Last week we completed Alpha. Which in game terms means we now have a working game. All the main parts are there and it is playable. While we still have quite a ways to go before we could actually sell this game, this was a HUGE accomplishment. We have come a long way from where we were at the start of the semester. In only three months we have constructed (almost from nothing) this entire entity. There are still tasks to complete, assets to implement, and bugs to fix, but the soul of the game is there. It is an amazing fete.
I am very proud to be part of this team. Working on this project has given me great experience that I can take with me out in the world. It sometimes amazes me how talented the members of this team are and how hard we have all worked to accomplish the things that we have this semester. From guest speakers we have had in the class, we have learned that teams who build games work long stressful hours for many months to produce the titles we love to play. Hearing these stories sometimes makes me wonder why anyone would want to put themselves through it, but no looking at all we have accomplished I think I can see the appeal. You put so much of yourself into this process and to see a real tangible result come from it is amazing. And as students it feels even better, because we have had to complete our tasks on a much shorter time scale, and we still have to juggle part-time jobs, clubs, and other classes. I know I can speak for others in the class that sometimes we don't know how we are going to get it all done.
This week alone we are prepping for Beta testing for the game, I am finishing the edit of my short film debuting next week at the student film festival and writing a research paper for one of my other classes. You think that finishing a task would be enough, but there is always another task right behind it. Something else that needs to be accomplished. I think that may be the biggest lesson I can take from a project like this. Your work is never really over. Sometimes it will come to a point where you have to declare it 'finished' in order to accomplish something else, but your work is never really done. So while I am proud of our accomplishment of completing Alpha, and will celebrate with the team tonight at our pizza party and games night, I have to look forward and anticipate what comes next. BETA!