Week Ten

My time this week was split between planning my GDD and catching up on my creative writing work. I wanted to make sure that I got my creative writing work done before I went away for the Christmas break. In past years, I’ve given myself quite a lot of work to do over the Christmas period, so I wanted to make sure that this didn’t happen again. Hopefully, I will be able to focus on my GDD and not have to worry about other things getting in the way.

The basic plan for my GDD is to create a Unity project and host it on a dedicated website. Regrettably, I spent far too much time this week setting up the website itself. I would have preferred to spend more time planning the GDD itself, but I wanted to be certain that my plan would be viable before I began to create it. Despite the time investment, I think this was the correct way forward.

Even though most of my time was spent messing with the website, I still managed to plan the very basic structure of my GDD. To help me understand what type of content I should include, I did some further research on serious game websites and used their examples to inform my ideas.

Aside from my project work, towards the end of the week on Thursday, we took a trip to London to visit Sennep, a design studio with a focus on web development. They spoke about their design thinking and the development of their games, OLO and TEN. I found the development of OLO especially interesting. It began life as a simple HTML5 experiment, but eventually turned into a top selling game on iOS. They initially prototyped and iterated on the game within the studio itself and then later released a free version on the web. The player feedback they received on this free version was what convinced them to develop OLO further. The studio had no prior experience of game development, so it was interesting to see their approach which was unburdened by traditional game conventions.

OLO eventually developed into a game, but started life as a very simple experiment. Sennep call these experiments Sennep Seeds and describe them as exploring,

“coded-motion, interactivity and visual expression.”

Sennep views these “Seeds” as a crucial aspect of the studios creative output. They can exist as separate curiosities and little one-off experiments, but can also evolve into bigger projects. They can influence what clients want and can inform the kind of briefs they end up working on.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of our trip for me was the development of Holes, a simple mini golf game which has courses stacked on top of each other. The game is quite simple and involves players pulling back on an arrow and releasing it to shoot the ball across the stage. Once the ball drops through the hole, it lands on the course underneath and the process continues. The idea for the game was quite novel, but what most interested me was the development process itself. The idea for the game has been with the studio for quite some time, but they seem to be ruminating on the design and taking their time with it. It felt like they were looking for something to set it apart and give it that extra thing they feel it’s missing. I like the idea of taking your time with a project and not rushing to deadline, something we rarely get to do with our university projects.

Apart from Sennep’s work, the best part about our visit was getting to meet Paul the pug:

Paul

On Friday, I had another chance to talk with Adam about my GDD. However, before that I went through some of my latest logo iterations to get his opinion. He felt like they still weren’t quite where they needed to be and gave me some resources to look at. Before I start to iterate further on the logo, I think I will have a look at his suggestions to see if they can inspire me. In terms of my GDD, Adam seemed enthusiastic about my initial plans and is confident that I’m heading in the right direction.

My goal next week is to finish planning the content and structure of my GDD. I then want to begin developing the first part by the end of the week and have the structure and content for the entire thing completely planned out. I can then focus on creating it in the next few weeks and over the Christmas break.

Week Eleven (Christmas Break)

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