Post Mortem - Swift

This time I was in the Team 8, and our game is called Swift. Swift origins from Zaxxon, an isometric shooter arcade game developed by Sega in 1982. So our game is still isometric, using art style like Monument Valley, remove the combat element, and make it a pure speed game.

My contribution to the project

In this project I performed as one of the artists. Another artist is Wesley. We separated art works. The specific things I had done were:

  • Draw the LOGO, game-start screen, and game-over screen
  • Draw the background
  • Draw some of the assets

Besides the specific art works, I also discussed with my team together of the game concept and level design things.

Different things to do next time

In the next project, I found that I will be the only artist in our team. So I think I will need to decide the art style of our game, and design the characters, which was done by Wesley this time. And also in the following projects when I am acting as an artist, I would communicate more with our producer and programmers.

And next time I think we artists should give out a concept picture of the ideal game. Especially when there is not much time left for the programmers to build the ideal game world. It would be very helpful.

Things I learned from participating in this process

This time we are more familiar with the process of making a game prototype. We had learned from the previous one, but this time we also found some new lessons both positive and negative.

Positive lessons:

First is about the work assignments. This time we always held a short metting before every class, talking about what we had done and what we needed to do in the following two or more days. We set deadline for our each assignment. So our goals were so clear that we do not need to be confused about it, which made our work very effective.

Second, we set a very challenging goal at the very first - using Html5 to realize 2.5D isometric environment, which pushed us very hard during the process. We learned to draw new things from digital tutorials, as well as programmers tried hard to figure out how to code with Html5. What we had done is beyond our imagination of one month before.

The third I think is about our game concept. We found Zaxxon is enough playful just try to survive during the move, so we removed the combat system, made it a speed game, and added some powerups to make it more exciting. I love the iteration idea very much. And we also used no inputs besides the arrow keys. We all loved the idea, so that we could put more passion in the game.

Negative lessons:

Well the first is that we were too ambitious. Work of artists seems not that difficult, but work of the programmers did. We designed many aspects of the game, but what we realized is not that much. Our expectation was too perfect for a prototype. So finally we do not have enough time to finish all we wanted.

Second, we didn’t have a specific level design. We didn’t discuss about it very detail and just used the first design, which was also modified during the level build in programs. I think the level design is the core content of a game beside the core play method. So in my opinion I think we should put more emphasis on level design, which would make it a game.

Third, think about our artists’ work. Actually we didn’t do it very satisfied - some animations was not very good, and some assets had shadows while some not, which seems a bit weird. We will try to do better next time.


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