To be completely honest, I was a little skeptical about changing the way that I look at games because I was scared that it would ruin the experience for me. Playing games is a nice little escape, and I was a little nervous that if I approached them in terms of thinking “why/how do they provide the experiences that they provide?”, then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them in the way that I was able to before. As I made my way through the class, I started to realize how off-base this thought was. The way that I play games really has changed, but if anything it has made them an even better experience. Playing good games, I’m starting to notice all kinds of little stuff that completely went over my head before (one great example is Portal 2’s interactive music that we talked about in Vincent’s lecture). Even playing bad games is a better experience now — instead of just getting frustrated and/or bored, I’m actually able to put myself in the shoes of the developers and think about what problems led to a game that isn’t fun to play.
A lot of what I learned from this class is how to work with a team. I’ve had team projects before, but never with this large of a team or with this amount of cooperation. It was really satisfying to be able to get feedback on where exactly the weak points were in our game, and I’m thankful that I had team members that were so on top of it in terms of addressing that feedback and iterating on what we had. Thank you to Christina for all the one-on-one time spent with our team (the Zuko team)! I’ve never had to change directions so quickly for a project before, and the experience was pretty stressful. That being said, I’m really glad we made the decisions that we did, and the final game was something that I really do feel proud of.
Also, huge shoutouts to Vincent and Kally for the help in improving on individual assignments! My sketchnote and critical play skills were pretty shoddy in the first half of the quarter, but it was nice to get such helpful feedback on the work that I was turning in. I’ve definitely gained an appreciation of visual communication, even if my drawing skills are still very underwhelming.