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Gold being poured out of a Crucible

Deeper Into The Crucible

While I had a number of things going on today, one of the important ones was a meeting with Liz Statzer, who currently acts as Associate Director for Crucible, the Kickstarter backed game that’s due to ship beta October 31st.

Now, the position of Associate Director is a rotating position among the 8-Bit Minion Intern team – basically, everyone gets to experience each of the major positions in the project at some point during it’s development cycle.  It’s an internship – I want them to walk away with experience in as many different things as possible!

So what does an Associate Director for a video game project do?  In this case, I’m having Liz do three major things:

  1.  Second eye.  I felt there wasn’t a defined enough goal set within the previous project, High Rise Spies.  Too much of the design was locked up in my head, and not on paper (electronic paper or otherwise.)
  2. Secondary authority.  If I become unavailable, she’s supposed to step in and pick up the management void.  Because I’ve got so much going on, that’s always a possibility!  I’ve got (potentially) not just one move, but two moves to deal with in August – one to a temporary location, and one to where I’m actually going to live.
  3. Pivot person.  She gets assigned where I (or she, if I’m unavailable) feel we need to add extra labor.  In the case of Crucible, I’m seeing two potential pinch points concerning graphics, so I haven’t decided which one she’s going to end up at to start.

There’s a few other things to it, too – she gets a little more input on design issues while she holds the position, for instance.

Right now, I’m balancing between two things;  getting them as much education as possible, and getting a project done.  At the moment, Liz is scheduled to handle the position for two, maybe two and a half months.  It’s possible it may last up to three:  if we get down to the wire, and we’re not close enough for my tastes, then we’ll have to freeze the positions until after the beta release.

I’m really looking forward to Crucible.  High Rise Spies was a neat project, but it ran too long, and design wise, it doesn’t capture my attention as heavily as it should.  Of course, it’s not dead:  instead, it goes on hold until after the full release of Crucible’s first edition on December 15th, 2016.

One of the nice things about that:  it gives me a little time to look at what we’ve got with HRS, and decide what I can put in as “cheap” game play and design elements to try and punch it up, so we end up with a more successful project once we come back to it.  It’s not too uncommon to have to put a game back in the oven a bit when it’s half-baked 🙂

Image by Dan Brown, via Flickr

(Blog post was actually written yesterday, just didn’t get around to publishing it.  Ooops!)

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