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Relatively Painless Games - Week 10: Post Mortem

To start things off, our game didn't end up going through. From a criteria sense, the main thing that held the game back was the fact that it didn't communicate strongly enough to the player. We did know that that was the biggest thing we were missing, and it was, in fact, what hurt us the most in the end.

Despite that, though, we all walked away proud of the product that we made. Furthermore, we all learned a whole lot both through our successes and failures throughout this experience.

To start off with the failures, we did a few things wrong. Treating this class too much like production made us have a late start. The period in that we didn't work for a bit too long and focused on other classes put us behind. And finally, our inability to meet consistently due to scheduling conflicts was a constant thing that hindered us. The last one is hard to fix, but the first two could have definitely been more easily fixed through a few things such as better team communication to push us back on track and keep us focused on the task at hand. It hurt not having a producer, but we should have been able to do that even without a producer.

Then there's the game itself - the lack of game-to-player communication. To speak more about this, the main thing is that the players were unable to see what was fusing and how those fusions affected certain things such as attacks and difficulty. This ultimately made the player choice we were going for nearly impossible to represent, since they couldn't even see what player choices there were. In our process, I think we focused so much on the end goal of player choice and didn't put enough into ensuring that the players could actually effectively make those choices. Our priorities were a bit misaligned at points, and I think that ended up hurting us perhaps even more than the other failures above.

As for successes, we are all proud of the product we made. I'm very proud of the level. At the moment, it's simple. There's a lot more I wanted to do with them, however I didn't have a lot of time to put a ton more into the level. As such, I didn't want to do anything risky that detracted from the experience, and so instead I did very safe decisions in my level design to ensure that it remained fine. Even so, though, what I and the artist created was a compelling environment that looked beautiful and interesting to the players (at least according to QA results).

Furthermore, we are proud of the game itself. I did have some hand in the designing of the systems and UI as well, and I believe that the other designer and I created a strong experience that just could have used some more polishing on certain things.

Ultimately, though, this is not only a game that we can show off proudly, but that also shows how much Champlain taught us to create a strong player experience. Furthermore, I've been a Level Designer for a fairly short time, and I've already learned a lot when it comes to level design and I know I have a lot more to learn as well.

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