Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sneaky Milkshake

              The most challenging, tiring, enjoyable experience of my university career so far. The Queens project has taught me a lot about team work and having the role of team leader I have found it so awesome. In my spare time I usually talk to people about 3D randomness or research into multiple things like map types, texture limits…etc, and this experience has really helped me in the group project. I have basic knowledge in everything so I could extract that knowledge to make judgements to do with texture limits…etc. My 2D this semester pretty much been non existent, I tried to get some done every now and then but I was either modelling and texturing for the group or researching into things we need to do for the group. It did suck all my time out and when I got a break I usually slept. The presentation at the end with rainbow bunchie was kind of a reflection of as a group we stuck together and we were crazy at the start and even more so at the end. And I did try to keep the group in a very light hearted jokey manner throughout the project. Often calling people names to invoke an equal response back. It broke up the tension and created more of a fun atmosphere rather than a strict professional one.

            Now I’m no god either I had my flaws as group leader. For one I could have been more strict to people that didn’t hand in on time. Also my assets were late probably due to going to Paris for a random weekend. Also I probably forced my ideas onto others to forcefully as well as this doing talks with the interviewees meant the group was left alone for 3 hours, this became a problem due to people can only be in certain days and if we were having a meeting or distributing assets then it had to be put on hold.  These are the things I think in my spare time I could have changed or done differently.

            The project came with a couple of major challenges like our team mate fall out. I’m kind of going to be vague with this but I feel I should talk about it to help other to be second years if they ever find themselves in the same predicament. 

                 This as I see it was a good and bad experience in multiple ways. It’s a shame it had to happen as it would have been nice to keep a good nature between the group. One of our members voiced his opinion and to be honest he was rejected because we panicked that we would get behind other groups and we should be in the next stage of production. He found it hard to communicate in the first place and so this caused a break in contact from this member and for us to fall behind. We then re-concepted and re-thought up what he had voiced as a means to integrate him into the group again. He made some valid points but unfortunately it seemed like he took the first responses very personally but didn’t try to rectify it. I tried to contact him and organise a meeting in order to discuss his feelings with the project.
            I then found out that he gotten some bad news, this is hard for anyone to deal with and I offered to talk to him, giving him advice and reaching out to him. This meant he was unable to commit and distanced himself, this was hard as I didn’t know how much work to give him and how much time. I emailed him, feeding him positive responses to him and it seemed as if he was coming around but he still just wanted to get on with his work at home as I think he felt threatened by the group.

           I then took the liberty of leaving him alone for a while, I felt it best if I didn’t try push him too hard back into the group. Don’t I know, my mum has been trying to get me to dye my hair back to black for years now and I just keep getting it pinker. As the project came to an end I got busier and it was harder to try and integrate him back in. I kept this quite vague for a reason, I’m not writing this blog for egotistical reasons and I’m not writing it for bitching. I merely want to describe how my group project went and the challenges we faced. And if anyone else faces the same problem then the advice I can give is diplomacy, compassion and structure.

          Be diplomatic as you have to manage the group as a whole and be considerate to all members. Role as a team member means you have to make judgements that will benefit the group and sometimes you will have to be assertive sometimes but make sure you hear everyone out and give them a chance to speak. Be compassion, if family issues ever arise then make sure to not shout and yell at them. Shit happens in life and the worst case scenario you might have to distribute some of those person’s assets to other people just to get them done. And structure, plan quickly and effectively if you do this you can make sure you have a contingency plan. We wanted to have our assets all completed by the end of March. Of course they weren’t but if you try and stick to these deadlines you will have more time for the tweaking part at the end. I wish I did have more time, the last week of the project was me just writing notes to Rob about things that could be changed and things that need done. I could have gone on forever writing notes and I would have eventually reached equilibrium with the level.

The level came out better than I could have imagined, that’s thanks to my group members and we pulled it all together in the end. It is no surprise that we were the underdogs for quite a while but when now looking at it finished is awesome. Of course I could still sit and change things until kingdom come but I think we produced something that was different. I love the basement and decontamination area, they have a strong visual style and that’s what we were going for. It’s so nice to have a piece of 3d that I can go home and show my parents this is what I produced with a small team. All in all I loved my group project experience and it was such an awesome project.

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