Dino Delivery - Post Mortem

Dino Delivery - Intro

Dino Delivery is a third person adventure/puzzle game about a boy and his dinosaur best friend and their quest to recover the lost mail of their town. (Download Link coming soon)

A 28 person team (Including volunteers) that I worked on over my senior year at DigiPen. The team worked on this game for a whole two years, which not many DigiPen projects do.

I as a level designer and interaction designer was tasked with scooping down the world, polishing and implementing new excited puzzles into the world, and just helping in general with bugs and implementation.

Post Mortem Goals

The goals of this post mortem is to review and understand how our project succeeded and where we fell flat. During all parts of development where could we improve and most importantly where can we learn and do better in the future.

Post Mortem Thoughts

Planning and Organization

Some of the best parts of being a part of this project was just how organized and and well thought out our development time was. Our producer, Jeremy McCarty, was by far the best producer I’ve had at my time at DigiPen. Utilizing a waterfall production pipeline to get tasks done. Being a scrum master. And using lots of extra resources externally well like Jira, Slack, and Slite. All of these things combined made Jeremy a great person to work with and a real leader.

When we hit the fourth semester of our development we hit a bit of a slow-down period. Jeremy had graduated earlier than most all of us on the team and we had to pick up the slack for him. Even though we didn’t have much to do in this final semester we really had a hard time sitting down all as a group and tackling some of the last few things. We got through it in the end, but not as smoothly as when Jeremy was here.

Clarity in Vision, Goals, and Systems

The three main parts to fully understanding a project and being able to work without any restrictions are. Clarity in vision what the project should look or feel like. Clarity in goals what the people want out of the project. Lastly, clarity in systems how the devs can understand what they are working on and how to do things.

Our clarity of vision was very clear as having our art lead Taylor having fantastic vision and hold on what our game was meant to look like. I never interacted or overheard any of the art meetings but she did a great job at making sure all the assets added to the game were up to standards. She also did a great job at letting or narrative designer Serria take control of the narrative and give feedback when needed.

Our clarity of goals is very clear in all of our industry goals being met and all people working on the project. We were able to have such a big team because of the leadership of Jeremy. This let us all work on the things in the game that we really felt passionate about and want to do in the industry.

Clarity of systems is one of the areas that I feel we fell short on. Joining the team halfway through development is a big downside to understanding the systems. But mainly Jeremy being so good at almost everything can turn into a downside. During the third semester development (Fall 2018) we had a lot to do in a short time. This became a problem of Jeremy being stretched really thin. Almost everyone on the team looked to Jeremy if they had a problem with a system they didn’t understand. Overall we got through it, but I’m sure we stressed out Jeremy a bit more than we needed to.

Success Criteria

Lastly our main way to determine if we succeeded is yet to be determined. Some of the goals that we had a team are yet to be met and others we have already succeeded in. One of the areas that most of us have already succeeded in is having a great portfolio piece. Like I’ve already mentioned most of the team got to work on what they wanted to while improving the game.

Some of the things that we will need to wait on are yet to happen yet. We had some early goals of getting our game on x-box, but when those plans fell through we looked to get our game on steam. We are still in the process of getting on steam, so we will see. And lastly we would like our game to get some outside recognition, gong to PAX or GDC. This will most likely need to happen in the later year because we just shipped. But we are hopeful and look towards the future.

Conclusion

Overall Dino Delivery is one of my favorite projects that I worked on at DigiPen. The whole team worked fantastic together and I would recommend any of them in the future to work with again. I am proud of our game and team, and am excited to see where we can ship and what people think of it when they can download and play the final release. Thank you.

-Tony Benson