I will be evaluating the project, how the product turned out and finalised, how I personally performed, and any difficulties that I have come across. I have also written an evaluation for SITUATION project itself which can be viewed in a previous post.
Firstly, my strengths for this project are my skills that I have learnt throughout the last 17 years, from playing games at an young age, understanding concepts and being introduced in many genres over the course of my life. Having playing over 400 games, I have been able to see how different genres, game designs and concepts have been created, following heuristics that help the player learn the media and take control through the course of the game. Since I have experienced such a vast amounts of games, I have a huge sample size to work with when understanding how games work from looking at existing developed games. This can be used in the future where I had been working on creating video games as a profession and undergraduate level from game designs that I have personally experienced.
The evident love of video games made me follow the route across my education, from secondary school, choosing options such as graphics, IT and Art as stepping stones in order to evolve towards the goal of reaching college and university with not only the background knowledge and experience of video games, but also the small base skills that would help me in the future to push further into the computer games design. I started off in college back in 2011 and have continued to this day, pushing further in the developing my skills and portfolio which also during the course of developments, helped me massively when working on this project as I have continuously improved my skills, learning new software along the way.
During the 3 years that I have been in University, my knowledge and skills of 3D Modelling software, texturing software, lighting, animation and have improved immensely. The continuation of attacking my negative skills, establishing new technologies and software, and most importantly, the knowledge of how to use them and its workflow efficiently has been the highest reward out of the learning experience. The reason behind doing the project was to improve the skills I have, while testing and bringing my negative skills, trying to learn something new and push my boundaries even if I may struggle as a result. This will be useful as in the industry, there will be times where I may have to learn new software, coding languages or different workflows, or even be placed in a situation where I need to use my negative skills. I cannot be afraid to tackle these issues head first in a working environment as it is better to do it now.
The main criticism that I have on myself was my usage of software. Unfortunately, there were software that I previously didn’t know existed until a few weeks before deadline, which would have really improved my texture quality and work. I found out myself through testing and workflows, that Quixel doesn’t seem to produce its texture maps as well as Substance Painter. Therefore, if I chose to make the whole project with the knowledge of using substance painter, I feel that the quality of the whole product would have improved. I do not leave things till the last second, and I like to be ahead to the schedule in case there are upcoming issue I can tackle without losing the tracking of time, now in retrospect, I feel that I lost half of my work in texturing since the lack of using substance painter. I always make sure that my work is done with time to spare however.
Towards the end of the project, I had to have a break for a short while (a week) as after completing another project and a dissertation, my mind was overloaded with information and I could not focus efficiently. Instead of making mistakes that I would have to eventually repeat and reproduce, I opted for a break to relax and refocus again. It wasn’t much of an issue, but I guess you could class it as a weakness which is why I am including it here. One other weakness I would say would be that although my modelling and texturing s during the relax week, I still made the assets and required tasks as they are not demanding and I now inside and out the workflow of.
How did the project go?
The project itself went well, with a few minor issue along the way. The Pros and Cons have been covered both above and in previous posts, however I can elaborate some more. The main part of the project went smooth but the other parts were more of a challenge. My skills and knowledge with regards to modelling and texturing did help carry me through this project, even though I did need to learn some new software throughout the course of the project and they did help quite a considerable amount. Substance Painter in particular was so helpful for my project towards the end. Substance Painter was much more prominent in my project as it proved to be extremely useful in terms of texturing, which can be seen in my final environment, especially on the train levels.
The extra mechanics, such as the intro cutscenes, the loading screens, main menu and NPCs added to the overall experience.
In conclusion, the project in general turned out good. I am happy with the end result, but I feel with more time, I could have added a lot more to it and polish the overall project some more. I pitched to have 3 environmental areas, (which was met) and create a game feel to it if I have any time to improve (which I feel that I met). The basic elements to an FPS are there, minus the raycasting. The mechanics was never something I had to ever focus on but I managed to find time to add them on top of the environments. I believe I did create something that I am satisfied with, while there are some sections of the project where the quality isn’t as good as other parts (due to the software issues and knowledge at the time), but in general it is fine.
If I was to do it again then the only noticeable change that I would make would be to spend more time on the project, but due to other projects I feel I put as much time as possible into the project. Now that I can make my own projects, I feel that I can put time in only my projects without being forced to work on tasks that don’t interest me. In general relation with the final result, I am satisfied with the result.