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  • Writer's pictureGriffin Carlson

A Post-Greenlight Reflection

A couple of weeks have passed since my team presented our game "Five Finger Gunslinger" at Champlain College's Junior Greenlight Presentation. Our game was a first-person area-battle game inspired by FPS mechanics. These mechanics were used to create the feeling of playing outside and fighting imaginary battles with your friends as a kid. We did a lot of work and research, even interviewing a group of local Burlington kids to get their feedback on creating an authentic experience of playing outside as a kid.

Our team logo by our fantastic artist Lee Siassi.

Greenlight arrived, and the entire Champlain Game Development class of 2021 packed into our theater to watch the presentations. We watched all our peers pitches and eventually presented our own. This presentation allowed us to see everything our peers were working on in other classes and filled me with pride that I had the opportunity to work with so many talented developers.

After this large scale presentation, every team sent one elected individual to go to meeting and discuss what projects would go forward. I was my team's representative. The meeting itself was incredibly stressful, I watched as team after team had their project deconstructed through discussion and many were deemed not to go forward. Luckily, we made it through and when I returned this news to my teammates they were elated.

We had work to do.

The next week, we got our new teammates and had the opportunity to onboard them onto the project. Our team on this project has remained small (growing from 4 to 6 members) and the onboarding process went smoothly. While we only had four members before, we all worked very well together, and we wanted to make sure that this would still be the case.

At this point, the project is moving along incredibly well. Our new team members have sped up productivity, and we recently decided to bring the project to a local game festival (once completed). While our project moved forward, we ended up making major shifts based on feedback we received at the post-Greenlight meeting. Majorly, the game has shifted from PVP to competitive PVE to reduce any controversy about kids shooting at each other (even though the "weapons" before were only finger guns and water balloons). We're currently working on implementing several character classes and "imagination monsters" for the kids to battle.

Ultimately, I think my biggest takeaway from Greenlight is that a project doesn't always get cut because it is bad. There were a lot of good projects that didn't move forward because they were either impractical, had bad team dynamics, or simply weren't right for the class and developers. Being a part of the process deciding what games to move forward was incredibly hard but I learned a lot about judging the practicality of a project because of it.

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