The Clay – Post Mortem

Finishing up the semester and coming up on Open Studio, I think the thing I’ve learned most from this project is how hard it is to round out any sort of project that is editable. With a song, a play, a film, a story, etc., the piece is released as a whole is released often with a notion of acceptance from the artists that this, what is being sold and represented to the audience, is the final draft of the work in the way that it was meant to appear from the first day. Working on this game, I have come to realize how difficult it is to imagine an “end” to this process. Every time a milestone is reached, another one opens up, and in my free time concepts and symbols and extensions of the story burst forth at such a rate that my programming can’t keep up. If I could have had another semester on this game, it would have been totally different than it appears now – that said, I am very proud of how far the game and the world that inspired it have grown along the way.     Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 7.22.15 PM  

“The Clay” gameplay.

  If I could continue with the game for another couple weeks before the presentation, I would focus on adding menus, finishing up the splash screen (a work in progress), working on a second stained glass window, and adding a rough version of the ending I had come up with at the start of the class. I would spend more time studying textures, lights, and application of 3D objects within a 2D space in order to further bring the setting and its players to life. But overall, the finished product had progressed much more than I’d considered possible at the beginning of the semester. And working in a collaborative space where questions, concepts, and code were being passed around freely and frequently was very key in how successful I believe the process to have been.   Unfinished Splash screen  

A peak at the splash screen in progress.

The concept of individual game design was especially interesting in that it was a shot at taking on all of the roles involved in the process, many of which I had never attempted at all. Although I am involved in music, I had never before had to look at a project and write a piece that I felt captured the essence of what was going on on-screen and what mood I hoped would be resonating inside the head of the player. Scoring the project was a really interesting experience, and provided a cool exercise with adding boundaries to a process and finding inspiration within the limitations. I had a lot of fun imagining and coming up with a sound that was both hopeful and lonely, both dark and permeated with bits of light. The second new role I took on in this process was that of artistic director. I came up with the concept of a character, worked sans-tutorial with shadowing, player/object movement and animation, and worked and reworked color schemes until they captured the image I had of what this world looks like. Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 7.50.57 PM  

The score for “The Clay” in arranged in Ableton, a music production software.

Overall, I’m happy with the finished product, and plan on continuing to decorate it and sand the edges over summer break. Then, hopefully, I can release it online and continue to get feedback, make improvements, and expand the world that spawned on the first day in this class.