Reflection of Week Eleven

Week beginning 10th April – 16th April

Monday

Today, I spent some time discussing with James and Millie the tasks that we have left for Twilleir as well as outlining Sprint 10.

I went back through the last few sprints and found that Millie has been working on the four portraits for the helping hands for four weeks now, however, only two have been completed and one is in progress. I have now instructed Millie that she will be pulled off of these tasks and to get on to the crafting mini-game as we can’t be spending all this time on portraits; neither of us had realised how much time had been allocated to this job so it’s just as much my fault as it is Millie’s.

We came to an arrangement where she has assured me that she has two days off in a row now where she will be finishing the helping hand portraits, Clarence and Nigel. After these tasks have been completed, she will be moving on to painting the inside of the Greenhouse environment so that James can then drop this into the project and then the Garden and Greenhouse levels are completed; I’ll be checking in with her over the week to see how she’s progressing to help her stay on track and “kick her up the ass” as instructed by Millie haha… By the beginning of next week, Millie will hopefully be on to the Crafting mini-game.

I’d been working on the Harvesting mini-game last week where I developed the game and changed a couple of aspects by accident. For instance, the original idea was to have the plants rotate when a colour sequence has been completed, however, this was quite complex and I had an idea which would cause us less stress but would still be similar aesthetically. Unfortunately, by doing this, it’s meaning that James is needing to change elements of his code to accommodate this yet he seems more than happy to do this which is great and he’ll be spending the week doing this; this is one of the things I love most about our Team is the willingness and flexibility of everyone which makes life easier ❤
We’ve set up that next weekend (22nd-23rd) we shall all get together at Millie’s and binge work together, catch each other up and test what’s already in. By doing this, we shall be in a good place to start back on the 24th.

I’ve set myself a lot of tasks this week as I’m not sure how long the design for the four stages of harvesting of each nine ingredients is going to take. By putting them all in one Sprint, it means I can crack on with what I can and gauge how long it will take me overall. I aim to have the design for all of these completed by mid next week and then the painting binge will begin! By the time that we’re back at University on the 24th, I hope that I will have completed the painting of the animation stages meaning that James can drop these into the project.

Realistically, by the end of the first week back, I think the Harvesting mini-game could be completed and the crafting mini-game nearly finished which will leave us the crafting room design itself which has already been started, dungeoneering, characters and UI/animations. This feels like a lot to do in terms of artwork, however, the code is essentially nearly there so it’ll just be dropping stuff in. I’ve already prepared James that he may need to take over from UI and animation which he’s mentioned he’s happy to do so that’s a large relief. With Millie and myself working on Art, we should be able to smash through tasks and use some of what we’re doing in the promotion trailer so it’s useful that a lot of our work can be reused and save us time. 

Tuesday

So today, I worked solidly for four hours straight and managed to get the Harvesting mini-game background painted! Glad I binged that and that it’s now done as it means that I can focus on the animations for the plants so I’m on schedule. My original artwork was a bit too dark in comparison with the work that Millie’s been doing for the environments and such so on her Twitch stream, she showed me how to fix this through the colour dodge tool and hue/saturation. This was super useful and it’s improved my work a lot so this is something I must remember to do after I complete paintings.

The first image is the one that I finished and the second is the one that Millie helped me with. She explained that by using colour dodge on the image and playing around with the hue and saturation will help me to make sure the colouring is bright like Millie’s work. This mini tutorial has helped me understand new skills within digital painting so I’m very thankful for Millie’s help!
Now what I have left to do is plan out the four stages of animation for the nine plants which hopefully shouldn’t take me too long to do but I expect that this will be complete by next Thursday latest giving me the rest of the week to paint them.

Whilst working on the background today, I had Millie’s Twitch stream on in the background where she managed to rally through Clarence and Nigel’s portraits and is now onto doing the inside of the Greenhouse! She’s worked so hard today and it’s great to see her progress, her outcomes are beautiful and it’s so exciting to see them come to life and to soon be in the project. She has managed to get through all of her tasks already for this Sprint apart from the Greenhouse which is amazing and so hopefully we’ll all be back on track with tasks and get stuff completed at a faster pace! Great job Mills ❤

Thursday

I had a brief chat with Millie today concerning the NPC characters that we’d like to have designed. Millie came up with a great idea that the three leftover NPC shop keepers we need in order to set up the ‘expansion pack’ type elements for after the Alpha will be designed based on the three of the Twilleir team and that the merchant should be the lovely lady that we met on our trip to Lyndhurst in the Apothecary shop. This will help us move forward with the designs as we have the four races to use to transform ourselves into the people of Ephara! 
I’ve been working a lot on the environment design and asset creation more than characters but I spoke with Millie about how I’d like to take a break from this and try creating characters for the game as hopefully, it will help production pace by switching up tasks and keeping things interesting. I will be working on the Decor shop keeper which we have decided will be James (sorry bro) and will be as flamboyant as anything. I plan to work on this once I have created the animations for the ingredients in Harvesting so as to split up tasks and stay motivated. 

We also discussed the bios of the helping hands that Millie’s been working on so that I can upload these to Instagram which is exciting:

  • Nigel (Heralorn race) – he’s old and cranky and is more likely to stab you than let you look at his books, like, ever.
  • Doris (L’hallen race) – She will hit you, also she’s very good at baking and likes to spoil her niece on the weekends. 
  • Clarence (Qa’rn) – The wind boy, he is smol and fast. He likes baths and would spend £200 in Lush in a heartbeat.

With this in mind, we may have to update Donna’s portrait and bio as they no longer fit the style in which Millie has done the other three helping hands (this will be a fix thing at a later date). Millie had a great idea that her bio should be: Master of the Barbie *Australian accent* Has multiple stab wounds from Nigel, she likes to show them off. 

The idea of the bios is something light hearted and fun with just a little bit of backstory so maybe we could develop their narratives after the Alpha and make it more personal. It’s also just a little bit of that Twilleir added fun that we wanted to include too.

Friday and the Weekend

Today I properly started designing the animations for the four stages of Harvesting in the mini-game. It hasn’t taken me too long to work on them, averaging at about half hour to forty-five minutes per ingredient, it’s just been hard trying to think of cute animations that people would want to see and wouldn’t look out of place. This will all come with testing when we arrive back from Easter where we can gauge from our target audience what they like and don’t like, what makes sense and what doesn’t etc. 

Next week is going to be intense as I’m going to be aiming to finish the harvesting ingredients by painting the four stages of each one (9 in total) and overall there are 36 pieces. This could be quite a lot of work to complete and may be time-consuming but once this is finished then it means that harvesting will be complete (all but some animation transitions! 

Millie has also spoken to me about the inside of the greenhouse background that she’s painting. She has asked me to finish the piece with bits and pieces such as spades, pots etc just to set the scene so that she can go on to work on the Crafting mini-game. I’ll be likely to work on this gradually through the week but will be prioritising the harvesting animations as these were my original tasks. These next few weeks are going to be pretty intense but I’m confident that we’ll be able to get our work complete and on time. 

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