Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weeks Four and Five: On Prototyping and Personal Health

I had intended to post a simple summary of our prototyping work last Monday.  We made some progress with a Nuclear Armageddon prototype, restricting the initial scope down to just the building and resource management.  Players could build different types of buildings, accumulate chromium and uranium, and build up stocks of nukes and fighter planes.  While a necessary step, it didn't really convey the game feel we were going for, so after presenting the initial prototype we planned on adding basic combat.  Otherwise, that was a pretty productive week.

This week wasn't so simple.

We discussed switching focus over to the Death Game prototype for this week, since the designers had primarily been working on scenario designs based around the awesome mechanics and combinations we've come up with.  I planned on using Pierce the Dark as a base and adding the player's corpse as an interactable part of the world.  Everything was set for a nice productive week after our Monday meeting.

Unfortunately, due to personal matters that night that I don't feel comfortable discussing here, this week was the most unproductive I've had in a while.  I ended up distracted and trying to recover from some nasty emotional matters.  I attended a QA session but otherwise did not accomplish any real tasks for capstone, as well as not functioning at full capacity in my other classes.

While covering all of my thoughts on this problem is beyond my comfort level and the scope of this blog post, I have concluded this: contributing to my team also means taking care of myself.  I can't neglect my own social and emotional needs forever; doing so affects not only myself but also those I care about and am connected with.  At the very least, an unhappy me is an unproductive me, and while my productivity is not the sole determinant of my value (though the cynic in me objects and starts babbling about corporate culture), in a team environment, such as we have set up for capstone, it's important that I maintain my ability to contribute.

As much as it would be useful sometimes, I am not a robot or a computer program.  I cannot create endlessly without care, and certainly cannot be expected to do so perfectly all the time.  I am a human being: fallible, fraught with emotions and needs, and yet still - STILL, even with all these "defects" - valuable in some capacity.  Despite working with computers as a hobby and career, I am not one, and I should treat myself appropriately.

Yes, all the above may seem blatantly obvious to those with a healthy outlook, but there's a something of a gap sometimes between accepting a truth and really learning it.  Perhaps I haven't fully crossed it yet, but every day I inch closer.

So I suppose this is kind of a pledge to myself, to attempt to treat myself better and to seek a better balance - for the sake of my team as well as for my own sake.  Hopefully the coming weeks will be better and I'll find myself tackling game development challenges instead of those of the past week.

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