[2015.09.08 ~ 2015.09.22]Round 1 Production Process

 

Introduction

The objective of round 1 was making Kinect game that has a theme “The Guest(player) Helps Character A who is Afraid of Character B” in two weeks. Our team made the game named “Rain Dancer”. Rain Dancer is the Mayan-themed Kinect Dancing game that player has to rain-dance to put out a fire.

Week 0 ~ 1 (Brainstorming & prototyping)

Day 1~2

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Brainstorming and Filtering

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Choosing Final Ideas by team meeting

 Brainstorm – Started with 14 ideas, filtered with grading standards that the faculty suggested; originality, true to the “helping” theme, appeal, and engagement. Then, specified the game mechanic and theme and sorted again. Finally, we selected the “Raindance” idea.

Day 3~7

Prototyping – Specify more detail about the game mechanic and theme. We choose the Mayan art style, simple dancing move mechanic and story theme “By rain-dancing, a young mother tries to stop villagers offering her baby as a sacrifice to calm erupting volcano.” Then, arrange the workflow of the artists, programmer and sound designer.

Everyday Meeting – Everyday I checked the workflow and problem of the development process. It was helpful for manage/reschedule the process and making every teammate on the same page.

Problem – One of the artists have a strong opinion about the Mayan style, so the unifying style of art assets was difficult.

Solution – I intervene into the intense discussion. I have a conversation with all the artists and decided to follow the Mayan artistic style for the interim presentation. After this conversation, we could complete the prototype of our game.

Lesson  – Thankfully, artists teach me how to communicate with the artists through the conversation. I learned using references is much more helpful than just saying what I feel.

Week 1 (Interim presentation)

The interim presentation was very painful for my team because the general feedback about our game was “Difficult to understand the game”.

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Feedback Categorization & Solution find meeting

So I categorized every feedback from faculty and peer students and started to figure out what is the biggest problem. (The Feedback that I categorized is written below)

  1. Sound volume control
  2. Difficult Story
  3. Goal is not clear
  4. Complicated Asset & bad User Interface
  5. Unique but unfamiliar Style

We have an hour-long team meeting and get our own answer for the each problem. It was almost re-do but I convinced other teammates to do it. We rebuilt the basic game scene structure and started to apply reinforced user interface system into it. The story also changes into simple way;”Saving the village from the volcano by rain-dancing”.

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Solution meeting(was intense)

Problem – I was concentrating on fixing flaw of the game more than reinforcing a strength of the game and it requires lots of changes/work.  However, I didn’t check the morale of the team. Some of my teammates complained me that I made them demoralized.

Solution – I apologized to the teammates who feel bad about my direction. Then, I have to explain why the changes are needed. Also, I open myself to support other teammates’ opinion about reinforcing positive side of the game and it satisfied the teammates.

Lesson – I learned that producer has to care not only about the quality but also about what other teammates feel. Also learned If I believe other teammate and share my responsibility, it can make him/her happy.

Week 1 ~ 2 (Iteration & Final presentation)

Iteration – Overall, negative feedback turns out very helpful. It was an objective evaluation from the majority, and it made the direction of the game clear, so my team can effectively improve the quality. Every day, we made a daily prototype. We see the process and find the problem and solution, and applied the solutions. It changes our game a lot but it leads our game to the better way.

Lesson – I learn direction change of the game has to be led by feedback, not by producer or game designer’s decision. Also, I figured out applying all the good idea seems impossible. To keep the game on track, I had to convince other teammates a couple of time and I learned that producer needs firm standard and vision to manage the project.

And Final Presentation!

Final Feedback

  • Originality: A-

Theming and art style wonderfully and cleverly incorporated into experience

Actual interaction a little mundane

  • True to the “helping” theme: A-

Story sets up who we’re helping and why

Connection between dancing and saving the village is told to us, but still a little hard to see

  • Appeal: A

Beautiful style.

Great use of story to set up the experience and get the guest in the right frame of mind

  • Engagement: B+

Nice “in world” feedback with the lava meter and the rain

Good music to increase tension and establish the beat

Ending a little abrupt. It was hard to tell how close to the success we were. A shorter experience with well defined moments might have worked better than a long continuous experience.

Conclusion

My team quickly accept the flaws and apply it very fast, so we could improve our game amazingly. If we just disappointed because of the negative feedback, it would be impossible to improve the quality of the game. Every teammate learns the value of accepting failure. and all teammates satisfied with the result.

Team members: Joshua Hanjoon Kim (Producer/Sound designer), Kai-Chi Huh(Artist), Sarabeth Boak(Artist), Reuben Zhang(Programmer), Ruonan Zhang(Programmer)

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