Spring 2014

Final Project Review Document

Due: Friday, June 13 2014 online at noon

Format the document in HTML, link it into your group web page, and email me and Thinh with the URL. Think in terms of roughly 4 pages, but you can write more if you would like to (you can see what other groups have done in the past).

The hard part of the course is over with, and now there is just one more thing to do: Write a project review document. The purpose of this document is to summarize the software design and implementation process that you experienced throughout the quarter. Prepare the final project review document as a group, but you are also welcome to make points individually — just append it to the group response for the question, and annotate it with your last name (e.g., [Voelker] Blah blah blah; see an example).

At the beginning of the class, you wrote a game concept document, a project design specification, and a schedule for completing the project. These were all projections looking forward. Now that the class is ending, you can look back and compare what actually happened with what you planned.

A. In the project review document, start by addressing these main questions:

  1. Game concept: How and why did your game concept change from initial concept to what you implemented?
  2. Design: How does your final project design compare to the initial design, and what are the reasons for the differences, if any?
  3. Schedule: How does your final schedule compare with your projected schedule, and what are the reasons for the differences, if any? (You should be able to glean this from your status reports.)

B. Then address these more general questions:

  1. What software methodology and group mechanics decisions worked out well, and which ones did not? Why?
  2. Which aspects of the implementation were more difficult than you expected, and which were easier? Why?
  3. Which aspects of the project are you particularly proud of? Why?
  4. What was the most difficult software problem you faced, and how did you overcome it (if you did)?
  5. If you used an implementation language other than C++, describe the environments, libraries, and tools you used to support development in that language. What issues did you run into when developing in that language? Would you recommend groups use the language in the future? If so, how would you recommend groups best proceed to make it as straightforward as possible to use the language? And what should groups avoid? Finally, how many lines of code did you write for your project? (Do not include code you did not write, such as library source.) Use any convenient mechanism for counting, but state how you counted.
  6. In developing the media content for your project, you relied upon a number of tools ranging from the DirectX/OpenGL libraries to modeling software. And you likely did some troubleshooting to make it all work. So that students next year can benefit from what you learned, please detail your tool chain for modeling, exporting, and loading meshes, textures, and animations. Be specific about the tools and versions, any non-obvious steps you had to take to make it work (e.g., exporting from the tool in a specific manner), and any features or operations you specifically had to avoid — in other words, imagine that you were tutoring someone on how to use the toolchain you used to make it all work. Also, for the tools you did use, what is your opinion of them? Would you use them again, or look elsewhere?
  7. Would you have rather started with a game engine like Ogre or would you still prefer to work from scratch?
  8. For those who used a networking library (e.g., RakNet or Boost) or physics library (e.g., Bullet), would you use it again if you were starting over knowing what you know now? Describe any lessons you learned using it (problems that you had to troubleshoot and how you addressed them) for future groups who may use it. If you did not use a library, judging from the experiences of the groups that did, would you have used it in retrospect?
  9. Looking back over the past 10 weeks, how would you do things differently, and what would you do again in the same situation?
  10. Which courses at UCSD do you think best prepared you for CSE 125?
  11. What was the most important thing that you learned in the class?
  12. Please post four final screenshots of your game on your group pages for posterity.

C. Finally, if you wish, I would appreciate any feedback on the course (entirely optional):

  1. What books did you find helpful that were not on the recommended list but should be? What books were on the recommended list but were not useful and should be removed?
  2. I will be teaching this course next Spring. What advice/tips/suggestions would you give students who will take the course next year?
  3. How can the course be improved for next year?
And then, finally, you'll be done :-)