Thursday, 9 August 2012

Personal Review of the First Year

I’ve enjoyed this year. Yes, there have been parts that were difficult, frustrating, or just plain tedious – mostly while I was getting to grips with 3DS Max - but those are all part of the experience and I’ve learned from them, too.

I do feel as though Game Production overshadowed the other two modules, simply because I put more time on it. It was mostly new and therefore more interesting, but being new also meant I was severely underestimating the time it would take me to do things. Next year I need to manage my time better and not let work from one module pile up. I definitely tried to do too much with each project, and then ended up not having enough time to finish what I was doing. Somehow modelling brings out my perfectionist tendencies. I need to aim lower so I can actually get things finished and leave myself time to tackle any unforeseen problems.

That said, I learned a lot of things and I can now plan for the problems better. Next year I really need to put more work into visual design, and focus on developing my confidence in digital painting.

Critical studies suffered most of all, since writing is not one of my strong points, nor is writing about things as I go along. I think I just need to accept that it’s difficult and push myself to write even when I don’t know what to say. With Critical Studies, it wasn’t a time issue exactly, but more that I’d not be able to think of what to write, decide to leave it for later and then forget about it. That said I’ve definitely spent more than four hours on each of the posts. Half of the time I’m not even sure if I’m writing the right things, if I’m being too critical of what I’m posting. I never know if I should just post what I’ve written as soon as it’s grammatically sound instead of sitting on each post for a week and then rewriting half of it, or if revising what I’ve written actually helps. I intended to post about projects on my blog, but ended up only using Facebook. Hopefully next year I’ll actually get around to doing that.

Facebook has been indispensable as a means of getting feedback on work, and even if I don’t get any comments, it still reassuring to have work uploaded, because presumably if I was doing everything completely wrong, somebody would have said something. The Dmuga Technical group in particular has helped me out a few times when 3DS Max has done something inexplicable.

I do feel like the start of the year could have been a bit more structured. I got into bad habits early on and then spent the rest of the year trying to catch up. Maybe a small group project might have helped? Either way, I’m now more aware of how the workload pans out across the year. Hopefully second year won’t be so different that I can’t learn from my mistakes this year.

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