In my first game a week postmortem on Pong I discuss what went right, what went wrong, and what I learned from my experience. I discuss the importance of a Game Design Doc, creating a sense of Urgency and setting goals.
Well, it's Pong, everyone knows what Pong is don't they? It’s like tennis, ping pong or badminton where two players have paddles on two different sides of the screen. They use these paddles to try to hit a ball into the opponent’s goal on the opposite end like soccer. Everyone who’s into video games or game development should know what Pong is.
What Went Right
I actually completed it.
I created a Game Design Doc at the beginning of the project that helped me along with the project. The requirements and rules sections acted like a check list for me. I also used the checklist whenever I finished something, and looked for what to do next.
The Game Design Doc also helped me to limit my scope. I could have gotten fancy and done things to add to the scope, but I stuck to the design doc for the most part.
What Went Wrong
As part of my game a week challenge I wanted to limit myself to using Unity online Documentation as my only source of information. I did not want to use tutorials, but I ended up using two of them Brackeys, and Noobtuts. I ended up folding because I didn’t figure out how to bounce the ball up and down, and keep the ball moving forward while at the same time making it look and feel natural. So I felt kind of “Illiterate to Unity” having to fold for Pong of all games.
Because Pong is such a short, simple, quick, and easy game to make, I sort of slacked off on the game. I started off hot the first two days and then I was like “I’ll do that tomorrow, I’ll do that tomorrow.” So, I ended up making many things last minute. I felt like the hare from “The tortoise and the hare” The hare was so overconfident in winning because of how fast he was, that he thought he could slack of, and at the end loses the race.
Audio was one of the things that were last minute. I’m a believer in not using other people’s assets unless I have the license or authority to use it. So, I found some audio for my game which had a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons states that you have to give credit in your work to them. I couldn’t figure out where to put this credit, so I nixed the music.
What I Learned
- Use a Game Design Doc to Limit Scope - I learned that the game design doc is a great way to keep your game within scope. Setting the rules and requirements before you even start the game helps you to stay on course and limits scope creep.
- Use a Game Design Doc as a Check List - It is also great to use the design doc as a checklist. As you go along you can check off when you complete each requirement, and see what requirement to do next.
- Increase Scope or decrease Time to create a sense of Urgency - Since Pong was such a small game, and I realized I could slack off, I did just that. I either need to make games with a larger scope or with a shorter deadline.
- Make a plan with daily goals - I need to make a plan with daily goals to help with pushing the game forward.
I am really contemplating shortening my time to make games to less than a week to give me more fire to work on it. I haven’t started week two’s game yet, so I’m going to make a decision on this for next week’s game. I’m a bit scared of reducing the time to less than a week because I don’t want to end up over whelming myself.
I’m planning on using all the things I’ve learned above, and to use them more effectively going forward.
Full Game and Project Files
What tools or techniques do you use to help you stay within Scope?
What tools or techniques do you use to help you with Productivity?