Postmortem: Torrent [10.31.13]
- Navin Supphapholsiri
[The Guildhall at SMU student Navin Supphapholsiri gives insight into the creation of Torrent, a hacking-themed first-person shooter developed in 12 weeks.]
Enter a world of high stakes digital combat - cyber warfare is the way of the future, and in Torrent, players are on the front lines. Two teams of hackers fight over critical data points in this fast-paced action game. Each player controls a cyberspace avatar, an emulated combatant in the digital world. These avatars represent the hackers' code in lethal combat through a simple interface: that of a first-person shooter.
Torrent was developed in UDK by ten developers at the Guildhall at SMU. The project lasted 12 weeks, with fifteen man hours per person per week. As the Producer on this project, I present this postmortem to outline the tragedies and triumphs we faced as a team starting from the pre-production phase until the final release date.
What Went Well
Pipeline processes established by each department helped streamline productivity for our team. Whether it was quality control, asset approval, or game design changes, the process to deal with these obstacles consumed minimal production time allowing the developers to spend more time on development.
Morale Boost After Vertical Slice
It is very hard for developers to see the big picture during the early phases of development. Even though we have documentation and references to refresh our vision, it was difficult to gauge our progress. As we arrived at the Vertical Slice milestone and presented our deliverable to the Greenlight committee, we started to see our hard work brought to fruition. This served as a huge morale boost to the team and allowed us to drive the project forward.
Plethora of User Input
During each week of development, we were able to perform a dozen playtest and usability sessions that provided us with adequate feedback. Since development mostly took place in our studio room where other groups working as well, we were able to gather feedback from upper and lower classmen as well as the seasoned industry professionals (the faculty). The feedback gave our team the ability to iterate on our features, which improve the overall quality of Torrent.