DualtroN Post Mortem

DualtroN is finished. After these 15 weeks of work, we finally have the final product. Having a final product does not mean the game is complete, because many of our plans got lost along the way. That was probably the hardest part of the process of creating a game, discarding features that you already built in your head, but there is no time to implement. DualtroN did not get too far from the initial goal, but we reduced the amount of content notably by removing the third level.

While making a game there are decisions to make and luckily I would say we took most of them correctly. The initial plan was tight in time and we were able to foresee where the situation was heading and we were capable of assuming it and fix it the best we could. Removing a level meant removing many of the ideas we already had for DualtroN, like having vertical parts on a level or a boss that could un-fusion you, but I think the decision also brought more time to make the experience we already had better. We have the opportunity to improve the visuals of the game and especially to give feedback to the player about what was happening at every point.

Since our team is composed by 4 programmers, the absence of artists was a fact we had to substitute by investing some of our time in making the game visually better. The problem was not just to make the game appealing, we needed to transmit some necessary information through effects, that are harder to design when you do not have someone who understands how to transmit those. Luckily we had Eneko in the team, who is always willing to make this kind of feedback effects that make the gave more enjoyable.

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DualtroN has only 2 levels, but with the stats gathering system Tejedor implemented, this 2 levels have a bigger replayability. The timing of the levels gives a time attack mode that makes the game interesting to play again.

Team

This was the first time that the four of us were working together and with DualtroN we have proven to ourselves that we can do it. The aspect I most value in our team is the balance and the different roles we took naturally. During meetings, there is also a division between the optimistic and the pessimistic sides of the team, basically Eneko and Tejedor against Falven and me. This opens debates about what should be the scope of the project that results in a pretty accurate and realistic plan, which in any other way is hard to achieve.

When working the difference of personalities also shows up, when we see Eneko working in visuals (probably too soon sometimes), Tejedor creating systems and the more pragmatic approach Falven and me have to create (make it work first, we will take care of other stuff later). The good part of this is that we naturally use these differences constructively and it normally goes in a good direction because everyone pulls to his working style.

Conclusion

GAM450 class has been a great experience for many reasons. Mainly because I understood what it means to work with a built-in engine like Unity3D and what it means to create a game in 15 weeks. I already did that first year, but the scope of those games was not comparable to DualtroN. It also taught me how important planning and team organization is. The truth is that we probably lacked some of team organization at some points, but without it we were able to keep working due to the team dynamics that I explained in the previous paragraph. I am really proud of what DualtroN is because I saw many people wanting to play it after we showed it to everyone. This is one of the main goals of the game, having an addictive cooperative game and that goal seems to be reached listening to people’s reaction. As my final DigiPen project, I am proud of it and how my team worked to do it.

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