So I realise its been a while since a generalised update was posted, so let me bring you up to speed with where we are at.
Since my last post we have had six meetings. Fist of which I mentioned in my previous post (18/02/2013) In this meeting we quickly outlined what each member was to say in the presentation the following day. Each member was to produce slides for their area, I felt that this was best so that people felt confident as to which bit was theirs and was familiar with the pictures they were talking about. I tried to assign members areas that were topical to their role and comfort area, I don't think it is fair to make someone talk about something they don't know. Our next meeting was the following day (19/02/2013) after our presentation.
The presentation seemed to go well in my opinion there were a few moments of silence but it was mainly transitions between areas and people, our feedback seemed positive and fair and everyone played their part well. I think that the idea was presented properly and I was rather proud of everyone that day (not to sound patronising). Some of our feedback was that we needed to focus on our main theme and not get bogged down with having to many sub-themes and complications. I think perhaps this was one of the only things that didn't translate properly. Our main theme is the spiders nest. Our secondary theme is the asylum. The only reason we feel it necessary to have a secondary theme is because we believe just doing the building as it is covered in spiders and cocoons etc. is rather strange, its doesn't make much sense and it doesn't really tell a story. However an asylum which has been abandoned for years and the spiders have made their home not only gives you a foundation for a more credible story but also gives you interesting assets to build, rich textures to make, opportunities to use decals and unusual lighting effects. Not to mention as a concept it is full of symboltry and underlining metaphors. ;)
There was one comment in our feedback that did make us rethink though. After listening to mike and heathers feeling on the two engines available I wanted the team to have a talk about which one we wanted to do again. I felt that the decision may have been rushed and that Cryengine may have been picked over UDK because of the "ooo look how shiny factor". Apart from that most of us we just excited to get started me and James Oakes had a look at a few places to possibly visit on the Internet for reference but felt perhaps it might be too dangerous for everyone. I didn't set any particular tasks at the end of the meeting as I felt that members may have stressed a lot over the presentation and thought they might have needed a day to regroup or work on any other work they might have had. However I did mention that on our next meeting (21/02/2013) I wanted to make an assets list and start dividing it up ready to start making assests.
The next meeting was the first time we had our project manager (big cheese) Mike at the meeting. During this meeting we got Mike up to date on out progress thus far and tackled any feedback he had for us. The jist of it was that Mike didn't feel any strong feeling for our project as it was neither bad nor exciting (a little bit disappointing but I understand his reasoning, I just count ourselves lucky that he doesn't think we are de-railing at all). At this moment in time he feels our idea is slightly clich'e and wants it to run its course. Which is fair. However it also made me feel personally that maybe we should have generated more ideas than we did to find something more original; however no matter how original you think you are the idea has been done before in one way or another (as Mike mentioned).
After this meeting we were supposed to have a mini meeting followed by a night a Lukes gathering reference, watching films and looking at walk throughs of useful levels. However I got tied up with course commitments outside of this project that meant I couldn't attend. My lacking attendance at this meeting meant that the task I wanted finished wasn't done, however the team felt they needed more time concepting so this was set over the weekend instead. I'm glad that the team did this now as they seem to have a renewed passion for the project and a clearer idea of what they want to do.