Whew. Halfway through. We are halfway through my last year here, and halfway through capstone. I'm incredibly proud of all of the game studio. I'm incredibly proud of Team Nitro Fist. I'm incredibly proud of myself.
In this semester, I took on many things I was uncomfortable with - such as a jump into 3D work, that I wasn't comfortable with at the start of the semester. Now, I kind of enjoy it, and have such a better understanding of the entire process that seemed overwhelming to me at the start.
In the beginning, we wanted a 2D fighting game. In time, we began to scope things out. If we wanted the game to feel as best it could, we needed to cut down on characters, environments, and so forth. The hard choice eventually had to be made - we kept hearing that doing thousands of 2D frames was a bad idea. Yeah, it was. But for a while there we considered it - neither Sean nor I are 3D artists. Our specialties lie in 2D. But if we wanted to make this game as best we could, we had to get out of our comfort zones. So we did. Johnny Fuego was brought to life in 3D.
In retrospect, I wish we had made the switch sooner. Or at the very least, been more open to it earlier. I should have explored more options from week 1. I'm so happy I had that experience here though. Going forward, I don't think I'll ever make the same mistake of settling on something that important from the beginning.
Communication, however, I think I was rather strong with. Better than ever, even. There were no major miscommunication issues, and I pretty consistently reached out to my team and professors in order to get feedback, and make sure we were on the right track. In fact, faculty feedback was the whole reason we changed to 3D in the first place. I want to continue to get this kind of feedback and clear communication going into the second half of our project.
As for the work I put in... I think I pushed myself, but I'd like to continue to push myself harder next semester. I did a lot for my project this semester, but it was a learning phase as well. I had to learn a lot about the entire 3D pipeline, as well as how it was integrated into Unity.
Next semester, with this in mind, I want to put in 1.5x the amount of hours I put in this semester - at least. Since I'll have lead artist duties taking up a lot of time, I don't want all my time to be sucked into that. So if I put in that extra .5 time, hopefully that way I can continue to make assets and work for the project. For instance, we're going back and remaking the Johnny Fuego with a higher polycount - as one of our advisers told us we could afford to have much higher count models in the game. So I'll be remaking the model from scratch, making it have shape language that's more similar to the concept art, and putting the old animations to the new model.
Whew. I hate adding walls of text to these posts. But I think that covers about everything I have on my mind, going forward.
I can't wait to see how this game grows in the next few months.
© Cole Kirkpatrick 2017