Experimenting in Production

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Experimenting in Production

 

The game design program at RIT from an early point in the student’s academic career introduces students to the process of production, teaching students about the concept of sprints and AGILE method of production, which focuses on producing blocks of work in a specified time frame, generally 5 weeks. A standard in the industry. However, in most of the IGM classes, the duration of these projects only last for those 5 weeks, not allowing for a larger scope or scale for the design or polish and many times the artwork, and the in-game sound is replaced by standard assets or from the free content on the internet. However, many students want to continue and pick up where they left off on their projects and expand their game or application.  The upper-level Production studio class provides the perfect environment where students can receive credits for their major. An elective where students can spend an entire semester further developing an existent project or use to start a brand new project that students wish to develop. There are no requirements only the approval of the professor teaching the course, and students can either work in teams, which have no minimum or maximum number, or solo. I am currently in a Production studio, working on a 2D RPG game in a 3D environment like Fez called Mouseguard that is starting mostly from scratch this semester. The team consists of two artists and two coders and it is the first time I am working on a project with a dedicated artist team. I am also no artist and it has been a learning experience for me on how the coders can help streamline the process for art. The importance of rough sketches and mood boards cannot be understated as even the most basic aspect such as the color palette plays a large role on how the background art and foreground art stand apart from each other. The project has definitely undergone experienced some technical delays and issues that delay us from the schedule we set out but adapting and working to revised goals is also part of the process. I would highly recommend any student who wishes to expand upon one of their projects started in class or begin their passion project to take this class. If the project turns out great and you want to continue working on it, students can take Production Studio as many times as they want and two of those times go to towards students’ advanced electives credits. RIT also provides space for you to continue working on the project and perhaps even to publish with the aid of Magic Spell Studios. Even if the project, in the end, is not the result you wanted, one gains invaluable experience from failure: knowing what play testers enjoyed and did not, knowing what mechanics or design flaws there were, and understanding team dynamics and how to improve workflow. An experience that students can take for their next projects and can even try again in their next production studio class if they so choose.