The idea of the game was executed well for the most part, the aim was to create a top-down game dungeon explorer with a simplistic art style behind it. The art style matched well to the retro-theme we intended to make, all characters, environment and sounds blend well and it’s hard to spot anything that sticks out too drastically. In regards to the functionality of the game, it runs well and catches all of the aspects we intended to create. The game engine used was additionally helpful to achieve our idea as it was an engine we were familiar with and could easily familiarise ourselves with in terms of how coding and assets were laid out. As a result, this meant animating sprites was easy to understand format the animation to best fit the programmer’s needs.
Due to limitations of the engine however, there was only so much we could accomplish for our project until we ran into either glitches (Which were later resolved), and other elements that would have taken too much time out of our more prioritised plans in order to implement. As a result, things seem ironically too minimalistic than they were originally intended to, an example of this would be the animation plans for the menu screen being limited by what the engine was capable of rendering, the alternative solution becoming breaking the image down into separate objects and animate them via set paths within the engine. Whilst this achieved what we originally wanted, the animation was a little too shoddy and awkward than we would have liked.
As a whole, there were no significant weaknesses besides a few minor things that could be improved with additional time.
Project Leader/Programmer Review
Our Programmer and Project Leader was easy to communicate and always kept up to date with our progress on the project, he would keep track of the two scheduled weekly meetings and would reorganise times/days to best suit what would be easier for the group. He would make it clear what he needed and whether or not there were any conditions/specifics to how he would like the asset in question. As a result of this communication, it was easy to understand what was needed to be done and created. Critique was provided honestly to better understand areas that could have been improved or otherwise what needed to be adjusted, for example specific frames and animation sets for specific enemies.
Despite keeping well on track with the team members involved in the project, I feel things were a little too demanding at times where deadlines seemed too strict for the tasks provided at hand. Animation can take time depending on the complexity of the time and often require more time than the previously requested deadlines.
Project Artist Review
Our Artist did well adapting to the planned art style, nothing specifically stuck out when putting our separate assets together and seemed to have a good understanding on creating the minimalistic art style of creating a simplistic all while maintaining details to liven up the scene. However, there was no real communication between the artist and myself, whether or there was any major reason to communicate more than we had done, it might have helped readjust our art styles to do a better job merging and perfecting both character and environment designs.
He turned up to group meetings (Excluding rare occasions something came up) and cooperated well to best fit the needs of what was needed to create the levels. There would sometimes be a few assets whether it would be for the interface or the level itself that did not reach expectations and were later on revised, despite these setbacks, he was still able to keep up with the pace of the work.
Overall, I feel like I’ve contributed well to the project, the minimalistic style allowed me to keep up well with the project without the need of going overboard with details, the animation fit well with the style of the game as well as the environment. However, despite creating the assets to satisfactory levels, there were a few things I wish I had personally done better. During the development of the project, I had requested a couple of extensions on my deadlines due to the process of creating the animation of the characters and the stress of other assignments outside of the project that were due at the time.
Besides the setbacks, there were a few ideas I had in mind that would best make the characters feel involved with the environment around them but were left aside due to how insignificant it was to other priorities for the project. An example of this would be the shading process of each character and discussing a source of light with the development team, a unique light source system was implemented earlier into the project for this idea but was later scrapped due to how intense this feature was on the engine, leaving the project prone to slow downs and crashes. The idea of shading in the scene also relates back to the lack of time or general interest as well as the lack of communication between myself and the artist.
As a result to the lack of time, it seemed like the animation side of things was too ambitious in the position we currently were in development, resulting in corner cutting and reducing the perspectives for each character in order to make better time and room for the animations of each perspective and characters, additional perspectives was then looked at as an afterthought which unfortunately still didn’t make it into the game. The animation turned out well overall, however, better communication on my part could have been used to give a better idea on how I visualised the animation to look when placed into the game as the animation was created with a specific timeframe in mind, this could otherwise be looked at as a personal opinion.