Student Interview: Miriam Prosnitz

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MIRIAM PROSNITZ: My name is Miriam Prosnitz, and I was on Team Heatwave. You play and there are characters who move around. And different people who are at risk for being vulnerable to heatwaves move around the screen.

So one person was in charge of researching who are those people? And another person was in charge of OK, I'm going to make a character object. And we split up all of those, actually, right at the beginning so that we knew who to contact about what. And then, based off of that, we would come together and say, what needs to be done, and whose job is it, and is that still balanced in terms of who's working on what? And it worked out really well actually.

Actually, funny enough, I took this course solely because I had no computer science courses this semester. Because I was abroad last year, I did a full year of engineering coursework. And I was like, don't need any more requirements, might as well just take one for fun. So here I am in Creating Video Games.

And so my goal was to write code, and the funniest thing-- and I'm not representative of my team at all-- I'm like the one person in this class who has not written a single line of code this entire semester, because I ended up being project manager a lot. And so what I learned is a lot of the process-- a lot of making things work, is really just emailing people, calling them on the phone, being like, are you supposed to be at this meeting right now, going and buying snacks for a meeting. You think it's like silly, you know, nobody really needs to get snacks. But I've been told by my teammates that if I hadn't gotten snacks, they wouldn't have come. So--

I learned a lot about the project management and the work that goes on behind the scenes, which I've seen before, but I just didn't realize the scale of it in games. Something I would give feedback about this class is I really like the fast pace of the first three projects. And this project, because it was so much longer time, the team was so much larger, and we had this kind of set topic we had to deal with, I didn't enjoy it as much.

As I mentioned, one of the main issues for our team was passion. At the end of the day, I can summarize what you should do in a heatwave in like two sentences. That doesn't make for a very interesting game. So that's something I would say, if I was to do it again, I would've played the game where you play with the heatwave, and you try to attack people, because that sounds like more fun. And I think that's the other thing I learned about games-- that you really have to care about what you're making.

Somebody mentioned in one of the presentations that for the last project we would submit these sprint task lists, and they wouldn't necessarily be what people actually would do, because people were so busy at the end of the semester. For my team, if it was the case that we hadn't done something, I would put it on the sprint task list again. But I didn't have to, and if I hadn't done that, then there would've been a big divergence between what we said we were doing and what we were actually doing. So as an educator, I would really say check-in on your team. See actually what they've done. Make sure they're setting realistic goals and following through on them.

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