Semester Six, Production Two, Twenty-One Years Old
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
As I'm writing this, it is now the second Monday of this semester. It's my sixth semester out of (hopefully) eight at Champlain College, and I can't help but get a sort of bittersweet feeling in my gut when I think about how quick it's all passing by. I turned 21 less than a month ago, and it's really weird realizing that I'm actually becoming an adult. I have an internship lined up for this summer, I'm more self-aware and stable than I've ever been before, and yet it feels like I have so much I still need to figure out before I'm ready to be an adult. It's reassuring to know that these feelings are normal, but it doesn't make it any less unnerving when I still think about the fact that I'm not comfortable cooking, driving, nor any of the other skills I worry I lack.
Pardon any jagged linework, I was working on the wrong layer...
Yearly existential crisis aside, I feel pretty confident in my skills as a designer. I've got plenty of different skills at my disposal, and I'm in the process of learning Python in one of my classes, which will make data analysis much more effective. Speaking of classes, I'm taking those. My core classes seem decent enough, nothing too crazy, but the three classes actually relevant to my major and minor are pretty darn sick.
I'm taking Introduction to Data Analytics, which is where I'm learning Python. Again, super useful. Another class I'm taking is Game Systems and Experience Design. Considering the fact that I'm pretty sure my specialty is Systems/Mechanics, I plan to prove to myself that this really is my strongest suit. I'm hoping this class will challenge me to improve myself, and also give me a good grade. That would be nice.
Finally, there's the one class I've been readying myself to take since before I even started college: Game Production II. Our production classes are generally characterized by all four game majors coming together to work on games. It's arguably the most important line of classes in our curriculum. It gives our peers an idea of how we work as teammates, and it's where we get our best chance to make some pretty awesome portfolio pieces.
What made Production II the class I'd been bracing for? The fact that it'd be the first time we'd be choosing our own teams. I figured it'd be a lot more dramatic by the time I got here, so I've spent a ton of time socializing, making connections, and planning in advance. There was a pretty big contrast between my expectations and reality. The selection process was pretty casual, with each of us volunteering to hop into the slots of an empty team. It seems like nobody really got screwed over in my class, which was a relief.
In Production II we're currently at a phase of rapid prototyping, with each of our first few weeks being spent on a single digital prototype. We're currently wrapping up our first prototype, and I'll probably attach the documents I've done for it later, but that's pretty much the bulk of the work for it. Aside from that, the only other work I have for Production is to write my weekly Development Blog... oh, wait.
Well, there's the rubric. I know it's a little meta to post it here and I probably won't do it again, but I did make my introductory post about a month ago. For that reason, it would be a little weird if I answered this prompt without actually showing the rubric since I'd basically be repeating myself for any hypothetical dedicated readers.
So, let's answer the question. Where am I now as a game developer? I'm confident in my skills, although the standard I've set for myself is higher than most of the work I could have otherwise included in my portfolio. My strongest skills are systems and mechanics design, a clear vision of the kind of experience I want players to have, a strong ability to speak and present, and a wide range of design skills I have experience with. In particular, I'm confident in my level, narrative, and character design skills.
Within the next few months that make up this semester, there are plenty of skills I'd like to work on. First of all, I need to start playing FPS games so I'm ready for my internship this summer, but I know that's not what I'm being asked. The main things I want to work on as a designer are my stability, reliability, time management, and other important components to being an efficient team member. Previously, these skills have been my biggest weakness, so I've been working hard to improve them. I actually signed up for the particular section of Production II that I'm in due to the teacher, and the sense of structure, stability, and organization that is associated with him.
To give it a bit more gravitas, here are my main goals for the next five months in a list:
Maintain a consistent and reliable work ethic and lifestyle so I can be a more responsible team member.
Get myself prepared for my internship via coding in Python, learning to cook more things, and playing FPS games.
Create awesome portfolio pieces in my classes, and if I have time, during game jams.
There's also some whatever goals too, like lose weight, blah, blah, that's not design, now is it?