Managing challenges and creating fun: Michael Hadas Roffman's experience in game production
06/23/2023 - 12:46
- Student work
Can you tell us something about the game you worked on?
Michael: ‘The game we worked on was a multiplayer game where players control toy tanks and engage in battles set in a 1950s aesthetic. The game environment was designed to resemble someone's house. We took inspiration from movies like Toy Story. One of the challenging aspects was creating a photo-realistic yet playful environment for toy tanks to interact in.’
What did the development process look like?
Michael: 'The development process involved several stages. We started with concepting and brainstorming to create an early proof of concept. During the pre-production phase, we refined and polished the game concept, turning it into a prototype. In the third block of production, we produced more content and expanded the game. Finally, in the last block, we focused on polishing the game.’
‘The game concept changed throughout the development process due to a flawed initial briefing. We faced contradictions, such as the requirement for an arcade-style game with a photo-realistic aesthetic. We decided to lean more towards the arcade side, making it less simulation and less realistic. During our brainstorming sessions, we came up with the idea of playing as possessed toys, which added an interesting theme and aesthetic to the game.’
‘The core idea of the game was to engage in battles and collect essence to upgrade the tanks. Upgrades included increased damage, faster fire rate, bigger bullets, shields, more health, and the ability to steal from enemies. Each play session would become progressively more challenging and dynamic, providing a fun and engaging experience. We received positive feedback from early play testers, and we intentionally avoided overcomplicating the game to maintain its fun factor.’
The game, called 'Attic Panic', was released on Steam a week ago. You can play it by visiting the Steam store.
What was your role in developing this game?
Michael: ‘As someone with a specialization in production and management, my role in developing this game was to oversee the project throughout the year. Although I didn't have prior experience in management, I learned on the fly and adapted as the year progressed. My primary responsibility was to ensure the team's well-being and protect them from potential pitfalls. This involved setting objectives for each work cycle, aligning them with the expectations of lecturers, and incorporating necessary tasks like learning logs.’
‘I maintained constant communication with my team through regular one-on-one sessions. These sessions allowed team members to share their thoughts about the project, discuss any personal issues, and ensure that everyone was actively contributing towards achieving our goals. I aimed to create a safe space where individuals could voice their preferences and concerns, enabling them to work on tasks they were genuinely interested in. It was essential to foster an environment of active consent, where team members felt comfortable expressing their opinions, even if they didn't want to undertake a particular task.'
What are your future plans?
Michael: ‘In my next and final year here at BUas, I intend to join a small indie company formed by a group of students who have set up their own company. In this role, I will work as a designer and developer.’
‘Following that, I aim to undertake a work placement related to production and design. This will allow me to further enhance my skills and gain practical experience in the industry. Overall, my goal is to continue exploring opportunities in game development, utilizing both my creative and managerial abilities.’
To learn more about Michael, you can visit his LinkedIn profile.