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Project Post-Mortem: EcoLand

   This time I was still in Team 8. Our game is EcoLand, a serious game about real-time strategy/management simulation in which the player controls an island populated by wild animals and growths of vegetation while managing factories that harvests the animals for meat. The goal is to wisely invest in resources to maintain animal population and plant life while keeping up with the meat supply demands of the industry over the course of one year.

My contribution to the project

    In this project I perform as the only artist in our team. So my major contribution is the art works of the game. Specific art works are showed as follow:

  • Concept scene as the loading screen of the game

  • Assets such as factories, trees, and animals

  • User interface components

  • LOGO of the game

  • Trailer animations

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

Different things to do next time

    Next time we are still in the same team, and the art work is more challenging. I’ll need to design the characters. And for the game world will be bigger next time, I’ll need to talk about many more details with programers, so I need to communicate with my team more. Since we have the experience of the previous prototype, I think it will be easier next time.

Things I learned from participating in this process

    From each experience of making a prototype I can always benefit a lot. So does this time.

   Positive lessons:

   First thing is Trello. This time we tried to use Trello to trace our works. Trello is a kind of online sticker board. This is a very good way to trace the process of our work. And it is very clear that every one has his own works. Like we have four programers, if I need to talk to someone of the art work he needs, I can simply check the trello stickers and find who is in charge of that part.

   Second is seeking advice from experts. Because it is a serious game, we need to make sure what we showed is the correct information to the audience. Our producer Leigh contacted many experts in biological and environmental field, and finally we met an expert from environment school. He confirmed our idea, and gave us some great references. I think that we should always find some experts for advice, not only for pure serious games, because we always want to deliver the information exactly what we want, and they will really help a lot.

   Well the last is about my work myself. This is the first time that I need to take in charge of all the art works in the team, and I’m not very good at the 3D modeling skill. I tried my best, learned modeling things through tutorials and asking the other artists, and finally I’m satisfied with my job. Thanks a lot to Kamchai, Cody, and Chloe. I’ve learnt that feel free to learn from others if you are really not that good.

   Negative lessons:

   Well the first is about our team communication. I have to say that I didn’t know what the programers wanted to make what the game would look like until the last day I saw the nearly finished one. Though I made the concept picture, I didn’t tell them what I expect the game to look like before. And it was a bit late to modify that time. And when I finished some art assets, I think I need response from them, not only 'You did good'. So I need to communicate with them more.

   The second is about our meetings. Sometimes we cannot express us very clearly that we still have different understandings after the meetings. But this phenomenon is getting better and better as the time flows.

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