Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just one perspective: Sprint 1

Game design is hard. As somebody with little programing experience, the tediousness of play testing edits/versions of a game has been the most challenging aspect for me thus far. Every round is thoroughly critiqued and ideas are spit-balled by the dozens.

For new readers: our semester is broken up into two-week sprints. At the beginning of each sprint the team meets and conducts a morning meeting evaluating the goals we need to reach, the steps to accomplish the task, and time management those steps. Each day we have a SCRUM meeting for roughly 15 minutes where we individually give a brief and informative speech on what we accomplished yesterday, the goals for today, and hurdles we for-see having to cross. The final day of the sprint, the team reconvenes to evaluate the execution of the goals we set earlier.

Sprint 1 was intense. We had our individual responsibilities, but the main goal was to develop as many prototypes as possible. Prototypes of games needed to include key feature such as: be fun, relate to a list of topics that parallel to exhibits at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and function logically after play testing.

Several people had many proposals. The primary focus: Creating a “fun” game. A majority of prototypes were sent to the “graveyard” in the first day’s trial. Personally, most of my ideas didn’t make it to paper prototype stages let alone even to play testing stages.

At the end of the sprint, the entire group discussed prototypes that out shined the others. Though a large handful made it to the white boards, three of which were heavily preferred when asked the big question, “Which do you want to present to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum?”

Thankfully each of the three teams has great minds working together, accepting creative progress, analyzing the best outcome, and working collaboratively to design pretty amazing prototypes. We will present these to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum within the month once we polish up the details.

There is a lot of respect between members and individual incentive is overall outstanding. Through the frustrations we strive and resolve to productive solutions. I wouldn’t jinx it by saying it out loud, but this is quite possibly one of the best environments for college students to create something amazing. It is inevitable for problems to arise throughout development. Our goal is to design the best solution in order for the final outcome to be fun, educational, polished, and meet our target audience's expectation. Game design is hard.

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