The Radiant Ronin formally presented Kanji Samurai to our professors and peers last Monday evening. It was a long series of presentations–they started at 5:30pm and ended around 9:00pm. Each team was given 10 minutes to present. After their 10 minutes were up, they would have to leave the stage no matter how close they were to finishing their presentation. Running out of time was my greatest fear. I worried I would ramble on for too long and run out of time, but thankfully my fears proved unfounded.
We finished within the 10 minute mark and people seemed to enjoy it. I received many supportive high fives on my way back to my seat. Our success is mostly in part to the amount of practice and time that went into making the presentation itself. My team and I attended a student-run practice presentation and practiced our presentation amongst ourselves multiple times. Even Maddie and Eric, who didn’t speak during the presentation, attended our practices. It was a good thing too, because at the student-run practice presentations some feedback we received was that Eric was too fidgety while Glynis and I were talking.
When it came to the format of the presentation itself, I opened it with a joke. Traditionally, producers introduce each of their team members and their disciplines. I followed this tradition, but also tried to incorporate a little humor. After our title slide bearing the name of our team and our game, the following slide featured a picture of me facing off with my teammates, samurai sword in hand. I introduced myself as “Emily Harnedy, the producer” and then as I clicked to the slide with our team picture (I’m the one on the left), I noted, “This is how I motivate my team!” Then I got into introducing each of my teammates one by one: Eric, our reliable programmer, Maddie, our talented artist, and Glynis, our visionary designer. I agonized over that picture for a while. I couldn’t tell if I just thought it was funny or if it actually was, but I’m glad I went for it because we got a lot of laughs. Glynis made the crowd laugh too; she is a natural presenter. She and I took turns going over the information in the presentation. I introduced the team, our target audience, and spoke about our requested resources. Glynis spoke about the intent behind our game, our iterative process, and what features we plan to add next semester if permitted to go forward. The gameplay trailer I wrote about in my last blog post also debuted off in the middle of our presentation.
After the Monday night presentations, the stress wasn’t over yet as Tuesday was demo night! Each of the 16 teams who presented were divided into 3 groups that showed off their games at designated times. Glynis and I were in the 6:15pm group. Even though the future of our game was uncertain, I still took notes on the professor’s feedback about our game in the hopes of implementing their suggestions if we were given the green light for next semester.
After demos on this Tuesday night before Thanksgiving break, most of the game majors attended a party to let off steam after the past stressful two days. I attended with my team, and we all drank and played games until the fateful email from our professors arrived. One of my classmates quieted everyone down and said that we’d gotten an email from Professor Bemis entitled “Senior Production Projects.” The results were in. We insisted on knowing the number of teams that made it before he announced those who’d passed. My classmate told us that 10 out the 16 teams that presented had made it through to next semester. Lots of people started frantically checking their phones, myself included, too impatient to wait for their game to be called. My boyfriend’s email loaded faster than mine and he said “We made it.” I wasn’t sure if he meant just his team or mine as well. I leaned in and quickly scanned the list until I saw it:
We had made it! Deep down I genuinely believed we would, but I tried not to speculate because I did not want to be disappointed. I am so glad I reached out to Glynis last spring and asked to work with her. I think we Radiant Ronin made it through because our game is unique. It is the only educational game and I think the professors’ respected us for that. The Core faculty who worked with us told us during our demo that it would be nice to see a quality educational game come out of Champlain College. The Radiant Ronin, with our talented members and incoming teammates, are dedicated to doing just that with Kanji Samurai.