Being The Boss.

21-01-13

I’ve got a module this semester where in, we’re to work as small games companies. It’s straight forward enough, the class of 30ish students has been split into two teams of ten and we’re using the Cry engine and Scrum to create one prototype game each. The game has to be a FPS zombie killing game, multiplayer optional.

Now, in that we’re supposed be working as a games company we were all to be given roles based on skills and personal preference. These roles were to be given out by the company producer, an elected executive type role, basically the producer is the guy in charge. This role has real power in the module, they manage the team, make all the final decisions about the game and if necessary, discipline team members. The producer can actually have members of his team kicked off the module if it’s deemed necessary.

I’d put my name in for producer. Thinking that, if I got it, it would be good experience relating to my plans after graduation, I also thought it would be nice if I was actually put in charge of a project by my peers instead of just assuming the role.

The campaign was short, we stood in front of the class and presented our fitness for candidacy for 2 minutes each. I’m not well known at the university and I don’t even think I’m well liked, I have a habit of winding up total strangers and openly mocking design students, many of whom were on that module. I screwed up my ‘speech’ delivery pretty royally and made myself look a real idiot. But when the votes came in I (having snuck a peek at the count) was on top… oh… goodie.

So now, here I am leading one of three teams in making a game from the ground up. We’re using a commercial grade engine so it’s not nearly as much work as it sounds, but there’s still an awful lot to do, especially for me. I’ve got 10 other students relying on me to get a good grade in this module, I’ve got to manage their time, their tasks and the quality of their work. I’ve got to organise and lead regular meetings, orchestrate documentation and be held accountable for any and all the problems. I’ve also got to track it all and report on it. I have a lead artist, designer, tools developer, scripter and 6 team members assigned to various areas. In all I have 2 game designers and 8+ programmers, I’m still waiting for a couple a stragglers to be assigned to my team. All looking to me for decisive guidance and support…

What have I gotten myself in to?

Sprint 4 Demo and Reflection

Sprint 4 Demo and Reflection

Implementation of the wind grid went much smoother than I expected, the grid is simply an array of points and a wind force value, each frame the position of the ship is tracked through those points and the corresponding wind value is applied in a specified direction. Currently the wind force is set to a value that increases as the ship gets further away it’s an excellent proof of concept. With a little more work the colour values from a perlin noise image would replace the wind force values and create a much more realistic and dynamic game experience. Currently the array is 2D but would easily update to 3D.

Implementing the 3D perspective is still proving to be a challenge.  I’m going to do another sprint dedicated to it’s implementation.

What I would do differently?
Nothing. I’m happy with the use and result of this sprint.

What did I learn?
I’m putting the success of this sprint down to the design. The trouble I had implementing the gravity was likely the result of a lack of good design. With the wind implantation I had a good clear design.

Sprint 4 Planning

It’s time to start with the wind model.
This is actually the initial idea behind the project and it was looking like I wasn’t going to be able to manage any aspect of it, which would have been a shame.

So I’m starting small. I’m going to get the grid working. This will be a simple grid in which the ships position will be tracked. Each element of the grid will have effects of the wind assigned to it.

It all seems very straight forward so hopefully it will be.

While I’m at it I’m going to try to complete the 3D implementation.