- How you have approached learning new things and/or finding new information during the Semester?
I struggled with programming as it is a new skill for me. I understand what can be done and the length of time that is required for programming and feel that is necessary for the profession of game designer. I have been able to work out any difficulties I came across when learning new things by observing my team mates and asking for help from tutors and team mates when I need it. I have also sought solutions to some obstacles by familiarizing myself with new concepts by looking on line in discussion forums. I still feel my programming skills are not great but I have a basic understanding and hope to build on my knowledge base in the future.
- What additional, non-technical skills you’ve developed during the semester?
There are a number of non-technical skills that I have developed during the semester. Firstly, time-management. As I was sick in the first part of the semester I fell behind in what was required. For this task, I was aware of the time required and didn’t want to fall behind again so I tried to always be ahead in the project and planned my time better. Another important skill is that of playing to the strengths of each team member. I feel that my skills were strongest in design and story, whereas my team mate’s strengths were in programming and construction of the game. Working in a team environment also helped to develop our communication skills. It is essential to listen to other’s ideas and be clear in expressing your ideas to others. Concepts that may be clear in your own head may not always be clear to others and you must be able to show them by talking, drawing or showing examples of already existing games. Compromise is a skill that is significant in decision making. You learn to be open and flexible to changes in your own ideas if someone suggests something different that would be better for the game. Another non-technical skill that I developed is that of delegating. To manage the workload, it is necessary to break down the project into parts and delegate each team member tasks to complete. Delegation requires trust in your partner’s abilities and work ethic, and it is important to have frequent meetings to make sure everyone is on task.
- The most effective strategies you used for managing individual and team activities?
For managing my own activities, I set myself deadlines so there was a sense of obligation to complete certain tasks by a certain time. For managing team activities our team used Facebook messenger to communicate with each other and discuss the information that was needed to get each job done. We also held regular meetings, every Thursday and Monday, to keep up to date with each other’s progress and assign any extra tasks that may have come up. The meetings were about brainstorming and helping each other with tasks if necessary. For example, it was my responsibility to handle the player experience goals so we all got together to develop what these goals should be and then I organised our ideas and wrote them up. We also used these meetings for giving each other feedback to improve the game.
- The ethical responsibilities associated with working in a team-based environment. Areas to consider could include: justice (fair work practices); responsibility (specifying tasks, completing activities); honesty (avoiding deception); and reasonableness (level of participation, reaching consensus)?
To work well as a team there are certain ethical responsibilities that should be considered. It is important to treat each team member as an equal with ideas that are valid, even if they are not the same as your own ideas. People need to feel they can express their ideas and be treated respectfully and not have their ideas be ridiculed. Feedback on ideas should be everyone’s responsibility and all team members should be able to give and take criticism in a way that is respectful.
Another ethical responsibility is that each team member must do what they said they would do. If you agreed to complete a certain part of the project then you must do it, and by the deadline that was set. Team members should not be deceptive and say they are working on it when they have done nothing. Also, team members should be honest in whether they have understood what is required of them or if they have the ability to perform the task or not.
The tasks delegated to each team member should be as even as possible in the amount of time that is required to complete them. The delegation of tasks should be clear to everyone and allow each team member to feel they are participating equally to the project. Delegation should be agreed upon by all team members, not just one person, in order to avoid the “good” tasks going to some people and the “bad” tasks going to perhaps unpopular people.
Overall it is important to the success of the project that team members co-operate with each other rather than compete with each other and are respectful in their interactions.