As the trimester comes to a close, it is time to reflect on what I have made, learned and aim to improve next trimester.
Since I arrived late in the trimester due to awaiting my student visa to be approved, I only created three projects out of four that were assigned this trimester: personal experience, interactive music video and “home”. I was given the choice between creating a game based on a personal experience or art jam, I had chosen personal experience as I already had the idea for it and felt I could get it done within the week deadline.
What I have learned
The most obvious thing I have learned was that I needed to touch coding a lot more. Not only to improve my skills but my confidence as well. My lack of confidence in my coding led me to heavily rely on others to do it, which was unfair especially to Matt who was forced to do the majority of the programming for the projects we worked together on.
I need to improve on my documentation for projects (Game design document, etc) as it was severely lacking. Having better documentation would immensely help to keep the game vision clear in my head, and what needed to be done to reach that vision. Or see if rescoping was needed.
I relearned the lesson that communication is key in a group project, as it could determine if progress goes smoothly. It can make or break a project essentially. I am aware I need to work on this as I had allowed my frustrations at lack of replies to get to me and make me less willing to talk with my project partner.
I got to learn and experience what it was like working for an external client and with collaborators. This was a new experience for me as it was not something we did back in the campus I attended in Singapore. The closest I got to collaboration back in Singapore was when my class had the same modules as a film class for two semesters, so they put us together in the same class for those modules once a week. Any group work we did for that class, however, we tended to stick with our own class. While our lecturer back then tried to get us to work with other disciplines, we had a hard time finding anyone willing to work with us. Neither did I have to create a game for a client before.
Working on a game project that you know will be used for a student exhibition was an equally new experience. I never had to create a project with the knowledge it would be showcased, or been to a student showcase exhibition before as it was not something that happened back in Singapore either.
What I have learned about my own practice
I have noticed that any research I had done was specifically related to the project. Acclim for example, I only researched about Unity UI because we needed a pause menu and I decided to figure that out. I did not delve any further into the topic beyond what I felt I needed to know to put it together. Same for research: I kept it to what I felt I needed to know such as how they would have traveled in a steampunk world and how an employment contract was formatted/worded to replicate it.
While on the surface this seems fine, it meant I was not truly expanding my knowledge either. I kept it superficial to achieve what I needed.
I learned that my motivation fluctuated wildly while at home, compared to campus. This may seem odd or expected, but for me, it is a new experience. I usually assign myself a task when I return home and have a one-track mind focused on achieving that goal. During this trimester, I noticed that I had a hard time keeping that motivation and split it between procrastinating or struggling to keep the motivation. Although once I got working, I soon got into the zone and kept that momentum.
I realized that I avoided coding when I could, even though I would code if I needed to. This is a result of my lack of confidence in my programming skills. Along with I needed to express my concerns more often, I had noted that the game documentation seemed lacking and had expressed this to Matt once. He assured me it would be fine as long we understood the documentation and was needed. Instead of pushing it, I had accepted that. Or when it seemed when we may not reach a deadline.
What I plan to improve next trimester
- Communication – I aim to be more easily accessible for future group projects and communicate with them more whether it is just keeping track of what or where everyone is at in the project, or expressing a concern I have
- Get more active in coding – improve my confidence in coding and take on more coding tasks
- Be more proactive – instead of sitting around or asking for tasks to do, be proactive and find tasks to do
- Write better documentation and update it semi-regularly as the project progresses
- Finding ways to stay motivated when I find my motivation lacking
- Do more self-learning regardless if it is related to the current project or not
Where would I fit on the overall assessment grade scale
I feel I would fit somewhere between Pass Conceded or Pass. Although I am leaning towards Pass Conceded.
- I did not go beyond what was required for baseline requirements nor did I meet them all before the trimester officially ended
- I did not work on any personal side projects or did much self-directed learning
- I maintained an online presence via blogging although this became more sporadic towards the end of the trimester
- I did act on feedback given to me by lecturers
- I was able to work with fellow peers in class, and out of class even if my communication outside of class needed working on (was not always reachable)
- Missed some project deadlines and unable to show all completed work at the end of trimester