måndag 13 juni 2011

Carnage seen through the rear-view mirror

This project had a lot shorter development time the one I worked on last for the last GGC (It was called GGA back then). 9 Weeks all in all, which might sound like a lot on the paper, but it really isn't when you're working on it.
It started of as a digital project but we quickly realized that if we wanted the game to be as good as we wanted it to be we would have to stop wasting time on wrestling with software and make a boardgame so that we could focus all our time on perfecting the mechanics.

Carnage's high concept: Carnage is the name of an incredibly dangerous spectator sport in our setting that takes place in the near future. The players will all play the part the part of participants in this race.

Our project's vison is as follows:

Reward: To develop a a tolerance working under serious time constraints

Ability: To learn how to be able to respect and hold important deadlines.

Challenge: To develop and present Carnage as a highly polished and well balanced game in time for GGC.

Strategy: Rather than work through a very rigid development plan we decided that everyone takes responsibility for their own work, put their head down and get stuff done ASAP. That will give us time to tackle eventual problems that might come our way.

My role in Carnage's development was as producer and factotum. In addition to working on the presentations we had to make my my main job was to make sure that we had a nice booth during the exhibition. This meant that I had to search high and low for a good variety of items that would bring the booth to life and fit with the gritty feel of Carnage we decided that it would be best if it could be made to look like a scrapyard.
So I got some old car seats and had them be made into chairs for the visitors (these were highly appreciated) and set us up with some warning cones and a huge rusty barrel for the decor. The end result was aesthetically pleasing without being to much of a distraction.
In regards to the booth I'd also like to mention that the walls of our booth was made out of Abzolium's from last year.
I talk about that a bit in this blog post.

Looking back I am very pleased with the project as a whole. We managed to reach out to people we wanted to on a personal level and on a professional level we got a lot of people interested in our game. I've been hearing nice things said about the game on podcasts and it's even been mentioned on Game-journalism sites such as Loading.se!
I touched upon that subject lightly during my last post

I've been working with producing before I started studying at Gotland University as I majored in drama during high school and helped producing plays there. I also worked as a producer last year when my group created Priates VS Royalists for the GGA convention. If there is something I've learned during my work with Carnage it is stress management. It looked bleak for us several times during development but we put our heads down and pulled through.
My work leaves few physical traces (no code snippets or art features for instance) but my work can be seen throughout the project in things like the presentations and the inventory for our booth for instance. The rest was purely administrative work.

The best practice for me was undoubtedly working with the printers other and companies and developing my people skills. We managed to get a lot of material for free, as I touched upon here.

I would recommend future game students to work on their communication as it can make or break any project. It helps if you're in a small group but even then there can be trouble if you don't work closely together. We did just that and I attribute much of our success to it.

måndag 30 maj 2011

Crossing the finishing line

Carnage is a winner. Not of any prices, but the game itself managed to win many hearts during GGC. Team Carnage's hard work has not been in vain it seems!

All of the judges had something good to say about it and even the ones that weren't swept away had some very insightful criticism to offer which is great! I can truly say that it will be an exciting read once we will receive the Feedback forms with more intricate advice on how to develop Carnage further.

Not that I'll have any part in it. My work here as a producer is done.
My job has basically been to make sure that the other guys in the group didn't have to waste their time on the administrative work and made it possible for them to focus on their design and artwork completely.
I have been missing working with design, but this is how it is in the business: Some things just has to get done and you can't always work on what you want as a part of a team.
Not that I AM complaining, mind you, I have had a great time working with these guys and I wish them all the best in the future.

I've learned more during this course than I did during the rest of my time ín HGO combined. I feel that after a few weeks of rest and recuperation I'll be truly ready to tackle my final year here.

My best tribute to Carnage would be to make an even better game for GGC 2012 and snub them of their prize. ;)

This is Viktor "Hemulen" Lundmark, signing off.

torsdag 26 maj 2011

The most scary week of my life!

The news hit us like a bombshell during Tuesday that the printer shop didn't know that we had already given them the material for print. Disaster!!!

Thankfully they managed to churn out a copy (well several actually) of our game 12 hours before the GGC started, partly because I spent so much time there during the week that I was basically living there.

Tomorrow is the day when Carnage will meet the public for the first time and although we have gotten a great response from the people we've talked to so far I am more nervous then I've been in years!

The reason for this is that all the people that we talked to about the game have all been part of the game industry and while those "nerds" would make out a part of our demographic the public's response is what really matters if we ever want to have the game to make it.

One thing I can say is that our booth is perfect. We can be sure that even if they're going to rage at our game tomorrow at least they'll be sitting comfortably.

fredag 20 maj 2011

I had a bit of a problem getting the car dealers get the car seats here on time, but I FINALLY managed to solve it. A big 'Thank you' goes out to Henrik Reinz who is the one who actually picked them up for us.

I've been working on sound effects for the trailer and they'll be ready once the artists are done with our awesome trailer and teaser.

söndag 15 maj 2011

We got our T-shirts this week, and they looked better than I expected. In addition to that we have received business cards that's adored with a link to our (fabulous) project-blog, but I doubt we will get much use out of them. We aim to collect business cards, not to hand them out anyway.

The presentation is 100% done. I still practice it 1-2 times a day, since I really do have a lot of "spare time"

måndag 9 maj 2011

I spent 4 hours this Wednesday turning the car dealership inside out looking for the seats that we could afford AND could use. The majority of the things were damaged beyond repair and some of them were quite expensive, but I did manage to secure 4 seats that we could use.

Other than that there is nothing special to report. I have been working on the presentation and booth layout as per usual.

söndag 1 maj 2011

This week I spent a lot of time getting the inventory ready for our booth. We had to make some changes of course, due to the fact that we're not making a digital game anymore.
Getting hold of a barrel (that was meant to be purely for decorating) proved to be to much of a bother to take care of so I decided to skip it. The car dealers and I spoke again and we decided that I should pay them a visit on the following week.

I also used a lot of time to make sure that we would have some killer soundbites for the trailer. I owe Finn Engström my thanks as he  helped me out a lot with the technical aspects of sound editing and for lending me a copy of GAME's sound library.