Home Postmortem

The Home project was a experimental game about a feeling that connects you to home.

After two weeks of development for the home project, right before our first play test session I suffered a nasty leg injury, throwing the project into a tailspin, as the other team members were relying on me for technical implementation. The problem itself was not the injury, it was how it affected the project.

The project from a technical perspective was behind compared to the other areas of design. This was mostly due to personal motivation issues.

No risk plan, as well as lacking in comprehensive technical documentation. On such a small team with such a short time frame, I do not think that any of us thought for their to be any need for a risk plan. And without a full tech document. It make sense that the project had to be scaled back as hard as it had to be.

My only real recommendation as how to mitigate this kind of problem is to actually put together a comprehensive risk plan, that covers leaving team members, or major project stalls.

The really positive thing was the team response to the previously mentioned injury. The team managed to pivot to the new angle quickly, and effectively.

The pivot was managed by down scoping the the focus of the interaction. Due to the unavailable physical development time, and technical help that I would have possibly been able to provide.

The result was a deeper focus on two areas of the original narrative, instead of having more independent sequences. Giving two distinct experiences, instead of the one main experience with multiple separate dreamlike experiences set between narrative beats.

The best solution I can think of for this kind of situation; Having a project with areas that could be expanded into in more detail, enabled a focused and effective pivot. So in future having a modularised progression seems like an effective plan.

One of my favorite aspects of the project, that was unfortunately heavily affected by the required pivot, was the designed narrative drive of the original project design.

The Home project was meant to be about a feeling of home. Outside of that the brief was very flexible.

So this enabled a narrative approach to the project, that I personally never would have considered.

My take away from this would be to work with anyone and everyone.(within reason.) To best take advantage of the differences of ideas and drive that we all have. Game development is most often a very creative driven experience, and this change of drive from my normally mechanically driven style of game development, was very inspirational, and I look forward to work with people who approach games in a way that I do not.

Conclusion

The biggest takeaways from this project is that you can still make something great even when required to hard pivot by unforeseen situations. To try and forward plan for situations that would cause you to make a hard pivot, such as losing a team member or having a major part of the project change. And to design around the idea of change, by sectioning the project in its development.

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