In Durance Vile is my current major project. It is a school project for Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, for the second year course: Game Studio 2. We started in mid September, the product needs to be complete by January 11th.
This post will be introducing the team, with some introductory stuff to each member. These are all talented game developers who I’m glad to be working with, though each one came with their own unique challenges.
- Tyler Blankenship is my Co-Producer. For being so young, and lacking a lot of ‘life experience’ Tyler is an incredible producer, with incredible commitment to his work. His perspective is always of value to me, and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him on this project. His vision and risk assessment abilities are some of the best in the school.
- Matt Graham is my Lead Artist. He took over for Mike Berger a little less than halfway trough the project. Honestly I was surprised by just how effective he was at doing all the tasks the lead needed to do because he was so very reluctant to do it at all. He has grown into a very strong leader as well as a strong artist. He really took the mantle of leadership to heart, taking ownership of the team and it’s successes and failures.
- Mike Berger (Bergz) is one of my Artists. Mike is one of the most talented artists that Tribeca Flashpoint has to offer In some ways I was lucky to get the chance to have him on my team, so I could bring that powerhouse talent to bear on this project, the challenge there keeping any sort of style consistent across all four of my artists. Because of his skill (which all the other artists on the team and in the school look up to) I originally had him as my lead, but it became quickly apparent that he had spread himself way too thin to be able to live up to the duties of lead. Furthermore, dude is a diva, and I knew walking in that I would spend a lot of my energy and time wrestling with that ego. It is the price one pays for the incredible talent that Bergz brings to the table.
- Nick Mateja is another Artist. In the original plan, Nick was a designer, but he switched disciplines before the semester began, pushing us to four artists and two designers (at the time). However, as I had worked with him before, I knew he had both skill and passion for art, so I was comfortable with the transition. While he isn’t on the same level as Bergz or Graham, he does work really hard, and gets most of his work done. He understands the art pipeline mostly, and keeps up with changes in the project. He could be more communicative; he has a generally quiet personality.
- Steve [Sara] Jankosec is my last Artist. He is one of the more frustrating members of the team. While he has an incredible 2D art style, and lots of pen and paper skills, translating those to the digital realm has proven challenging for him. Furthermore, working in 3D is not his strong suit, which is problematic give that we are making a 3D game. What makes him the most frustrating is the fact that he and I have been personal friends, completely separate from the game development part of the school, so I have a personal desire to see him succeed, but I can’t let those personal feelings taint the role I have has his leader and superior.
- Matt Abbate is my Lead Designer. I chose him for this project because he has a very good reputation, a very strong resume, he worked for Kaboom! games over the summer, is incredibly intelligent, and I get along with him very well. While all of those things are true, he hasn’t been performing at the peak of his potential in the project. I’m still very proud of the work he’s been doing, but I feel like I didn’t provide him enough guidance and support during the project to give him the strength and tools necessary to lead his team to create the game that we should have been able to create.
- Matt Froedge is one of my Designers. I have worked with him in the past, and he continues to be an incredible designer, working consistently and with good quality. He was an original choice for the project, and I knew that I could always depend on him. He never disappoints.
- Mike Osterloh is another of my Designers. He was one of my picks on the second draft after we broke up a couple of teams. He has, and lives up to, an incredible reputation for hard work and dedication. He will work through anything that I can throw at him. He is a powerhouse.
- Ian Nancarrow (I.A.N.’s DevBlog) is the second Designer who I got from the second draft. Again, an amazing reputation for awesome ideas and constant communication. The only issue being that Ian is kinda fluffy. As in, Ian really like cute and cuddly things. I don’t really have a problem with that, except that he has a real hard time buying on to non-fluffy projects. In Durance Vile is not fluffy. So he was challenging to get attached, but it was a good challenge for me.
- Jon Paul Thomas (JPT) is my last Designer. He was thrust upon us, and I was relucant to take him, but the decision was out of my hands. I say that specifically because I didn’t really want him at first. Furthermore, the first few tasks he was given came back late and were not done well. He didn’t really have a lot of work ethic, experience, or drive. That said, Tyler and I kept working to try and find an area of the game where he could really find personal growth as a designer, and we could depend on his progress without it damaging the production as a whole. He wrote all of our dialogue, and he really surprised me there, I am really proud of the work that he did, and I’m glad we found something that he likes doing.
- Dan Eckert is my Lead Programmer. Choosing programming lead was one of those decisions that was incredibly important, but Tyler and I really had no idea who to pick. Dan got the job because he had the least apathy. He has had some communication issues, both with his team, and with the production team, but all in all, he hasn’t done that bad. I feel that Tyler and I haven’t done enough to resolve the communication issues in the programming team, and that has hurt Dan’s ability to be lead. As a programmer, Dan is hit or miss. He has a lot of programming experience, and likes it a lot, but sometimes it seems that he doesn’t grasp some of the simpler solutions to certain problems. I don’t think it’s a lack of skill or talent, but rather a lack of formal education and experience. He needs to live in the code a little more before some of those things will sink in.
- Elias Martinez is one of my Programmers. Another guy I’ve worked with before, strong problem solving skills (one of the traits I value the most in programmers) and very bright. Quiet, contemplative, hilarious, and he’s getting along well with Chris, our other programmer. He could show a little more commitment, but all in all, I’m proud of what he can do, and I just need to find more ways of motivating him.
- Chris Thomas is my last Programmer. Chris has grown up a lot since I met him. His really digs into his programming assignments, finding interesting and useful solutions. Despite being on my radar as one of the riskier members of the team, Chris has really pulled through, though, much like Elias, he could work a little faster and show more commitment, but that is more on my ability to motivate than on him personally.
- Edward Zak is my Lead Sound Engineer. That means I depend on him for any and all sound effects, as well as a coordinator for any other sound assets I need. Edward is, as always, incredible. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him last January, because this vein of talent has yet to run dry. There is no other man that I’d rather be doing my sound, especially for a game so centered on ambiance as this one. Furthermore, it is really nice to have someone I can trust to keep tabs on my composer.
- Nathan van Dyke is my Composer. His work is extraordinary. While he had some hiccups at the beginning, he has shown himself to be absolutely inspired when in comes to creepy music. He can utilize all kinds of instruments to create incalculable ways of making your skin crawl. He is a joy to work with, and I’m glad that Edward, Tyler, and I scooped him up early on.
So that’s the team, more posts about this project to come.
- aaronquintanilla posted this