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:

  • Showcase Deck Revision: 3h
  • Bugfixing: 4h
  • Playtest: 1h30m
  • Balance Victor Audio: 1h
  • Spatialize Police Chief Sound: 5m

Total Hours: 9h30m

Positives: 

Spent lots of time in-engine this week doing a whole bunch of things. I’ve figured out where our major NavMesh bug is happening, which is good – I know where I need to start from when fixing it this week. Joe and I took sound balancing off of Sydney’s plate so she can breathe for once in her life and not implode before the showcase. Additionally, we made some major upgrades to our showcase deck and I’m looking forward to showing it off in class. I also managed to get one person in-headset to help us find bugs, which is always nice. The sound team has promised me 4 or 5 new tracks this coming week, so I’ll also be working to implement those.

This is, uh…not supposed to happen.
What even are animations
Madeline, that’s not how human bodies are supposed to work

Negatives: 

I am concerned the NavMesh bug might only be able to be resolved by rethinking how we handle it, which will take a good deal of time and is not an ideal situation. Also, midterms ate my life. There are never not bugs to fix. I might enlist Samara to help with Navmesh if she’s available so I don’t actually commit a murder while working on it.

Looking Ahead: 

  • Finish police chief scene
  • Cut together and balance Ellis audio
  • Fix Navmesh
  • Help Sydney set dress
  • Revise showcase deck
  • Implement music from sound team

Oh, we’re screaming all the way to graduation.

Tasks:

  • Bugfixing/Polish: 5h
  • Hang poster: 1h
  • Showcase deck: 2h
  • Clean mocap data: 1h30m

Total Hours: 9 hours 30 minutes

Positives: 

Everything is happening! I’m getting new material on an almost daily basis to put into the game, and things are looking really, really good. I spent a bunch of time bugfixing this week, and Samara and I have been splitting up tasks left and right to make sure every bug gets addressed. I’ve got my hands on a bunch of new stuff to put in this week as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing all these goodies get into our game.

“You’ve opened frequently”

Negatives: 

There’s still work to do! We’re all tired, midterms have pushed us to our breaking points, and graduation is so close but so far. It’s a matter of somehow forcing ourselves to just get it done.

Looking Ahead: 

  • Bugfixing, polish
  • Keep putting stuff in

MIDTERMS!

We’re sprinting (or flinging)

Tasks:

  • Machine Model Smoothing – 1h30m
  • SFX work – 1h
  • Police Chief ccene – 1h
  • Playtest Prep & Host – 4h
  • Hook up new corpse model – 1h
  • WIP build – 30m

Total Hours: 9 hours

Positives: 

THE GAME IS COMING TOGETHER! I’m getting my hands on more and more things to get the final versions into the scene and get this game looking and running as best as it can. We ran a great playtest with some of Samara’s coworkers, which gave us insights into how people who have never played the game before react to it. I’m currently planning another test with brand-new players for this weekend.

Negatives: 

Lots of stuff got to me on the late side and didn’t make it in to this week’s build because, to be frank, it was 2 AM and I decided to prioritize getting sleep. Here’s to not letting school get in the way of my health. There’s still work to do.

Looking Ahead: 

  • Bugfixing, polish
  • Implementing ALL OF THE THINGS!