Since my last blog post four weeks ago, I have had two sessions with my mentor. My progress has been coming along nicely, and at this stage, I am equipped with the skills needed to create basic scripts and create my map. Rather than my mentor starting the session by showing me a new skill, we discuss my progress from the last session and any difficulties I had. From there, my mentor shows me different ways to solve any technical issues and gives me suggestions on what I could add to my game.
During our sessions, we went more in-depth with the enemy scripts. My mentor showed me some examples online that I could use for inspiration. He explained how I could use the C# scripts to add all sorts of different actions at different times on my enemies by using colliders. My mentor also showed me some tools on the engine that I could use while I was creating my map. Before, I would have to drag tree by tree to create a “cartoonish-looking” forest, but Rafael showed me how I could experiment with opacity, density, and the brush tool to paint realistic forests and grass fields on my map.
Progress wise, I would say I am on track. I know all the C# scripts I need as of now, but that will change as new ideas pop up. I am also starting to create the map for the game, adding trees, sound effects, and all kinds of assets from the asset store. Getting the right texture and getting the aesthetics nailed down will be challenging with only free assets, as they are very limited in selection and quality, but by experimenting with different brush sizes, opacity, and assets, I can find different ways to create my map.
1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
During our last meeting, my mentor showed me various websites where I could download sound effects for my game, such as Sound cloud. He showed me how I could listen to the sounds that I might want for my game and download them. From there, it is just a matter of picking the ones that work best and pressing the import button on the Unity engine. My mentor encouraged me to find new sound effects, such as a forest sound effect for the forest.
2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
Since Unity is an IT skill, it has the support of the World Wide Web, allowing millions of other game design enthusiasts to help me out on the internet. If I have a question or want to learn more about what a special function does, I can usually find it on a search engine in a few seconds. By using the learning opportunities available on the internet, I can reinforce the concepts my mentor discusses in our sessions.
3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
Having my mentor guide me and helping me out when the internet fails, might accelerate my learning. The internet is a great resource, but since there isn’t always just one answer to solving a problem in Unity, answers from 2006 and 2011 may not help me with working with the current version of Unity. Searching for answers on the internet can be time-consuming sometimes, and by having my mentor to answer any questions I have, I can move on to other concepts instead of spending hours on single concepts.
4. When you get together what do you talk about?
My mentor and I talked about his career and his game. I learned more about what type of game he was creating and his experience with game design. I was surprised to learn that it was his first game, but considering how much time it took an indie game developer to create a game, it was understandable. By the end of the conversation, I felt I had a better idea of who my mentor was and what kind of games he was interested in.
5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
Our communication is working well. We listen to each other’s thoughts and ideas, and Rafael is always willing to answer my questions. I am open to Rafael’s constructive criticism, not taking a defensive stance when he critiques my work, but instead trying to find out why and improve from there. Additionally, I find our conversations to be more fluid and natural as we get to know more about each other through the weeks.
6. What are you learning about one another?
We have learned each other’s interests, such as our preferences in video games and what genres we prefer. Rafael has learned what games I prefer and why, while learned that my mentor enjoyed survival and strategy games, but didn’t have too much of a taste for FPS shooters. He has also shared with me some details of his game that he plans to release soon, but only small details, as he plans to keep most of the game a secret until the release.