Capstone Part 10 - Final Thoughts and Moving Forward

As established prior, my team chose not to move forward with our game, and today is officially our last day together, before I join my new team next week. I’ll talk about them later on, but first I’d like to finish up reflecting on this semester, after having gotten more time to both think and discuss it with my team.

I’m not too proud of what I accomplished in terms of the product this semester, I’ve made that relatively clear. At the same time, I am proud of what I learned, and hopefully, I can be proud of how I’ve adjusted as a result, in the future. That said, I do hope that my teammates feel pride in what they’ve accomplished this semester. Everyone tried new things, and what we put together was great, even if not fully complete.

I’m confident we made the right choice by not moving on, even if we had looked forward to showing off our game. Nobody likes to present something they’re not proud of, which we were able to avoid doing. Since presentations happened, I’ve had a few conversations in the vein of “Oh yeah, you guys didn’t present. Why? Your game looked really cool!”, to which I truthfully responded that we weren’t happy with how everything had come together. Having these exchanges has been very rejuvenating, and encouraging. People cared about what we made, and recognized how unique and interesting it was. We weren’t just another game that failed, we were a game that failed, while shooting for the stars. I’d be remiss to not also mention the other team in our section, filled with more friends of mine. They ended up in a more complete state than us, but are also not going through. From what I could tell, they faced a similar problem of directionlessness as us, albeit in a different way. I know everyone from my team is very happy with where they’re moving on to, and I hope all of them are too.

On that note, I too am very happy with where I’m moving on to. I’ll be joining Bullet Mullet to work on Tales from Space, probably the game I’ve actually spent the most time with this year (outside of my own, obviously). I didn’t actually expect to find myself heading there, because their lead programmer is my roomate. We’re already working on a different project together as well, and are now essentially intertwined in everything we’re doing, which has the potential for disaster, but also the potential for huge success. That said, there’s a few reasons I’m very excited to be joining my new team.

From a specific team standpoint, I’ve landed on a team with people I know, many of whom I know as friends, others as classmates. The biggest thing is, that I’ve been reunited with three of my four original team members from Production II, where we had huge success together. It’s hard to strike gold twice in a row, but I’m really happy and excited to be working with people I know I work well with. The way their (and now, my) producer runs things works very well for me, and is conducive to getting the best work out of me. With the people I’ll be joining, I’ve got high hopes for next semester.

As for the more general reasons, I’m simply excited to experience new things. First, is that this is by far the biggest team I’ve ever been on. Last semester, it was ultimately eight people. This time, we’ll be going into the semester with fifteen. I can’t even begin to imagine how work will get divided up, and what roles everyone settles into. The other thing that excites me, in a bit of cynical way, is stepping into somebody else’s code. It might just be because I lack confidence, but I’m absolutely terrified of other people going into my code, and ripping it apart. Now, I get to be on the other side for the first time. Hopefully, I won’t be ripping apart any code though. Rather, it’s about learning the codebase, and adjusting my work to fit the standards. It could be a very humbling and professional learning experience, or it could just be incredibly frustrating. There’s a good chance it’ll be the latter, but I’m trying to take things on with a positive, learning attitude.

So, that’s a wrap for the semester. It had its ups and downs, but more importantly, I learned a lot, which is ultimately why I’m going to school. Now, I get to not go to school for a bit, and get some much needed rest. Not that I’ll actually take a break, as I lay out the projects and work I’m hoping to do over the winter…