This week was chock-a-block with things to do! From all the typical meetings, to having additional talks with specific members of the team, and even giving our own small presentation at the sprint review. This was by far our busiest week yet!
To prep their presentation for the sprint review the design team hold a little meeting an hour or so before the review, and since Dan and I were going to be talking we were welcomed to add our own slides. We had prepped ahead and put some slides together the night before, making sure to include lots of fun gifs and even a silly picture of me in the famous techno trousers.
The assets team presented first and then the design team followed. Whilst best to get our little presentation out of the way, Dan and I were incredibly nervous to present so soon. Even though everyone on the team is so lovely, it’s such a different experience giving a talk via a webcam call. It’s hard to know where to look, and not seeing people’s body language to be able to read the room is particularly intimating. But once we got started it became much easier! We had so much to say about our time with the team, everything we’d learned, and just being able to thank everyone for being so welcoming. We got such a wonderful reception from everyone at the sprint; definitely a highlight of the internship so far!
As with every sprint so far, lots had been achieved over the last two weeks! Lots of new assets were added to the game, prototyping later stages of the story, reducing texture sizes to save memory, and so much more!
I also got to attend my first sprint retro this week. In this meeting everyone makes notes of what went well during this sprint, areas that need to be improved, and discussion on how this can be done. A big thing that was well discussed in the sprint was how some members of the unity team had been asked to work on a super secret project. This in turn affected how many unity related bugs could be fixed and how much new content was being created. This side project also coincided with other team members’ pre-booked holidays. This was interesting to observe as an intern, to see that projects aren’t always straight forward, and sometimes things happen that mess with the workflow, but can’t be avoided. It was really great to see how these problems were being brought up and discussed through thoroughly to see how they could be addressed.
The bug triage meeting on Wednesday was quite similar to the past sessions, but an interesting point raised occurring in the next update is testing the staggered timeline feature. It’s something I wouldn’t have even thought about when making a story-based app, but it’s such an interesting thing to consider! Once the user joins the app they will be on a specific timeline of when the next events and task will be able available to do, but what happens if you don’t download the app when it’s first released? Will you be able to catch up all at once or take everything at your own speed? Previously, we had been testing with everyone one on the same timeline, but this new staggered timelines allows everyone to play through the game at their own pace, and with this play through the team can test how well this works and find any bugs it may cause. So it’ll be cool to see how this plays out and also if it affects the way we interact with the app.
Because it was sprint review week, we also attended the design teams own mini review. It was intriguing to see how unity-based tasks were put on hold to add less stress to the few members of the unity team available to work on them. The design members went through and prioritised the most important tasks, and also made notes of things that need to be discussed with other members of the team and things to bring up in future meetings.
We had two talks this week with specific members of the team, first with Codey one of the animators and ‘engine gurus’ on the project and then with Danie and Lee who do 3D modelling for the app. They each went through their own journey through industry and gave lots of tips and knowledge. Without reciting their fascinating work life in detail, I’ll try and summarise some of the standout points they made below and share the wisdom:
In our weekly catch up session with the design team we talked about how useful and enjoyable our getting into industry chats have been, and hopefully we’ll be having a few more next week. We also talked about app struggles specifically for iphones, plus we were set a little task to test out specific app jobs whilst monitoring battery percentage, to make sure the tasks can be carried out back to back without using up too much battery life.
This week has been incredibly insightful and I can’t wait for even more talks next week learning about other people’s journeys through industry! Definitely check back in next week for my final report and hopefully more helpful tips for entering into the creative industry.