This post comes to you from the team’s producer, Cozy! She is going to give us an update on where the game is, and some of the code she worked on!
Howdy! I’m Cozy, a programmer for BA2 and the team producer. An idea came up in the last semester to help give people a view of what making a game is like from the perspective of a developer, and so the team decided to write DevBlog posts. This is the first of those posts with more coming from other members of the team as the semester goes on. The goal of these is to give an inside look at the development process of Shepherd’s Sky and to give each member of the team the ability to show off what they are working on and how they contribute. For now, I’ll start us off with a look at some of the things I do for the game.
The team just finished the first of half of development at the end of December. The semester (since this is a school project) ended with the Stout Game Expo (SGX) where the team was able to demo Shepherd’s Sky and show off the direction the game is heading in. SGX went well and lots of people came to give the game a try and provide us with lots of good feedback on how to make things better, smoother, and fun. A lot of that feedback has already been discussed with the team, but some of it had to wait for this semester. Right before the end of the semester the team decided to work on some things over break. I decided to work on analyzing the feedback we got, create some planning tools for the next semester of development (the one we are in now), and work on cleaning up the social media/web presence of the team. These sorts of things aren’t very ‘programming’ focused as you can probably tell- however they do lend themselves well to my role as producer. Because of the dual position I server I spend a lot of time not programming for the game, but rather managing the scope and ensuring the team is on track and working well. That was the primary purpose of the break for me. My thoughts are that if I can get the team setup well for the new semester, I can spend more time programming in the long run. (Also, I just really love working with spreadsheets and making them fancy with formulas and conditions.)
Now that the new semester has started my work has shifted a little bit. I’m still working on finalizing some of the tools I made for the team over break, but I’m also getting into the Unity engine and our code a little more. After getting everything ready for SGX, the code base got a little ugly from trying to get things to work well enough. Now, part of my programming job is to go back through some of the less ‘clean’ code and reorganize it. I’m working on ensuring variable names all match our conventions, comments are used appropriately so another programmer can jump in when needed, and any unused functions are no longer part of our files. The goal is that when the code base is all clean again, development will move even smoother since programmers have to spend less time searching for what they need and can instead focus on writing new code.
I’m super excited to be a part of this team and bring Shepherd’s Sky to life! This semester promises to be a good one with lots of new additions to the game and updates on its progress. I hope you check in every now and then and read up on what the team is doing and how each member adds to the group.
Thanks for reading through our developer blog posts! Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for even more content from the awesome people working on this game!