This semester, I decided to try something new on the final exam. I decided to ask the students to tell me everything they had learned in the semester. Furthermore, since I wasn’t interested in what they could memorize the night before their final, I instead popped the question on them without time to study. I was curious to see how much of the coursework they had actually internalized and learned. As I later read over their responses, I was quite pleased and decided to post some of the better answers here:
- Walking is not gameplay.
- Mario level 1-1 is probably the best level ever.
- You’ll never know if any game you work on is fun, but you should be able to take out all the “un-fun”.
- Economy is very important in games and it does not always refer to money.
- Brainstorm with a lot of people. Even if your ideas are stupid, they may just seem stupid to you.
- Engage the player and give them something to do or look at every few seconds.
- The whole game should be a tutorial, always teaching them something new.
- There’s a lot more math in this major than I had anticipated.
- I’m not as bad at math as I thought.
- Introduction, Practice, Mastery.
- “Stuff” is important.
- Fun is subjective.
- Seeing the locked door before finding the key is a good way to show someone how to open it.
- Enemies exist to lose.
- Always have “stuff”. Things are not nice and tidy.
- You are the player’s wingman; show them something cool.
- Designing a game is about removing the “suck” from everything.
- It is the leader’s fault when something goes wrong in a project.
- Hard work and a lot of effort does not necessarily mean effectiveness, completion, or correct execution. I will not stop working hard, but be more aware of the effectiveness of my work.
I thought those were some decent answers. A semester well summed up in my eyes.
A great question and answers. Did the class learn what everyone else had to say? I had a thought in regard to the comment, “It is the leader’s fault when something goes wrong in a project.”
You know I loves the strategy games, so I can’t help but quote from The Art of War:
Failure to give clear orders and instructions is the commander’s fault. But after the commander has clearly given instructions and yet orders failed to be followed. The troops and leaders are to be blamed, if they choose not to obey.
Holding group leads and individual contributors accountable for their commitments is a very, very hard thing to do. We want to collaborate in a supportive, friendly environment where each team member gets to express herself naturally. But that is not realistic during a group effort with clearly defined goals and deadlines. Everyone, not just the team lead, is responsible when something goes wrong.