A Week and a Half To Go...
I think throughout this process, if I had to say our team is good at one thing it's that we know how and when to cut things from our project. To a certain extent, this has been a necessity because we've been trying to develop a prototype for a Tactical RPG in the span of one school semester so ensuring we are only working on parts of our game that are core to the experience could make the difference between us getting approved by our professors to continue development into the spring or not.
Early on in the fall, we made some big cuts. Most notably, we cut out a proposed gear system from our game which was very unrealistic. One thing I love about this team is that often, when people propose a cut it is something they've been working on. For example, the aforementioned gear system was being developed by my fellow designer but when he realized that this would be diverting the prototype from focusing on the game's core systems (combat and the unique memory map progressions system) he realized it was not needed.
After we made some big rescoping changes at the start of the semester, we didn't change much from the plan till recently. Now, with only a week and a half till we present our game, everyone on the team is finding themselves in the heat of crunch. We feel like we're going to get everything we had hopped in but we have definitely needed to talk about prioritization to ensure 100% that the core mechanics get into the build. One of the biggest things I've noticed here has been a change in who is making these decisions. Before, rescoping was mostly being handled by my and my fellow designer. Now, we are trying to get the input of the programmers and artist more to ensure they feel that they have enough time to get everything we expect of them done. If not, be and my fellow designer talk about how to reprioritize and rescope that aspect of the game so it is demonstrable and provable in the Minimum Viable Product we will be showing off.
This system has worked extremely well and ensures that everyone on the team is giving their input. This week, we literally have all hands on deck merging the progression and combat systems together. As long as we are able to accomplish this without too much issue, we will be ready to prove out core gameplay in a week and a half.