookstore/Cathedral/Streets
    – The Old Bookstore would offer us great visual references for the Bookshelf as well as an idea of how to it could work within the parameters of a shop. We may also be able to have a look at the sorts of covers on books that would be of interest to Twilleir to inform designs and concepts.
    – Cathedral and Streets would give us more of an idea how to structure our architecture within the Twilleir world. For instance, we will have a Town Map where you can access the market/marketman for ingredients that you need that you messed up growing. By visiting these locations we can collect pictures, sketches, potential colour schemes and sound clips in order to gather influence and references that will inform our design work for the game.
  • The Old Apothecary
    – This place is everything magical that we could possibly ask for. We are hoping to be able to collect pictures, sketches, colour schemes as well as talk to the shop workers to see if they can help shed some light on what a good, magical shop should look and feel like; this first-hand research from staff could especially help to influence our design decisions in Twilleir.

From these trips, we worked out dates that we would be wanting to do them on and will be booking them shortly. Torquay will take 2 days due to it being dangerous for James to drive 6 hours in one day so we will be staying over there via Airbnb. This also allows us to visit all three places (Caverns, Abbey and National Parks) without being rushed so we can get some good quality research; we will be looking to hire out a camera and tripod over this time so that we can get high-quality images and recordings not only for our research but for the development blog, social media and our Youtube account that I will be looking to set up. 

As we are in Winchester regularly, we will be looking to gather the resources from the Old Bookshop, Cathedral and Streets over this week. Luckily there is not so much pressure on us to do this one immediately and we will be looking to fit them in around lectures.

Due to feedback received from last semester, Millie and myself will be taking on the role of consolidating a strong, coherent art style. We will be doing this by using this evening to source images throughout the web and books we have and uploading them to a joint Pinterest. Tomorrow, we will sit down together and select the ones that accurately create the Art Style we are looking for. We will then be making a mood board for our development wall in the studio so we will be able to reflect and make sure that our artwork is coherent and there is a form of consistency to the game and style. This will be vital to make sure that there is no confusion in style of the game and it is clear to all what the style needs to look like; it will shape our game into a more polished piece. 

Thinking about Derek’s workshop from the other day, Millie has taken on the role of developing our visual identity further. From the six words we came up with to describe our game, we have chosen Tycoon and Adventure to accurately describe what Twilleir is mainly about. Through these words, Millie will be using the toolkit that we made in order to flesh out the visual identity.
We feel that the colour scheme for the game doesn’t need much work as we feel it suits the theme of our game perfectly. A range of dark blues and purples gives the idea of twilight and night time and so we felt that these colours were the most fitting due to our Dream theme.
It was also discussed as to how we were wanting to show off our Games Design Document at the shows. We felt that a simple, old style game manual like the Nintendo ones would be the best option as there are simple and focus on our work rather than the cover itself. We will be looking to experiment with this as time goes on when we have more content inside to play with; we’ll be looking to make adequate time to make sure this process is polished and complete through our Sprint planning.
Millie will also be looking into learning some Motion Graphics for this visual identity project which will be useful as it means that we can add animations to text, the actual environments etc which will hopefully bring our game to life even more so. In conjunction with this, I conferred with Millie today about her using the newly acquired Motion Graphics skills in order to work together with me on producing trailers for the game at a later date; this will look to give our game a more professional edge – or this is the hope anyway!

Defining Roles:
As we were breaking down Twilleir into the key aspects we needed for our deliverables, we took this time to flesh out what our key roles will be. This has made it clearer for us what is expected of each of us in this project, yet once we have fully outlined all of the sprints, this will be when we have a more accurate idea of timing. Until we start collating research and creating the systems, we won’t know how much time we will need so we’ve collectively decided to work through the first sprint or two to ‘find our feet’ before delving in with a more structured plan in case we under or over estimate the time we need: 

– James will be on coding, prototyping and greenlight research
– Millie will be on build, art and design/visual identity
– Jess will be art and design and promotion/social media

We also came up with the idea of recording our meetings as a more accurate way of collating our minutes. This way, we can listen back to it with ease and create a log which could also be transferred into our development process videos but this is not certain at the moment. It will also help us not miss any crucial information which can often happen through just note-taking.

We have also decided to have a Calendar up on the wall in the studio where we are able to add notes to months as to what is needed, as well as having individual days with spaces to highlight tasks that need to be done. This way, we have a paper version in a calendar form in the studio and a digital version through Trello which works more as a to-do list that people can access from home.

As mentioned in the Team Meeting Minutes Post, we are doing weekly Sprints from Mondays to Saturdays every week for now. This way, we have Sundays to work on our own personal projects or use this time to do things that are leftover on the backburner (if any). This will give us all opportunities to work on our personal skills to help develop our project further and make it more coherent and polished. For instance, I will be looking to work on my drawing and digital painting skills in order to help my art role within the team and create stronger pieces of work for the game.

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