Our expectations

We stepped into this project knowing it would be a hard task as senior students warned us about it. Because of it, we knew that keeping morale high was a top priority.

  • Analyzing past projects and it’s development cycle, we expected a “crisis” to erupt sometime between Vertical Slice and Alpha2.
  • We had high expectations of quality in the final project. As an emblematic objective, we strived for surpassing all prior projects in our college.
  • From day 1, we had one goal in mind: Above all academic considerations, this project is a videogame and thus has to be fun to play.
  • We knew we wanted to use Agile development methods but had close to no experience working that way with such a large group. Thus, we expected structural problems to arise in the first weeks.
  • We had quite an unorthodox split in members of each department, for we had almost a perfect ⅓ ratio in code, design, and art. We expected a serious lack of coders and redundancy of designers.

What went wrong or what we could do better

Adaptative period and early chaos

As expected, the first 2-3 weeks were quite chaotic due to the agile development shift in mentality. Members of the team still had department-centric approaches to structure and work synergy. This affected the earliest stages of development, a problem that could have been solved if we did heavier prior research into the matter. Agile development is extremely useful, but it needs a robust and knowledgeable implementation.

Two birds with one stone is one bird too many

Developing the game at the same time that we developed its engine proved to be a problem tenfold worse than expected. Development was often halted due to technical problems, new features had to be constantly delayed and a general sense of unease was felt each time an engine tweak was brought to the table. Although we had no alternative, let this be a warning to all who think of following our path: just don’t.

Neglecting Documentation

We knew that to fit all we wanted to do in the short span of 4 months some sacrifices needed to be made. At some point in development, we decided that updating our documentation was something we could sacrifice to have more time. Huge mistake: the amount of time we needed to fix mistakes born out of confusion and misunderstanding because of this heavily outweighs whatever time we thought to have gained.

What went right or what we did well

Online workflow

The team worked exceptionally well in an online environment. We feel that, although we would have loved to have presential meetings, we adapted fast and we adapted well.

Art style

Going for a low poly aesthetic enabled a fast and solid art production pipeline. We used heavily post-processing effects and an aggressive approach to lightning to compensate for the lack of detail in a low poly aesthetic. In the end, this meant we could produce all the assets needed in a short time without sacrificing quality.

Design priority

Early in production, we decided that our top priority in design was the game feel surrounding the main character. It needed to feel good to move, dash, shoot, throw, aim… For months we iterated over it, as much and as long as we needed until it met our expectations. Although we knew it was a risky approach (we were tweaking core gameplay systems one month before release), we think it was a correct decision, for, in the end, we ended up with a better game because of it.

Production work-frame

Working in 4-6 members scrum groups in one week-long sprint has to be one of the best decisions we have made. Problems were detected early and solutions were offered even faster. However, the best part of it was that if someone was burned out of their current position, we could accommodate them in less than one week without any process or feature being delayed or affected because of it.

Core code values

Having a small code team meant that we had to keep to a minimum the time spent rewritten old code or fixing unintended mistakes. Despite the aggressive deadlines, the code department had the skill and perspective to take things at their own pace, making sure to produce robust and trustable systems.

Playtesting focus

We started playtesting early, and we had a playtest & review pipeline well before that. Multiple members of the design team were focused on playtesting for multiple milestones. Although a substantial loss of workforce, this proved to be a key decision in the result. Having multiple playtest sessions with re-appearing testers and having multiple design meetings to discuss the results proved to be an excellent decision.

Team Management, Production, and Leading

Being young and inexperienced as we are, none of us had prior experience of working with a lead, much less being one. Despite that, we were quick on our feet, combining research of prior projects, constant communication between us, and direct communication with the team.

  • Early on, we decided on an objective and we ran for it ever since. This proved to be a correct decision, for it brought a clear and direct direction to the project which meant the efforts of no individual were wasted.
  • Although we needed some time to reach it, we ended up with a robust communication and organization pipeline. We ended up using a standup system (twice per sprint), with a daily system from the members of a department to its lead (optional for each department), a weekly report from the producer to the leads, and a leads+producer meeting every 24/48 hours.


In the end, we are extremely proud of our game. We think it reflects the amount of work, illusion, and emotion the team has poured into its development and we hope every player feels it too.

  • We started as a divided group of college students, but we ended this project as a well-oiled team. We’ve learned to work with each other, recognize each other's strengths, and cover each other’s weaknesses. As proud as we are of the end product, we are even more proud and happy of our fellow team members and the realization of what we can achieve if we work together.
  • We achieved our main goal: the game is fun! The combat system is fluid and full of choices, the world is alive and brimming with color, the progression system is intricate and subtle, the bosses are mighty and challenging… We’ve made it!
  • At the end of our production cycle, our team has started to show some wear and tear. Although morale has been kept high (due in no small part to the end of the deadline), we know that we would not have been able to keep this pace for much longer. In the future, when we face longer production cycles, we will need to take burnout more into account.