May 6 – 10

This week, I worked on adding some particle effects to the environment. So far I’ve only done some water and some mist for the treasure rooms, but even with just that I think the particle effects really give the level life – adding moving elements and some extra color to break up the grey of the stone bricks. Once I finish with the lighting pass, I think the level will look great.

Beyond the development of Spellshot, a highlight of this week was definitely running a playtesting session! The Drexel Game Development Group (DGDG) held a game showcase at the end of the week, and we were lucky enough to get a spot to show people what we have with Spellshot so far. I was a little uneasy with the fact that the environment was far from finished, but recalling something I heard at a talk regarding playtesting: “If you’re not embarrassed to show it, you’ve waited too long.” Looking back, I’d say this is true. We got a lot of useful feedback that will definitely help us moving forward. Reception of the game and the environment was actually mostly positive, contrary to how I thought it would be. I guess it goes to show that as a developer, knowing what your game could and should be often makes you look at it through poop colored glasses.

Aside from Spellshot, another cool thing I did this week was tag along with Nick and Vince to a meeting with a client for another DVNC project. This was the second one I’ve gone to so far, and I think they are a great opportunity to learn about contract work and the business side of the gaming industry. I don’t really have much to contribute to the conversation because I’m not involved in the actual development of the project (it’s a 2D game and I’m a 3D artist), but even then I think it’s a valuable experience because I get some insight into how these meetings are conducted and what they talk about, ask questions, and meet some interesting people. If that isn’t enough, we got treated to some beer and food at a great bar! I was actually hoping to learn about the business side of games when I joined DVNC – it was one of the reasons I joined a small startup – and I’m glad I’ve already ticked this box only a month into coop. Just from listening to them talk, I realize there’s much for me to learn!

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