Alright, I’m sure you’re here for game design but I’m sorry buddy, that’s not where this is going. This whole experience has definitely taught some me some surefire lessons. I will impart.
Trust No One
Haha, that’s a little ominous, isn’t it? Sorry, reader, there won’t be a lot of pictures in this but I’ll try to spice it up with some personality (as per usual, ;)).
To be perfectly frank, if I were given the chance to go back in time and choose whether or not to do this project, I wouldn’t. We were promised a lot of things that we never got and in the end it gave us a product that we weren’t proud of at the end of the day. We came up with an initial concept which we decided
Before settling on our idea, we asked if we could have a certain amount of conditions before moving forward – if we hadn’t been okayed, we would have never agreed to do this. Our pitch was that we would bring modified furniture into a campus provided room to perform playtests. We wanted to start playtesting in February. These were things that were agreed to well before we decided to move forward.
Come February and we are being told we can’t bring furniture in due to campus policy. I have no issue with this policy, I just have issue that we weren’t told this in advance. So we need to now allocate time and resources into building furniture. Time we could have had during the break or the months before.
And let’s not forget the song and dance of still not being able to get a room to test in and the month is March. We kept getting delays and excuses (well, they were reasonable reasons but, I digress) as to why we couldn’t get rooms. We were reassured that if we waited into the next semester, we could have the room. Come the next semester, still no room. We run into a bottleneck because nobody could get us the room that we were told we could have. We didn’t need anything fancy, we just needed a room.
It would have been nice to know all this in advance. If I had a handy dandy time machine, oh, you bet I’d tell past me, don’t do it.
Never again am I doing any of this without any actual legitimate confirmation, it’s honestly not worth it. It feels like a waste of a two semesters. I have no fear, I will speak my mind.
I have faith in myself and my partner’s abilities. We could have made an incredible game. I’m not saying what we made isn’t good, I’m just not happy because I know we’re capable of more and having all these roadblocks have drained me of any enjoyment or pride or whatever I could have had.
It’s unfortunate but that’s the reality of the situation. I’m not pointing any fingers but I’m never letting this happen again.
So, fellow reader, if you choose to do something ambitious, if you’re going to devote your time into something that isn’t entirely in your control, you need to figure out what those elements are and you need to put them into your control. Because something that you can’t affect is an unpredictable element and those can ruin everything. Write yourself a contract if you have to – which might seem excessive in this academic setting but not in the real world.
Learn from our mistakes, I certainly have.