Team Squanch proceeded onto their allocated task with many challenges resulted in a deliverable that not many of us were proud of. The team was asked to produce an environment that was the aftermath of a significant event. Many ideas were shot back and forth until finally the majority voted for building a 3D environment based on a Cathedral. After this was established we needed a premise. It was decided that our aftermath would be set in 1212 which was one of the eras the crusades were set in. The idea of Templar’s vs Saracens was the driving force behind our creative project.
Our team worked genuinely hard through out the project in order to complete the end goal. Some members even went the extra mile to provide researched methods to benefit the team in its entirety. Specifically the architecture was researched with great intent to make to look as close to possible to the real world equivalent. However groups will never have smooth sailing and team squanch definitely faced a lot of rough waters during its continuation.
One of the biggest problems laid out was our planning phase. Initially the Project Plan was a well thought out and crucial document however as time progressed it was forgotten by many of the team members. A lot of the times we fell behind on our Gantt chart however it didn’t adapt to accommodate for the latest changes. Additionally a tracker sheet wasn’t used until later in the project.
Many issues started to rise after the assembly of the grey box. Although the first 2 accomplished their goals of setting a sense of scale and clutter every following seemed to be a set backwards. This made it hard to receive feedback and establish a grounding for additional construct. On top of this several objects didn’t reciprocate well with light often emitting backface culling. This resulted i certain areas being brighter then others. This was later fixed however this brought the project to a late stand still.
Another problem the team faced was a very big clash in regards of the main team leaders. This resulted in constant disruption to team members as well as bringing an unneeded tension. The final negative e outcome that will be discussed in this post modem is schedule slippage. This problem was constant resulting in late deliverable, assets and documentation.
These problems can be seen as a potential to positively influence future projects. But before we can evaluate that we need to find the source of the problem. It seems like some of the problems stem all the way back to pre production. Although our Pre production remained very promising they were quickly forgotten and were never changed to suit the problems the team were facing. In future project team members, not just team leads can bring it up in stand up meetings to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This communication could have made the difference in a lot of team Sqaunches problems. This communication would have also been a factor in the differences that caused group confrontation. One of the driving forces of argument was changing something in the pipeline without telling another member or making major decisions controversial to planning without confronting a team member first. In regards to loss of work, multiple times a team member would overwrite work completed by a team member that was assigned to it earlier, this issue could have been confronted through moving the file to a “superseded” folder or saved under a new version with a similar naming convention. Eg. “Greybox_V1.2”. In regards to texture and model quality many team members could have benefited more if more study and practice was but into the stream earlier on into the project. Although this was the case early on many team members overcame this and proceeded to make some quality assets.
In terms of my own contribution to the work I was the main texture artist, I did a large quantity of the textures seen in the main file aswell as create the curved steps that form the spiral staircase that was never implemented. Unfortunately a fair chunk of this was removed or overridden however there are backups to ensure that no work was truly lost. In hindsight if i was to do the same project again i would invest time allocated to learning the NDO normal map creator in Quixel Suite. Aside from the work flow I tried to resolve arguments that rose up even going as far as to implement a “talking pen”. Additionally I should have applied better quality normal maps to help soften the edges of models and make them more believable.
Summarizing the team performance, it was a nice to find creative and talented and hardworking individuals. It is just a shame that there difference of opinion lead to them having a strong distaste towards each other. The passion these individuals showed would veer me to work with any of them again but not as a collective unit.
Most of our earlier pitches came off fairly successful with the exception of it showing up as rushed. Most of the team were happy to rely the information to the audience and answer feedback when needed. Documentation on feedback is something that did need improving, most members disregarded information and sometimes even favoring other methods. Reviewing the past plans they were all very detailed and though out however 90 percent of the dates and allocations were changed. This was to accommodate with schedule slippage however the documentation never changed with the verbal proposals. This meant alot of useful information went missing in translation. Checking back on the style guides and plans should have been enforced both by leading parties. Team members including myself should have also seized imitative in seeking these documents out and using there written guidance.
Communication is something the team needs to do to better themselves with. Being indirect with there irritation as well as not seeing two sides of the fence is something that we need to improve on.
I seek to improve myself in a large variety of ways. Normal maps is something that i would like to add more to the final textured assets, they definitely add more depth to the look and feel of a creation. Additionally I would like to research all aspects that go into a production instead of being limited to one work flow. When problems rose that I was unable to assist felt very restricting. I intend to do this by allocating time in between location to sit down and soak in the knowledge of already successful individuals in the industry.