Cycle 3 – Joel Aldridge Reflection

Approach to learning new things:

As I am studying a dual degree with a mathematics component my approach to learning new things did not change much throughout the 3 game design tasks. When presented with a mathematical problem the first step is to identify what needs to be done and then if it is not clear how to do it either attempt a way that could be correct or search available resources (online or textbook) for an example detailing a possible approach. This method of combing intuitive attempts with internet research has worked well for me across a variety of maths and gaming units and this unit was no exception.

Non-Technical skills:

In this unit I have seen major developments in my ability to take a step back from tasks. With creative tasks I often feel an overwhelming desire to create the exact product that I personally would enjoy. In this unit I made steps to improve on this as working in a team and working with specific constraints meant that I was forced to face my desire for control and put it aside for the benefit of the final product.

Strategies for group and individual work:

Our strategies for group work within this unit I feel worked well. We would all show up to the workshop and lay down the design and theory choices we ran into over the week. Together we would then come to a consensus on what would work and what would not.  My strategies for individual work however were not as well refined this semester. I often found myself overestimating my abilities to complete assignments in both this and other units and would leave assignments until late as I felt they would be easy so I focused on other tasks. The final game for this semester is a prime example of this problem as I focused on other assignments and did not start designing specific elements of the game until a few weeks before release. This impacted the quality of the game and the visual aspects. In future units I will endeavour to weight tasks appropriately to allow for more time to polish the final products.

Ethical considerations:

When working within a group with a shared design task it is important to take into account several considerations. All members must participate even when they are not skilled at the current task as their point of view may provoke an invaluable discussion leading to a breakthrough. I often had to force myself to provide input in the visual design tasks for all the games designed in this unit because as a programmer I did not feel I had much to say on the topic, visuals have been my consistent weakness throughout this unit and I will strive to work on them in future design units. Our group struggled with respect to setting specific tasks between group members. As our group member studying an animation major dropped out early in the second game we found problems sourcing and applying models and animations, in the first 2 games I worked and supplied my specific tasks of coding complex aspects however for the final game I did not organise my time well and thus failed to be of much use to the group with respects to coding. Paul on the other hand consistently rose to his specific tasks with respect to design. In our group we put in place and stuck with a policy of always being honest with each other regardless of what we discussed. This is important in group work as not being honest can quickly grow and jeopardise the final product as members has different understandings of what has been done and how.

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