It’s been a really long journey, but we’re finally at the end of development.
Stitches as an overall project has been an incredible learning experience for me. As the Product Owner, I’ve had to really adapt and adjust my general workflow in order to take on all of the new responsibilities that come with the role.
I think this has seriously contributed to my overall growth both as a Designer and a Team Member. I have been able to expand my own knowledge of visual design as well as realize the importance of having a solid image in mind for the game. In addition to this, I have also expanded my knowledge of general narrative storytelling. The biggest thing though I believe I learned throughout all of this, was how essential it is to have a clear vision of the final product right from the very beginning. While I was unfortunately not able to fully follow through on all of these things I learned, I definitely think I began to apply myself better as time went on.
The biggest factor behind this was my teammates. Not only was I getting substantial feedback from them during structured peer review sessions, but I was also getting feedback on a day to day basis. If there was something I wasn’t doing properly, or something they wanted to be done better, I tried to apply myself to handle it better.
Not only did I learn to be better on my own end, but I think I learned how to be a generally better teammate as well. Being able to give clear and honest feedback without saying anything mean is something I’ve been working on for a while and I think I only got better as time has gone on. In addition to this, Having a solid way to communicate and a general friendly and open demeanor have helped in communicating. I feel like having an ego or trying to imagine yourself as better then your teammates only makes you worse as one.
I think one of the biggest challenges for me was trying to keep a clear and concise plan going into every week in order to reach our final goal. I started out this project being pretty abysmal at deciding when things were going to get done and what takes priority during every week. As time went on though, I think I managed to get a lot better at this. I had begun working on this project with a fairly decent vision of the game, although not everything was fully set in stone and there were definitely many features of the game that I had not fully thought through. This caused some pretty obvious issues as those features needed to get implemented. I took a step back from what I was doing and tried to envision the final version of the game, with everything working as intended. Using this method, I was able to get a much clearer idea of what exactly needed to be worked on at a high priority and what needed to be changed from it’s current version so that it better showcased the ideal product. A lot of this came from constructing backlog stories about a day or two before our next sprint started, this game me time to really think about what features I wanted to be heavily worked on through the week.
However, that wasn’t all of it. Having my teammates give their input on what they thought should be worked on as well as what they had a current interest in working on was extremely helpful. I learned very early on that if someone is enjoying the work they’re doing, they will do that task to a better degree of satisfaction.
I think for my next project, one of the biggest, most helpful things I could do for myself, is to sit down at the very beginning of the project and try to envision what a Player’s experience with the game will be like. This would act like an extremely in-depth Game Loop chart including every system that would be accessed as well as a basic visualization of how things will look graphically. Once the framework is down somewhere, then it can be picked apart and given to the team as features starting from the most important base mechanics and moving into the more polish-focused stories later down the line.