Crunch and Cheese Time, Baby

For the past week and a half, we’ve been in some major crunch time, which is actually not really something that we’re used to. Magically, we were able to avoid a lot of major crunch last semester through two different weekly work sessions. However, with the feature lock fast approaching on the 12th of April, we’re now rushing to get everything listed on our feature list implemented in time.

That said, we’re not really feeling like we’re under all that much pressure, surprisingly. We’re still managing to get our work done. On this topic, a little while ago we had spoken about possibly cutting features since we really needed to get working on another trailer for our game as well as a team reel to present at the Senior Show. I say features but the only real feature we were discussing cutting was the Anti-Paladin, the third and final enemy type in our game, and the one that acts a a sort of “legendary enemy” so to speak. Needless to say, this thought was a little bit alarming, especially given just how much time the art team has spent on that single enemy alone. With it so close to the point where it could be added to the game, I came up with an idea that would save the work the artists had done. Cheese it, baby. By that, I simply mean that rather than have our Art Lead and Animator, George Sutherland-Howard, bust his ass to make a brand new walk animation for the Anti-Paladin, I told him to just take a “shortcut” instead. Luckily, the cheesy walk animation actually came out looking incredible and it only took about 30 seconds as compared to several hours filled with fine tuning and tweaking. Just as well, we decided that the Anti-Paladin would only have one attack animation in order to save George time and work so we had an even higher chance of getting the enemy in.

Cheese seems to be the word of the day….or week, I guess. We’ve also had a couple of our programmers (and I don’t recommend this, usually) cheese some of the easier-to-implement elements so that they could be implemented and tested faster. This would include a fix to a long-standing armor bug that has only served to make our game so easy to beat that it almost isn’t fun anymore. All of this could work as good advice though and hell, I’ve actually received the same advice I could give you all here. Just make it work. That’s all that really needs to be done. It doesn’t need to be pretty right off the bat, especially not in VR. Just cheese it, get it in and test it thoroughly. It can be made nice and shiny and squeaky-clean later on during the polish phase. In fact, it seems as though this has become (for some aspects, not all) our new motto now. It took longer than it should have for us to realize that we just need to be getting new stuff in as fast as possible and testing it before polishing it, but now that we know that, it’s full speed ahead. Watch out for more weekly updates as well as updates about any possible side projects I’m working on! Thanks for reading!

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