A Tri in Reflection

Looking back, it never fails to amaze me that only a year and a half ago I knew nothing about Game Development, nothing about programming and game engines or design. It feels great to see how far I've come in such a short amount of time. Making consistent progress towards becoming a professional Game Developer has made time fly, and I can't wait to see what's coming.

Over the past tri, I've only worked on two project consistently, with sporadic training mixed in throughout. I focused a lot more on improving my code's structure, clarity and efficiency rather than branching out and learning more languages. This method, while specialised, is allowing me to learn techniques that I may be able to apply to other languages, and most likely accelerate my learning of those languages as a result.

The project I've been mainly trying to improve myself on is called Flow.  Like I outlined in Flow: A Reflection, the project management on the project wasn't the most amazing, and so I simply took it as an opportunity to provide for the team while actively attempting to improve my processes. This included writing a quick summary, actively commenting, following code standards and making the script concise and accessible. There are likely some improvements that could have been made, but sitting down, considering options and programming things that work first attempt feels really good. Seeing people look at and understand your code is also a huge plus, and helps out the team a lot. When fixing bugs in other's code, I would comment what I changed and on the handover tell them why. While I didn't get many opportunities to work with the others as a team, I feel that I played a substantial part in getting the project to it's current state, satisfactory or not.

One aspect of Game Development that I've taken a very large interest in is Virtual Reality. I'm acting on that interest in making a Virtual Reality game as my first long form project, Gunmetal Crusader: Star Overdrive. I feel that Virtual Reality is a very interesting platform as it is yet to really bloom as a platform. It's challenging me to take on new techniques as both a programmer and project manager and think about games more as the player. I think that as a project manager, I still have a long way to go. There's some aspects of my managing skills that I'd like to improve, things such as time management and communication, of course there are aspects of the team that I'd like to change, such as motivation and/or diligence and productivity. I've noticed that my team relies on me heavily to tell them what to do, and log their work for them, and I simply cannot do that for everyone. As a programmer, Virtual Reality challenges me to think differently, I've found that VRTK is an awesome platform to dive into VR from.

Aside from that I've become intrigued by shaders and game art, textures, modelling etc. After seeing some amazing examples of shaders from Joyce[MinionsArt] I've been inspired to learn more about shaders and what I can do with them. They're awesome, and I can't wait to start testing out shaders more thoroughly in the future.

But it's been a long, and difficult time with a lot of ups and downs. I lvoe to improve myself, but I also want to get something done that I can be proud of, a product to see people play that I don't feel is underwhelming. But I don't have to rush, I guess I'll get there in time.

 

Tylah Kapa