Research - GDO710 - Week 7
Week 7! Quite honestly, I am starting this week REALLY late. My work runs at the same time as my master's. At my university, we are approaching the final weeks of the student's projects. This means students freaking out (that will be me soon), staff need to send warning emails, staff need to have meetings with angry parents and prepare for the worst section: Grading.
Let's see how it goes! This week we start another rapid iteration session. I did not take enough advantage of the previous one and I plan to actually use the 2 full weeks (albeit starting a little late).
Class notes: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Welcome - Rapid ideation session 2.
Talk from Dr Michael Cook - Computational creativity for game jams.
Angelina - http://www.gamesbyangelina.org/
Tool: Concept net
Tool: Metaphor magnet
Recap on rapid iteration
Setting up Git using Github & Github desktop
Other clients for Git.
Discussion: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
Did everything go according to plan? If anything, what went wrong?
Did everything go according to plan?
No, of course not.
It was a sad, disaster. I went into the first rapid iteration nervous but had some confidence due to working in multiple game jams. However, due to outside work, I barely had enough time to develop the artefact I wanted. My time management was poor, you can read in detail about those blunders in my week 6 journal.
Disregarding my lack of time management during the last RI, I was pretty happy with the game idea I had developed. It is definitely something I would love to work on again in the future. I must ensure I spend less time in the concepting phase and move on to development. Don't get me wrong, Pre-production is vital for a project to succeed, I just believe I got too into my own head and didn't spend enough time in the engine. This time will change that! (Inshallah)
Is there a way you could build on your work from the first session? (Although we ask you to work on a new artefact, you might still consider using similar technologies or reflecting on similar themes).
Yeah! The concept is solid and I am highly motivated to continue working on this idea, if anything I am disappointed that I cannot develop the game further in the second RI session.
I want to fully complete the tutorial level and perhaps develop another one to further complete a proof of concept. If the idea works out, add juice, polish and then consider working on this game further. Either way, it is a great portfolio piece and a good return to making games.
Research: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
This week's topic is "Version control" is something that is essential to game development. There are different types of version control systems that are used by different industries.
Game development is an iterative process, meaning that we are constantly making changes and scraping updates which don't work. Due to the nature of the process, often work will be overwritten, improved and possibly broken. Version control allows for game developers to make those mistakes without reaping any consequences (unless you somehow corrupt the repo by updating the unity version and pushing those changes... I totally haven't done that before.)
Here's a scenario:
The developer creates an update for the game which gets shelved.
Developers continue working on the game, making improvements until the time the team can revisit the previously shelved update.
The team want to revisit the work which was previously shelved, thanks to source control they can jump into that version of the game and try it out.
Version control ensures that the team's most recent work is not removed and that they can jump back to the most up-to-date work without issues (theoretically)
One interesting method of version control I recently discovered was in a 3D sculpting software called Zbrush. The software has a handy timeline tool (Named: Undo history) where you can drag to see the incremental saves. It's a visual method of the undo tool and it looks great.
Most software tools have an "Undo" feature, however, there is usually no way to revert back if you do not like how far you have undone. Zbrush is one of the first 3D software that I have seen that implements a "Git-like" workflow.
Anna, you mentioned "Git" ... What is git?
Git is a source/version control tool which allows you to create and manipulate snapshots of work. Similar to the Zbrush example I gave above, however, it is used for files, code, art assets and more. With Git we can create multiple different branches to experiment with different features, then eventually merge that into the main branch. Here's an example:
Main > Public release 1 > Public release 2 > Public release 3 + Build 1.1
> Experimental build 1 > Experimental build 1.1 >MERGE TO MAIN
> Experimental build 2
A great feature of Git is collaboration.
Due to the structure of the tool, multiple different people can work on the same project and edit the files. Different Git service providers can allow you to upload your main project and store all of the previous versions. These versions can be downloaded to your local desktop. Once you make any changes to the project, you then "Commit" & "Push" these changes to the main repository (Repo).
This means now everyone else who has access to the Repo can access the changes you have "Committed" if they "Pull" the data.
When it comes to clients when using Git, there are many to choose from. When I was learning Git for the first time, I used a software called Sourcetree.
The UI is great and it's very easy to navigate, it's very clean.
But! Let's try learning new things, I have never used Github desktop and now is as good a time as any to learn. Here are a couple of alternatives which you can use if you're interested:
Github Desktop: https://desktop.github.com/
Weekly Webinar: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
Starting the new rapid ideation! This time there are two different themes:
Theme 1: Cyber.
The theme is Cyber. The image provided is a parody of the girl guides in the US who go door to door that sell brownies.
However, the brownies are replaced with crypto and data management. My initial impression of this theme is:
Horrible. Data management, crypto, and the ICT theme is not something I particularly enjoy. After watching the webinar, there were discussions on what the actual word "Cyber" means. This got me thinking of Cyberpunk and dystopian themes. Now I am getting more excited. I'll jump right into a mind map as soon as I finish writing this journal. The second theme was:
Theme 2: Re-make / Re-model
This theme acts as a way for individuals to work with different tools and try to recreate something. For example, I could try to recreate the prototype I made on a different platform such as Gamemaker or Unreal Engine.
This would be an interesting concept! However, due to the sake of time and doing this week MUCH later than it should have been, I think I'll stick with Unity and use the Cyber theme.
You can find more of my developments relating to the second Rapid iteration in my upcoming development journals.
In general, there are different ways that people will interpret information. It varies from person to person. It is wise to consider different models of learning when starting the ideation process to get you into a different headspace.
V.A.R.K is a method of determining what is your best method of learning. It stands for the following:
People which are driven by visual interpretation of information. This includes Mindmaps, Flowcharts, Brainstorming, Graphs, Images, Infographics & doodles. Using images to represent words.
Aural / Auditory (A):
People who learn more from information being"Heard or Spoken". This type of learner processed information best from the following: Listening to discussions, conversing with peers, webchats/lectures and talking things through.
People who learn from reading and writing things down. This comes in all forms, from rulebooks, documentation, patch notes, essays, assignments, and even writing journals!
People who learn from actions and doing real things. Using models, experiences and learning through trial & error. People who lean towards the Kinaesthetic approach learn through feeling, actually testing out the design through mockups and working examples.
I decided I would take the test to better understand where I fall. I have taken tests similar to this when I was much younger and I was leaning toward Kinaesthetic learning approaches.
It was no surprise when I received the test results:
Aural / Auditory: 5
It seems I lean more towards a practical approach, following that I like to see visual instructions laid out before I attempt the same action. I often find that learning from lectures in person benefits me the most.
When a teacher would give a tutorial on how to do something then expect the student to follow along. I have always learned best through this method. That being said, as time has gone on, I believe I have slowly become more of a visual learner. I enjoy creating visual images and doodles that better help me understand the content.
Regardless, let's get to work on the rapid iteration.
References: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXX
Sourcetree (N.d.) A free Git client for Windows and Mac. https://www.sourcetreeapp.com/ Accessed 2nd August 2022.
Pixologic (N.d.) Undo history. http://docs.pixologic.com/user-guide/3d-modeling/undo-history/ Accessed 2nd August 2022.
Falmouth University (2022) Week 7: Git Version Control [Falmouth University teaching platform] [website] Accessed 2nd August 2022.
Falmouth University (2022) Week 7: Kick-Off Webinar and Discussion [Falmouth University teaching platform] [website] Accessed 2nd August 2022.