Friday, December 4, 2009

Crunch Time before Christmas

Excuse a bit of copy and paste from our other blog but part of it is so relevant here:
"In the game industry "crunch time" is the "critical period of time in which it is neccesary to work hard and fast" usually before a final milestone or shipping. Here's a link to a fun definition in Urban Dictionary, read the first one: "
That is where we are at at the EMC this week through the holidays - or holly daze in this case. Students and faculty are busy due to the end of semester usual - you know final classes, papers, projects, exams! All crunched in with travel plans and end of year events but here we have even more on top of all the normal.

So just a bit of the highlights: We are promised to deliver Episode I of our game designed to address violence against women suitable for testing by the end of this month. At the same time, it is finals and the holiday season here. Everything is in high gear. The art team has planned a mass render of the poses and animations to be completed by early next week (did I mention they are still producing the poses and animations), the narrative team is realigning the storyline to encompasses a revised and powerful dynamic based on a conversation with UNFPA this week, the programmers will be incorporating the rendered art into the episode and the UI and storyboard team are pushing to get those designs completed as well. The marketing team is meeting with pros from game companies (EA,A2M) and the awesome design firm JDK to complete their market plan. The testing team is getting us set to travel to St. Lucia THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS to test the complete (cross my fingers) Episode I. Twelve of us fly out on the 14th return the 20th (not on a sleigh with reindeers either...when will we complete our holiday shopping? ).

On other fronts,the Masie team from Learning 2009 is packaging up assets so that they can be distributed to and shared by the Masie Consortium, VT Archelogy Museum is wrapping up, and the Info Lit team is reconstructing assets into Unity for potential delivery via iPhone.

All the while Sarah, Ray, Lauren, Ken and myself are completing everything else that goes hand in glove with this - proposals, year-end financials, server issues, planning (more in another post), industry visits (Microsoft and 38Studios), hosting an event on campus about violence against women, and presenting to the Dwight Asset Management to thank them for their support of the UN project.

Oh and one cool thing to share, we are in this month's Southwest Air's inflight magazine Spirit. Here's a link to the article written by Jay Heinrichs:
I love this quote from it:
"’s as close to heaven as a geek or gamer can get: dozens of high-end workstations, a conference room with Play-Doh for 3-D doodling, a big flat screen with a couch for game playing, and a disco ball for impromptu dancing."
Now all we need is Jack Skellington, Sally and Jack's dog Zero to serenade us through crunch!

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