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Project Pitched, where to go from there?

So your a student and your two-man pitch got selected as one of the projects to work on in a four-man team. What do you do next?

Daniel de Ridder

April 6, 2014

3 Min Read

So your student project pitch was succesful. 
You have presented your project, standing in front of your classmates and teachers as a nervous wreck. It is your biggest and most important project since you signed up at this school.
The votes were tallied and you get assigned 2 other classmates that voted for you to work on the project for the coming 8 weeks.

That is what happened to me. 

We had a fairly simple game concept to present and while presenting it, it felt as if I forgot so many details of the how and why our concept was the way it was. And as it turned out, I did forget to enlighten our teachers about a few core pieces of our concept. Despite that, the project got an OK and we could start working on it with our new "recruits".

As we sat down around the table to discuss the direction for our project, I looked into their previous projects. Both of the assigned classmates are artists, just like myself. That means we only have one programmer on board to figure out how to get our final product to function the way we envision it. Drats.
The artwork that the classmates produce is pretty amazing overal. Compared to my own, it is full of detail, twisted bodies, crazy colors and lighting. I was warned by some of my other classmates that they tend to get lost in the details of their work and I tend to agree with that. But we could work with it.

The first question they asked was about the art style. 
I used 16x16 pixel character sprites during the presentation because those were the fastest to whip up in the short time we had to prepare for our pitch, so it was understandable that they wanted a bit more. As their argument standed, the sprites ingame were quite different from the ones I used to show the character concepts in the pitch itself.

So I promised them to double the amount of pixels allowed in the characters, since the Unity engine would have little problem with that. Coming tuesday we`ll discuss the matter of the character's design itself, so we`ll probably get to redesign her completely.

The second question was about the setting. So far, I thought out a space colony where the main characters would be (honest) workers just earning a buck.
They suggested that the work that the player would do in space could be an illegal activety, to add some sort of "Space police" to the mix in order to create some sense of urgency.
On that level, I declined for the most part. We would see if we could add something like that to the mix, but I didnt want to stray too far from the core "hard working" character I created in the pitch. 

When we strayed away from the story and artstyles, into the mechanics department, they got enthousiastic about the project again. They had some great ideas for mechanics and even convinced me to add a few things I previously dismissed as overly complex or not fun enough.


In the end, what I`m trying to point out here for all other Game students that might read this blog, sometimes you gotta give in and sometimes you gotta stand your ground when it comes down to your game idea. Sure, you have to be able to kill your darlings, but if your concept was one in many that got selected by your classmates and teachers, you have some grounds to stand on.
Your concept was obviously one that grabbed the attention and imagination of all these people.

So keep that in mind next time your project is selected.
Be a Leader. Be informed by your followers, but draw your own conclusions.

~Daniël de Ridder

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