27th February – 5th March
This week has really opened my eyes as to how little time we have left and how much we have accomplished so far. I feel our time management this week has been very good considering we have a few things on the backburner so I’m hoping for similar results for next week too.
We came together to end another Sprint and start our next haul of tasks that we need to complete. There were quite a number of things left over from the Sprint which was unfortunate. I spoke with Millie about this as the majority were her tasks. She’d been working on other tasks rather than what was set which is absolutely fine, but also we need to make sure that the tasks that were outlined in the Sprint are completed too so as not to be behind. After a brief discussion, Millie has been assigned new tasks that we both outlined together and have put her in charge of looking at the backburner tasks this week. This will hopefully shed some of the backburner tasks and get us back on track.
Apart from this slight mix-up, we have sorted out Sprint 4 and are raring to go with the next long haul. I am looking to push myself this week and try and get more achieved in a smaller frame of time as I’m worried about the time we have left to complete everything we set out to do. Therefore I am looking to have designed assets and at least 4 layouts for the Crafting Room which will take me 6 days leaving another day for getting feedback and implementing changes into a final design; this shedding a few days off and leaving more time to get through everything else.
Today, I finished off some little touches to the final Shop environment as there were a couple of bits that I wanted to change before going ‘that’s it’. Once this was done, I then began working on creating assets for the Crafting room based off of the resources that we collated on our research trips as well as the books that I took out from the Library. This is the lengthier part of the process and one which I hope will speed up once we get to Gardens and Greenhouse as these have limited assets that would appear in the backgrounds, the ingredients are added later in the game by the Player.
I also managed to finish the development video that I have been making using the footage that we collected from our Torquay trip. You can find it below. I thought this could be a good idea to share on our social media pages so that we can get more interest from people as well as put names to faces as such. This is one of the first posts where you can see all of us in one place so it’s exciting and should hopefully create a buzz as well as show people what the developers of Twilleir have been up to!
I used this day as a reflective journal day as well as check up on social media and how that is going. I feel that either Wednesdays or Sundays (or both depending on when I’m working my job) will be the days that I solely dedicate to RJ and once that’s done – social media and interest; this will hopefully boost the number of followers that we get.
Currently, Instagram seems to be our key social media area where we have 71 followers whereas on Twitter we have 26. I will be looking to push these accounts by following other indie games companies and developers as well as looking to post not just stuff related to Twilleir but also things that are trending currently using the hashtags/trends of Twitter and Instagram; the main focus will be on Instagram as this is already proving to be the better way of grabbing attention. We have been thinking that once we hit milestones for followers, we shall hold competitions for keyrings, paintings etc to celebrate this and get people involved with Twilleir.
We haven’t set up our actual website for Twilleir yet as we have all been pretty swamped with the RJ but we do have a domain. Once RJ is out of the way at the end of March, I will be looking to get our domain into full swing by uploading game art, sketches, music and prototypes that we’ve made so our audience can see what we’ve been up to and follow along. If they want to see more of our nitty gritty development then we shall link this blog to it too so that it can appease all!
We had a great talk from Chris Buckingham today about Crowdfunding and his journey to where he is now. I learnt a fair amount from this talk which was great and it’s motivated me more to think about getting a Games Company up and running. His journey gave me some great thoughts about life, whether he meant to or not, about your path being ever changing and that along the way you will nail what you want to do. I feel very confident that I have found the area that I would like to work in, however, what role I have conflicting ideas of; he helped to make me see that it will all work out great if I work hard and knuckle down.
Chris also spoke a lot about his business models which were super useful. I am looking to set up a company with others after university and hearing about the key points and successes to a good business model was handy. He also gave us a list of books that helped him as well as some of his own which I think will be a good investment for our company to look at and learn from.
I finished creating all of the assets for the Crafting room today (yay!) so now I can soley focus for the rest of the week on designing the layouts of the room and what assets work within them. Based on the Shop environment, I have been creating layouts in an average of 3-4 hours therefore, I forsee that I will be able to get the minimum of four completed that I wanted to get done.
Millie and I looked at the mass sheet of tasks that we have on the wall and realised that we don’t have a specific task outline for Art like we do for Coding and UI and so we spent a few minutes today ironing out what ‘draft art’ we needed to get completed; draft art being art that is designed but not finished/coloured. Below is an image of this list:
So, it’s a motherfudging big list and I’m quite daunted as to how much we have to do, not including working on the UI. As there are two of us working on Art, we should hopefully be able to complete all of these tasks and colouring but it’s going to be hella tight. I discussed with James later on that day about how it is likely that he will have finished the coding and implemented feedback before we finish the Art and how he will need to be prepared that he may have to make a start on the UI designs himself.
As he rightfully said, “It’ll be tight but we’ll be okay, we’ll just have to band together and slog it out, I’m sure we’ll do it.” and this is why I love the team we have, always trying to stay positive and power through projects; the key to a great team.
Now that everyone is up to speed with the tasks that lie ahead of them, it’s just a case of cracking on. Millie and I have already marked off what we’ve already completed and will continue to do this and try and get all of the draft work done by Easter, but it’s going to be really tight… I plan to get the Crafting room, store room, garden and greenhouse fully designed by Easter and will be working on the NPCs afterwards. I’m aiming to reach this target by pushing the number of hours that I work a day through enforcing regular breaks, naps and caffeine. YAY GAMES DESIGN, WOULDN’T CHANGE IT FOR THE WORLD AMMIRITE.
1:1 with Adam about RJ pieces:
After discussing with Adam about my reflective journal pieces, I now feel more confident with the direction that I’d like to go with these. I’ll need to grab a couple more sources for my 2500 word essay where I’ll look at a few academic pieces to help support my work and then draw something out from this to fully develop into a smaller subject in my 1500 word piece. Now I’ve got this sorted, I will be planning to make a start either this Saturday or Wednesday next week and aim to have drafted up at least half of the piece so as to get ahead and on track with the deadline.
1:1 Team Meeting with Adam:
- the shop needs to be coloured asap
- need to get character or two in to see how busy it’ll get
- need to figure out how long everything will take – start with the shop
- Produce less layouts for each environment (aim for 3 max)
- Battle scene needs to be slowed down – bit confusing to the player
- Millie – work out shop painting
- James take garden into demo
- Jess do greenhouse then gardens then crafting then storeroom
- stuff feedback for the drawings – do when you have in the unity project and get feedback then
- GET THE GARDEN GOING – UI, environment in and character
- spreadsheet of what we need (garden) INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
- build the garden, put on itch.co and get feedback
Well, everything’s been turned on its head a bit now… The talk with Adam was definitely helpful and it has made sense to try and get one whole ‘level’ in so that we can get it tested rather than work on lots of things separately. By some miracle, I managed to get a background drawn up today, however, I’m not as happy with it as I was with the Shop environment. I feel this is because I drafted up three very rough layouts before moving forward to the final one rather than spending 3 hours on each to make sure it’s worked out efficiently. Millie has taken the background to see how long it takes to paint, so maybe if it doesn’t take too long, we could leave time at the end to fix the visuals if need be.
The next part that I’ll be working on is creating the Greenhouse and what it’ll look like which we can then overlay on the background that I made. This being due to it only needing to be put into the environment to then click on it and it will take you to the greenhouse environment whereas the Garden background was needed more urgently so that James could implement the code that he has been working on. Hopefully, by the end of Monday, we could have a functioning ‘level’ that we can test and get feedback on which is exciting!
Overall, this week has been productive despite the mad change around on Friday. This has taught me that change can sometimes be good and it has made me feel that we’re a very flexible team considering we adjusted quickly and got on with the jobs; these skills will be so useful this semester!