Modifications, Monsters and Miscommunications
Well, this week has been quite full so far, even if I am working from home… again… The boss that was talked about during the last week, for example, has been created as a prototype: it is a giant version of the Dullahan enemy that can do the Banshee’s circular AOE attack and has a slightly altered behavior for the shield (focussed on a player instead of just rotating). On top of that, we finally populated the last altar room as a grande finale of enemy waves.
So spectacular sounding, so good. Turns out that me and the programmer working from home while the other people worked in a group at school has created a lot of miscommunication that I was not aware of.
The other designers were both surprised and alarmed that we had created a boss and a small cutscene for the ending (both by combining pre-existing scripts) and felt like we were adding things on our own accord without consulting them first and were wasting our precious time on stuff that was not a priority while other issues needed to be fixed.
I, on the other hand, felt that adding at least the cutscene and the last altar room was something that we needed for the game to be complete because without it the game wouldn’t have a win condition. And since the other designers had problems with a constantly crashing Unity programm, the only way those things could actually be added was by doing it from out non-crashing computers at home. I was also surprised how much feedback from the playtesters I had missed out on (for example, many of the playtesters thought that the players had not enough health and also criticized the flame tossing mechanic of being unclear).
Concerning the solo (or rather duo) action I can definitely understand where the others are coming from and I agree that doing things without clearly communicating it to other team members - or at least waiting for their agreement - has been something I have been guilty of during this project. So I’m both disappointed in myself but also aware that this is a weakness of mine that I need to keep an eye on. From my personal perspective, I would have wished for a more frequent communication from the others because I often found myself writing questions in the design channel and getting a really delayed answer or sometimes none at all (e.g. can anybody give me a concept of how we want to populate the final altar room?). So I wish people could have told me sooner when my actionism was getting out of hand.
We had a designer talk this morning and I think (hope) we were able to get some clarification, so I hope the other team members are not too upset by the things that happened and we can focus on safely getting our project into the harbour, metaphorically speaking. Starting with tomorrow, I will be back in school as well, because I got the confirmation that I am corona free - so communication should improve at least a bit.