[Taken from my reflection report] 1140 × 250
In this progress reflection report, I will be reflecting and discussing the I Will Prevail project for CIU212. I will be focusing on what went right, what went wrong, any unexpected events that cropped up and future plans for the project in the next trimester.What Went right
Despite the road bumps that the team has encountered, the project has progressed fairly well so far. There were clear milestones with a clear project idea and final product in mind that kept me motivated on the project. It made me motivated to ensure we got as much work done as we possibly could: establishing and reiterating pipelines, getting the research done so we can hit the ground running when the next trimester begins with project production.
Throughout this trimester, I have attended all the group meetings except for one and have always been on time. I push myself to make sure I get the tasks assigned to myself are done and to the best of my ability. To ensure my work ethic stays consistent, I will stay dedicated to the project by finishing my tasks to the best of my abilities, cooperate with the team and continue to be reliable as a team member.
To further improve my work ethic, I want to improve my communication with the team, as well as managing my time wisely in order to balance work and rest. While I ensure that I have a day off to myself, I often forget to take a break at all during my ‘working’ days due to focusing on making sure my self-set goals are completed.
I am defining time management as the way I organized and planned my work schedule. I believe my time management for the game project, I Will Prevail has been good. For this project, I created a work schedule where I assigned the tasks to specific days with a cutoff day set which serves as my day off from all school work, to give myself a break. This allows me to focus on my work during the day by focusing on the allocated task of the day with minimal distractions. To help support my schedule, I write tasks assigned to myself as a list onto a sticky note which is then placed somewhere within my constant line of sight. As I finish the tasks off, I cross them off the list which helps keep my motivation up as I can clearly see evidence of my milestones being completed.
To improve my time management skills, I need to work on scheduling tasks over a longer period of time which would be immensely helpful for my role as project manager. This includes adjusting the schedule to take into account that certain tasks will take a longer time to be completed (e.g. programming).
What Went Wrong
Team members withdrawing from the project
Initially, the project team included an outsourced programmer and an animator. Within the first few weeks, both the programmer and animator withdrew from the project with minimal warning. While the two game designers and I did have some programming experience, it was not our area of expertise. With critical roles missing, this led to the major rescheduling of our planned tasks and reallocation of roles/tasks amongst ourselves.
The team and I now faced the challenge of trying to meet our deliverables deadline compounded by our increased workload. We tried to address this by looking for other animators and programmers who were willing to work with us, on a contractual basis. The hope was that if we could find someone to fulfill either role, it would free up the designers’ time to focus on the other area.
As we were unable to find other collaborators with short notice, we decided we would learn to do those tasks ourselves. During production next trimester, and in future projects, I will be looking for collaborators who are committed and interested in the project I am working on. In order to make sure production goes smoothly, there will be contingencies in place if we are unable to find collaborators.
As one of the project managers, communicating with my team is something I need to improve upon. Throughout the trimester I struggled to voice my concerns as well as getting consistent updates on the team’s progress which made one of my jobs, updating the team’s Gantt chart to reflect our progress very difficult.
In order to improve my team communication, I will not be relying on a single messaging platform, as well voicing any concerns I have much earlier. If I need a prompt reply from the team, I will message them on multiple platforms (e.g. Facebook, Slack, phone numbers) to ensure the message is received. To further improve upon team communication, I plan on suggesting to the team to set up regular meeting times whether it is face-to-face or virtual (Slack/Discord). This would allow the team to stay up-to-date where everyone is on their assigned tasks. If these solutions can be implemented, team communication will be more consistent and allow the project to run smoother with the bonus of the team working together more cohesively.
Project pivot – 3D PC game to 2D mobile
The biggest unexpected event, from my perspective, was the major design pivot of the project. The project pivoted from being a 2 player PC game with 3D models, to a single player 2D mobile game for the Android. As I was absent when the design pivot was decided, I was caught off guard when I was informed about it as I kept working on the project under the assumption it was still being done in 3D. A smaller unexpected event was being informed we should implement a plan for the game to generate revenue.
With the pivot in the game’s direction, we had to adjust our documentation and project management plans to reflect these changes which slowed the team down even further. I had to adjust my work schedule to take into account the time needed to learn new tools and restarting my programming research for what the game would need code-wise. Despite this, the team and I kept our positive outlook as we adapted to the project’s new direction. From my perspective, I see it as a chance to expand my skills and challenge myself further as I primarily worked with 3D games for the PC platform, therefore working on a 2D mobile game will be a completely new experience for me.
I am looking forward to continuing work on I Will Prevail and expanding my skillset to include new skills. I aim to improve my communication with the team, while ensuring my time management and work ethics stay strong. By implementing aforementioned solutions, I am confident that the production phase of the project will go more smoothly. I believe that I Will Prevail will be a solid piece not only my game design portfolio, but for my fellow team members.