Game Audio Reflection

I thought I'd write a little recap on how both of my side projects went this trimester, if you remember I worked on two game projects along with my studio work. I've got a lot to say about both because I learned quiet a bit, which is the main take away even if I judge one project as a success and the other as a complete failure. To elaborate, Breath of Life turned out great and Dish-Pig was a complete mess. I'll go into more detail on Breath of Life in a later blog but I really wanted to talk about an important lesson I learned while failing my first project.

Dish-Pig ended up being a complete flop from all departments, from the design to the programming to the animation and audio. I can't speak for the specific reasons why the other team members had troubles but I can elaborate on my own shortcomings. Essentially I bit off way more than I could chew by taking on the full work involved with both of these game projects and in the end I had to make some hard decisions about which project was going to get the most of my attention. This lead to the music being a re-hash of an old song I'd written that didn't fit the game very well and most of the sound effects being single or double layered un-mixed messes. Last Trimester I promised myself that I would go into my projects with solid plans and I think my planning was pretty good, I had an asset list and a detailed timeline, where I fell short however was in two areas; discipline and time estimation.

Firstly I didn't have the discipline to stick to my own deadlines and this is something I definitely want to work on. Usually I would just tell myself to stop procrastinating but that's a message that often falls on dead ears because it doesn't mean anything to me anymore, however late this trimester I came across a video that blew my mind and gave me just the wake up call I think I needed to end my own vicious cycle. It was a TED talk about procrastination and in the video he shows this image:

Each of these boxes represents a week in an average 90 year life, which means I can disregard a few of the bottom boxes because I probably wont be working till I'm 90 and I'm already 25 so that crosses out a few of the boxes at the top. I can't explain in words the effect this image has had on me but it has definitely pushed me into a state of motivation. Sometimes when there isn't a "deadline", it's hard to find the motivation to work but this video reminds me that, as unpleasant as it is to think about, there is always a deadline.

I've linked the video below because it's entertaining and has probably the most important overall lesson that I will ever learn in my life.

The second thing that went wrong was that I couldn't really estimate how much time it was going to take me to perform certain tasks. For instance each sound effect took about twice as long to create not including some necessary reformations. So in future I will double my sound effect estimations and allow some extra time for alterations if needed. Same goes for music, I estimated 4 hours for 2 minutes of music but I think at my current skill level I definitely need to give myself at least 16 hours for 2 minutes of music, especially if I'm going all the way from composition to mastering.

All in all even though Dish-Pig will be a flop, I definitely learned a great deal from this project and I hope the other members of the team have had similar learning experiences.

Thank you for tuning in as always and I'll catch you next time in my big trimester finale summary super blog post!

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