Robbie - Post Mortem - The Draft(s)

So, I wrote my post mortem on the team and myself, but next comes the post mortem on the class and how Champlain College handled the process of running something like a "realistic" studio, and my personal opinions and take aways from it. 

Before Draft One

The first thing I want to say, is that everything communicated by Champlain College to the students was pretty abysmal. Every teacher explained in a different way this whole process worked, and it became more and more stressful with each individual telling of how the night was going to go. This added stress lead to the entire cohort being on edge, and a lot of people doing things that they weren't proud of. Overall, it was not a very good experience. There was backstabbing, extreme miscommunication between students, and between students and faculty. People purposely trying to ruin the process and more. All this happened before the draft, and hopefully the school is aware of the problems this year arose and they'll deal with it. 

Draft One

Going into draft one, my stress was higher than it had been in college before, which was bad, but also probably a good thing to learn how to deal with.  Going into the draft I had all the people I had reached out to that was willing to work on the team, talked to every other team that has put their names down and worked out who I was going to get. But some part of me knew that was not going to be enough, and it wasn't. When we went through the first round of selection, another team chose a designer that we wanted to work with heavily and was our second choice pick. When we brought this up they were given to the other team because they said he was going to take over as a lead, where we were just getting him as another designer. After that caused a giant domino effect that affected many teams and made a lot of people upset. After that was more arguing for 3+ hours that I didn't really pay attention to because it was all pointless because I all the teams were gonna change anyways.

Post Draft One

Here we are, everyone's angry or upset, a lot of people are burning bridges, it's a good time. People are spreading rumors about other people and teams, creating a very toxic community for the Champlain College game seniors, and the first two days are terrible. No professionalism, just anger, bad ideas and lies. After those two terrible days, people start being more professional outwardly, but are still being mean, rude, and conniving inwardly, not thinking about the greater good for the "studio" but only thinking about how their game would be improved the best. Some teams were treating the new members from the draft like objects, no asking if they wanted to join the team or anything. It added more stress than needed to everyone.

And then we get an email, saying everyone that was in the last meeting would have to meet again Monday night at 8:30 pm, the week before finals. They also said we could NOT discuss team switches with the faculty until this meeting was over. They did not tell us why we had to meet, they did not tell us what we were discussing, so everyone exploded. Everyone tried to find out why we were meeting, throwing blame around, the entire cohort was a mess. So many deals were trying to be finalized without faculty input, there was no guidance, everything was actually falling apart. A handful of people wanted to cut their game to not have to deal with this, myself included, and it took away any positivity that going through to next semester gave. Somehow I stuck it out until Monday Night.

Before Draft Two

Two hours before the second draft meeting was going to happen, an uncle of mine passed away due to Alzheimer.  It was extremely taxing on my already stressed mental state, and luckily I was with friends who supported and helped me through this time. My team, being aware of my mental state, asked the professors if I could not come to this meeting and deal with this large family event, but I was forced to go regardless. I was thinking this meeting had better be important if I can't even mourn my own family. They said I could leave after their first announcements if I wished, and it wouldn't take long, so I was confused as to why I would need to go in the first place if you could just tell me the announcements after or over email. Regardless I went anyways, feeling the worst I ever had in my college experience. 

Draft Two

Going to the second part of the draft was terrible, I was visually not okay, and everyone around me was aware of it. I felt terribly for inconveniencing them, but I also had a lot going on. It was 20 minutes until our professors came to the class and told the announcement. The announcement was that someone had broken all confidentiality and had people listening in on their phone while the first draft was going on. That's a big deal, but also not a big enough deal for everyone to be sitting piled in stress for a weekend, ruining many friendships and all professionalism being thrown out the window. It was easily something that could have been addressed privately with the team that did it, or over email letting people know. It did not feel serious to the students, most of whom already were aware and did not really care that the "bug" happened. After this announcement, I was told I was able to leave, in front of everyone which felt a little odd, but I was happy to leave. Luckily, Luke was able to take control and do the rest of the night without me.

After Draft Two

A lot calmed down after draft two, but also a lot of bridges were burned. There are a handful of people that acted so unprofessionally during this situation that I can not in the future recommend them to any positions. 

Overall, I'm happy with how my team turned out, but also this has had negative effects on my feelings towards the school, and to other members of my class. It has also taken a big hit on my mental health. In the end, I wish that I had never had to go through this process, and hopefully Champlain will fix this in the future.