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2010 September

Conceptualizing A.R.T.S.

     Earlier this week the team and I (Greg Bernini, Wade Paterson, David Lewis, Jon Powell, and myself) pitched our new concept for the latest prototype in the EAE prototypes course. The concept, ARTS (a real time strategy), is a rush game designed to teach artistic design principles.

Going from nothing to inception on ARTS was a rocky process. As producer on the project I opted to forego a group brainstorming and have all team members instead take the requirements home (teach a UEN core concept, made with XNA) and return two days later with concepts. None of us were truly happy with the results.

Rather than continue on with construction of a half-realized idea and tepid morale, I turned our first work session, originally slotted for asset production and coding, into a 6 hour long brainstorming session based around the two strongest pitches we received. Everyone had input, everyone became personally invested, morale improved, and the work began to take a concrete and truly original shape.

Although we lost asset and code hours to truly refine our design, the investment was well worth it, and I feel we’ll gain that time back simply through working on a project we are collectively enthusiastic about. When it came to pitching ARTS to the professors and class two days ago, it was a project I was truly proud to present. I feel that, were it to be built out as a full title, ARTS would have a justifiable home in any art curriculum.

Lesson: Make the project everybody’s baby. Don’t let the design go until the enthusiasm is truly tangible.