It’s the Final Countdown!

The Prediction Error team has worked hard this week to finalize our presentation materials and get ourselves that much closer to the final project for Sunday’s presentation. This meant rehearsing, preparing new media, fixing bugs, and finalizing the rest of the artwork.

New UI objects for character conversations:

Erin recorded a bunch of gameplay with lots of new features:

And we prepared our final set of revisions for our slidedeck!

This is the 36th week of Senior Project, and it’s time to start reflecting on what we’ve accomplished.

This whole shebang started when Sydney and I decided to split off from our original team to build our own and make something a little bit out there. We resurrected an old concept and starting working it into something that could be a capstone project for our time at Drexel.

We built a team of people we knew we’d want to work with.

We set ourselves as team leads.

Here, I want to take space to reflect a little on the experience of being a team lead: the places I felt I did well, and the places I could have done better.

I think both Sydney and I were very good about being accessible – one of us was on hand to answer questions almost all the time. I, personally, was reliable in making sure our weekly updates got in on time and that the mountains of paperwork and preparatory documentation we had to do got sent to the right people. I feel I did well answering my teammates’ questions while fielding concerns from professors and adapting plans to suit what they felt would be best for the project.

Where I feel I struggled was with being proactive. Often, due to most of the team having several other weekly obligations, schedules got pushed back and questions didn’t get asked of me until too late; I should have been more on top of anticipating needs and offering help earlier in the week. My schedule, too, pushed things until later than I’d have liked and so my work tended to get done late at night and in a rush too.

I also didn’t contribute to the art as much as I’d have hoped – I spent my time with my hands in the code or screaming at other deliverables. Finally, I wish I had planned more regular meetings with our sound team – ideas got miscommunicated because we weren’t in touch as frequently as we could have been, and that caused some difficulties in getting the right things in the right places.
Overall, though, I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of this team. No member had an easy go of it – we’re all involved with clubs, classes, extracurriculars, D&D groups, EGS projects, co-ops, grad schools, job searches, and about a million other things – and we were still able to finish an hour-long VR experience that people actually enjoy playing.
I’m proud of us.

The weather is getting warmer and Senior Showcase is getting closer! We’ve been working hard to polish everything up for our big day. Lots of changes and updates were made to our showcase slidedeck and video, and we fixed the two biggest bugs in our game.

The player can now throw the DNA lamp in what is being hailed as a “groundbreaking feature.”

Our artists are hard at work finalizing everything from character models to the decorations in Ellis’ lab.

Plus, we have new media, like this showcase poster.

We’ll see you next week for final updates and individual postmortems!

Tasks:

  • Bugfixing – 3h
  • Gameplay Recording – 3h
  • Showcase Deck – 3h
  • Implement Madeline – 2h
  • Re-UV Machine Model – 1h
  • Small Sound updates – 30m

Total Hours: 12h30m

Positives: 

We’re ALMOST THERE! The time I spent banging my head against Navmesh was well worth it despite it ultimately being irrelevant to the actual fix for the problem. It’s a programming truth that it often takes several hours to figure out a 5-minute bug fix, and after about six hours over the last two weeks, I was able to track down that 5-minute fix for our “characters getting stuck problem.” That and SnapGrabbable working with gravity were the two biggest remaining bugs in the game – keyword were. I took care of the getting stuck issue and Samara was able to make SnapGrabbable work as intended. I recorded a TON of gameplay footage for Joe to use in both our showcase video and in other videos for our slidedeck.

Additionally, I was on coordinating the slidedeck updates themselves, which were pretty major after our meeting with Dr. Muschio on Thursday – he gave us some great feedback that we’ll be putting into practice this week and next week for the final (we’re still waiting on some media because our team members have a finite amount of time).

It might be a meme (shoutout to Joe for the overlay), but here’s a pitcure of me working on setup for gameplay recording, which (if you include the preparatory and intermediate bugfixes) took up a significant portion of my weekend.
At least our apartment wall makes a good backdrop.

Negatives: 

If Erin isn’t stressed, did we really submit a slidedeck? Unfortunately, I had some miscommunications with Joe about who was doing what and needed to jump in at the last minute because I hadn’t realized some things were my responsibility. Additionally, late materials from teammates greatly delayed my gameplay recording (I finished about 7 hours later than originally planned) and my compilation of the slidedeck itself. We also ran into some issues actually submitting it, because why not? I’ll be planning to get to this MUCH earlier next week for the final so I don’t actually have a heart attack 2 weeks before the showcase.

Also, I didn’t get to the updated soundtrack implementation like I wanted to. However, I did chat with Shiloh about structure and whatnot, and only have a few more decisions to make before I get all the new stuff in. It’ll be done by this time next week.

Looking Ahead: 

  • Final slidedeck
  • Bugfixing/polish
  • Finalize all music

How is it already Week 7?

Senior Showcase is just around the corner, so all of our senior project energy has gone towards finishing things up for our June 2nd final. This means constant work on refining our presentation for the showcase, as well as the final push to get the last of the needed parts in the game.

Our shiny slidedeck.

We’re rounding out the game itself with a few new assets, finalizing artwork, and finishing Ellis’s

And we’ve started working on a video compilation of our more hilarious bugs.

It wouldn’t be a Prediction Error production without some very amusing bugs.

Next week, we’ll be recording gameplay, and polishing polishing polishing!