COVID-19 Difficulties

Our Capstone Project planning began in Fall 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. Our entire project was completed under the restrictions placed due to COVID-19, which introduced some difficulties that could have otherwise been avoided.

Because the two of us were unable to meet up with each other during the planning stages, it was difficult to get our ideas across without the help of whiteboards and visual aids that would otherwise be present in a setting if we were to meet up in person. With only voice, we could only provide examples that existed on the internet already, providing a not very accurate representation of our ideas. Thus there were some miscommunications that we had to work out between each other and extra time to ensure we both understood what we wanted our project to entail. The inability to meet in person caused us to spend extra time that could have been spent otherwise.

Even during the production stages, the inability to meet in person did indeed frustrate us. We could not assist each other efficiently as any issues or debugging had to be resolved through furious conversations through voice chat, or low resolution screen shares in order to solve our problems. The inability to edit each other’s code without the process of committing to git slowed us down more than necessary. The time spent trying to work around this restriction could have been spent programming other features or improving what we already had. But instead, it required both of our undivided attention to properly debug each other’s code when issues arose.

Thankfully, we were not without answers. Discord, an application that allowed us to voice chat and screen share for as long as we wanted, was already a staple within our lives. It was not a foreign concept for the two of us to chat and communicate online. In some ways, communicating through Discord did assist us as anything we typed into our chat logs were recorded and a simple pinned message could be immediately and easily accessed, allowing us to view the ideas we deemed as important easily than taking notes and pictures in person. Zoom, a similar application to Discord but more geared towards group meetings, also assisted us during playtesting sessions and meetings with our advisor. Using Zoom, we could also listen to immediate feedback from those who play tested our game.

All in all, COVID-19 did make this process much more frustrating and did eat up some of our time, but with all the resources available online, it was unable to curb our progress on our Capstone Project.