Reflective Journal 16/3/2016

So it’s been a while since I’ve reflected. I’ve spent the last two weeks primarily focused on my essay for the Reflective Journal Module. I learnt a lot from researching the various topics associated with Photo-reality and was pleased to see that the learning I had last year concerning the Uncanny Valley played a big role in the essay I wrote. Its pleasing to know that there’s some continuity in the learning (as I’d expect).

I gained further insight into how we should be choosing our visuals for our game, we shouldn’t really decide on a permanent aesthetic until we have nailed down the mechanics. The game-play should derive what kind of graphics we need for a game, and most importantly, good graphics cannot hide bad game-play. This can be seen for example in games such as Tomb Raider and even in other media such as Jurassic World (Substituting bad narrative for visuals in this case). Surprisingly I really valued what the module has taught me in relation to design decisions. I think that it has opened my eyes and even now I can recognise the decisions other developers have made in other games to make them successful. This knowledge will serve me well in my future career and even in my third year to make games that are appealing. I hope it will also aid in my decision making in regard to product direction and when we need to cut features.

However the Reflective Journal was the source of a lot of stress and I think it pulled us out of the development mindset for a few weeks. You can see the lack of updates on the blog as a result and overall team enthusiasm dropped. For next year I think it will be imperative to ensure that our Studio Practice ties in better with our Reflective Journal Module, otherwise there is the potential for this to happen again. It will also be extremely important to make sure that we take regular breaks to stop ourselves from burning out as it is likely with the longer project length.

For my work for my project however. I have really enjoyed working on the Speaker for the past few weeks and now I’m happy to begin work on our checkpoint marker. I have already got into the flow of what work I should be producing which is really helping out. I’m confident in my work, I have also been looking at pixel art tutorials consistently to ensure that I’m learning as much as I can to improve my work quality for this project. The concept work can be seen in my Sketchbook and in my blog posts. The team was really happy with the work and animations I have done for the Speaker and the effects that run alongside it. It’s been fun to experiment with different techniques and see my team’s response to different approaches.  The second Sprint is almost over and I’m looking forward to our meeting tomorrow to discuss our progress!

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