Rob - Post Mortem

Frog Snatchers has made it through to next semester!

I'm excited to continue working on Frog Snatchers in the upcoming semester. I think there's a lot of cleanup that needs to be done before starting full on production, but it's all well within reach. With the new additions to the team, I think Too Tired will be even more of a power team to watch out for.

These first 12-15 weeks of work definitely had a lot of ups and downs. Since our team had worked together before, we started off pretty strong. We were able to group up and brainstorm ideas, then get together and really talk about all of them. Adapting to the 8 AM class was no easy feat, and I think we struggled to convey our ideas and intents for a while. After a few weeks of hit or miss presentations, we continued to adapt and then started presenting information in a way that I think resonated with class members more, and ended up earning us much more valuable feedback. Around the halfway point was when I'd say we found a bit of a stride and started pushing out big updates onto the game.

Working with Robbie, Luke, and Lillian is a blast, and I couldn't be happier with a four person team. There's a lot of synergy there, and I feel like I'm a real part of the team, even though I was the one who joined a few weeks late last semester. This time around, we had regularly scheduled meetings and a few Team Dinners which helped us maintain focus/motivation on the game, as well as enriching our personal relationships.

Individually, I felt that I developed a lot of really useful skills and was able to really showcase what I've been learning in my Programming minor. I'm primarily a designer (as per the title on my eventual degree), but with Robbie taking on some of the producer tasks, I filled in on programming tasks when necessary. I was in charge of Systems Design, so I'd brainstorm mechanics and critical systems, flesh them out a bit on paper, and then prototype them. More often than not, the prototyped version I created would end up in the build the next week, with minor tweaks to make sure it fit into the game properly. This style of development leads very easily into quick iteration cycles and constant testing. 

In some ways, I felt that I was responsible for taking the ideas the team would come up with, and giving them some sort of tangible representation in the game. While this was daunting at first, I realized it was important to just get it done as well as I can, and quickly. The faster I can show something to the team, the quicker we can get feedback and improve on it. 

The best examples of this are the movement and combat systems. Every week I came back with at least one improvement to these systems, and now they're some top notch systems. They both have a lot of room to grow, but the growth on both of them within this semester is really impressive to me. I mostly attribute this to the success of constant iteration with clear intent, especially when its based on valuable feedback.