We made it!
I have a few highlights that I want to bring up before anything else.
First of all, I have to compliment my team. There was a lot of chemistry right off the bat, and it was an extremely smooth process in becoming part of this team. To start things off, before we even started our work, we figured out what all of our roles were. And so, early on, I was already established as the level designer. It was also obvious early on that we all got along very well.
After that, the lead level designer and I split our work quickly. We decided we wanted an endless mode and campaign mode early on. This was so that we could have a main game progression through levels for people that want to play games longer and an endless mode for people to quickly jump in and jump out of the game.
From there, I worked on level 1 while the lead worked on level 2. I decided to do as much of level 1 as possible in order to learn as much of the process as possible. We then decided that we needed to work on the endless mode, and since I already made so much progress on the campaign, we decided I would keep working on the campaign and he would work on the endless mode.
All that is to say that the processes were very smooth and things continued to work well. The level designers also had an established pipeline with the artists to ensure things could be easily implemented into levels without any problem.
I also definitely have to compliment my lead. We had repeated talks in order to make sure we had coherence between our levels and constantly discussed ideas regarding the levels.
However, of course, there were still some problems with development.
One big criticism I have about the process and that I know others shared was that I felt like we were constantly adding more content and features as opposed to iterating on already existing ones. This left a lot of the iteration to the end of the development process, which made it very hectic to try to refine many of things simultaneously. Many features got far less QA time than we were hoping for because of that, because we didn't want to fill the QA forms with too many different things.
If I were to go back, I would definitely want to spread out the addition of features in order to iterate more between features.