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Rapid-Fire Student Postmortem: Full Sail’s Endless Wave

Sister educational site GameCareerGuide is quizzing IGF Student Showcase entrants, and this new feature has students from Full Sail University give a rapid-fire postmo
In an exclusive series about the 2009 IGF Student Competition, sister educational site GameCareerGuide is talking to many of the amateur game developers who are vying for a chance to compete. In the latest article, students from Full Sail University give a rapid-fire postmortem of the five things that went right and wrong while developing their audio-themed game, Endless Wave. Brendan Wesolowski and three other students developed Endless Wave, a fast-paced game of sound and color, while at Full Sail University. In the game, players control sound to destroy enemies and to hear each level's unique songs. Get hit, and the music stops. Judging by what went right -- team harmony, planning that resulted in polish, using a modular design, staying ahead of schedule (albeit accidentally) and suffering from few distractions while working -- it seems today’s student game development teams are truly (or finally) able to benefit from the advice and warnings of more experienced pros. And likely enough, the students’ list of what went wrong is very near to what professional game developers write in their own postmortems: threat of feature creep, feeling as if they never have enough time, not having enough staff to create assets, and struggling with implementation technology. One peculiar mention in the students’ “What Went Wrong” section is that they attempted to keep the scope of their game small and manageable, but were pressured by their instructor to be more ambitious. “When we presented our preliminary design document, [the instructor] looked it over for about 10 minutes and spent the next 30 minutes explaining what he wanted us to add,” the authors write. “Our original design was completely different from the final product, and we had to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to implement what the teacher wanted us to do.” As much as the students would have liked to build something they knew they could have complete success in, an educator’s job is to make sure she or he is pushing the students to try things beyond their core competencies. To read this latest student postmortem of Endless Wave, and for more coverage of the IGF Student Competition, visit GameCareerGuide.com.

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