GAT499 Journal - Getting Started

In this series of posts, I will be journaling my experiences GAT499, a project class at DigiPen. The goal of this class is to create an arc of revelations – an experience that continues to unfold and affect its consumer throughout. The first step in this process is to realize the scope of the project. To make a continually affecting experience, especially in the semester allotted, one must seriously consider the experience's length and scale. Too big of scope and the revelations will be too few and far between; too small and the revelations just won't be there.

I came up with two ideas immediately when deliberating this project. First, I could follow a song in process from start to finish: songwriting, composing, arranging, recording, producing, and mixing. While that seems like an arduous list, many of those elements (arranging, recording) play to my strongsuits. However, writing a song I like enough to finish is a crap shoot, and I have very limited experience in mixing and production.

My second idea was to remake the game I worked on last year, Bl/nk. For most of the two-semester timeframe, my team was developing a content-driven, narrative focused game that was way out of scope. When deadlines came, instead of cutting our losses and finishing a title that was making us all miserable, we came up with a small platforming deathmatch concept; and in an unprecedented four weeks later, Bl/nk was ready to ship. Being ready to ship does not however mean being satisfied. The gameplay was fun, but the end-to-end experience was very ragged. Some well-placed polish could take the game to an entirely new level, and this semester could give me that opportunity.

Both options are very enticing to me and pose a number of challenges. At the moment, Bl2nk (not the actual title) seems like a more rewarding – as well as acheivable – goal. However, I have been sitting in an all-time low of programming confidence, which makes it hard for me to want to work on another programming project. So it's Bl2nk for now, but with an open mind.