End with the Beginning in Mind

In the beginning, I created ten project ideas.
And these were without form, and I was unsure where I was going. And my train of thought moved like a bug upon glue.
And I said, let there be an idea: and there was an idea.
And I saw the idea, that it was good: and I divided the idea from the confusion.

I’m not trying to say that the creation of my project was anything like God creating the Earth. I’m simply recollecting on the origins of my project and I seem to naturally disregard the problems I faced. Nothing about Propel has been what I expected and maybe that’s for the best. I’ve trained myself to work past struggles that I never anticipated.

My project could be seen as a ‘struggle because’, but I’d prefer to see it as a ‘success despite’. I have unfortunately failed to meet my personal goals, this would usually bring my confidence down. However, when I reflect upon all that I have done, this is a minor problem. In the end, my project will be primarily a concept. My card game, Actually… will be completely developed and playable. I will have two sets of cards, my instruction manual, and a plan for graphic design. This isn’t a lot of product but it was a lot of work. It will be playable and fulfill my major goal, to have a solid game concept.

Recently, we have put together a brief description of my project. Click the link to see a concise overview of what I’ve been doing.

The final presentations at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate are coming up and if you want to hear more about my process, project and the projects my classmates have done you should attend.

I may be signing off on my blog, but my project will live on. I have had so much fun working on this game that I can’t leave it at the door of Propel. I will be attempting to complete the base elements of my game so I can launch my own personal project marketing and selling the game throughout 2019.

Thank you for reading my updates, putting up with my subtle jokes, and my far out metaphors. I have enjoyed keeping you updated on my journey through Propel. Have a lovely break and a joyous holiday. I look forward to seeing some of you in the New Year!


Chew Before You Swallow

I’ve been given the same advice too often, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” I was being careful, working in small amounts, and then I did the exact thing I was told to avoid. I chocked on a mouthful of dry Cheerios. In retrospect, this literal example was just an ironic coincidence. My actual project is less about how much I bit off and more about how I need to ‘chew’ or process each piece before I swallow.

Thank goodness for the mildly stressful, but ultimately helpful, tools of organisation I’ve been provided with. If you want this looped in with the metaphor, these tools are the teeth that help me bite off and chew my work. The most recent is a Gantt chart. If you don’t know, a Gantt chart is simply a chart that schedules tasks and their level of completion. The Gantt chart I am using to organise my project is the timeline below.

My timeline has aided my focus immensely. The title, “Actually…” is not a bad joke, but the title of the game I am creating. The yellowish line that drops down is today, the day I’m on. The most important part of the chart is the purple lines. The dark purple sections are what I have completed and the light purple is what I have left to accomplish. The dark purple should reach approximately the yellow line and when the purple line ends, I should be done that task.

You will notice that I am on track. I am ahead on several tasks and behind on a couple which averages out my workload. I have been making a point of accomplishing a task that I can check off daily. This has kept me motivated, on track, and feeling confident. My progress is consistent and I am working at a pace that I can easily maintain for the remainder of the semester. The most frustrating element of the timeline is the tasks that I am ninety percent done but cannot yet check off. That task is currently card production.

In order to do more formal tests I need a polished rough draft of the game. The card production is a tedious process. I am typing, formatting, copying, and saving. It just keeps going on and on and on and on… ugh. I have currently completed 160 of the 200 cards. Once I have finished the cards, I will print the latest draft of my instruction manual and begin card and instruction manual beta testing. This will take up most of my time for the next few weeks.

I am feeling optimistic about my project. I have been seeing improvement in my abilities, such as, how I communicate my ideas. I hope that I can keep using these teeth to bite down my project into chewable pieces. I don’t want a “hard to swallow” final product. So, I will be sure to chew before I swallow. Most importantly, I am eating Cheerios one at a time.

Sunny Skies with a Chance of Colossal Disaster

Have you ever noticed, when people in movies are driving happily, they are likely seconds away from impending doom? You cheer for them to continue safely to their destination… but what kind of story would that be? I don’t need a great story, I need a great project.

My project is moving slowly and surely toward success. I have polished and perfected my project goals, I have been doing purposeful work everyday and I’m feeling quite inspired. I’m finally where I want to be. Now my project is set, I’m making a turn based party game. There are 6 major steps I must climb on the stairway to my final project

  1. The game concept. I have decided on the general ideas surrounding the game. It will require five to nine players, it will revolve around the idea of debate with some big brother twists. I have yet to draft a unique value proposition and an elevator pitch.
  2. The instruction manual will ideally be in a casual voice. I want you to be able to play my game properly after only reading the manual once.
  3. There will be two sets of cards, claim cards and complication cards. I have about half of each set drafted. The cards should be fun but not crazy. Easy to understand but all vastly different. It has proven to be harder than anticipated.
  4. The test runs are my favourite part! Two or three times a week I have a group of classmates test a different portion of the game. This has given me a lot of helpful feedback and new ideas.
  5. The design of the game is also important, what you see when you hold the box, read the instruction and turn over your card.
  6. Printing is the farthest out of my wheelhouse. I need to research the best way to print and format my other components accordingly.

These steps have given me peace in my day to day work and simultaneously applied stress to my semester. I have now set goals, the grey has faded into distinct black and white steps.

My next few weeks are hopefully more of what I have been doing. I am excited to collaborate with one of my classmates on graphic design for my logo. I will continue to run tests and hopefully finalise my instruction manual. This smooth sailing seems a little to good to be true. The forecast for the next few weeks is sunny skies with a chance of colossal disaster.

An Uphill Battle

How did my proof of concept go? Long story short I did not prove my concept. I ended with a series of unfinished ideas that I had found huge issues with and a whole lot of questions. I don’t know if you can relate but I cannot face questions in my life without filtering through the deeper ones within me first. So, the past few weeks became a series of stressful deep thoughts, and so many questions. In the end I decided that a board game was more up my alley. I love a lot of things, but I am a master of few, so I hope this idea accommodates my broad spectrum of changing interests.  

I am creating a board game that is based around the idea of having mini arguments with your friends. After thorough testing and design, I will print and sell my game. If you are interested in purchasing a copy keep up with my next few posts. My goal is to have fun and enjoy the process and to create a game that flows well and is fun to play. I hope this project runs smoother than my proof of concept, if it doesn’t, I will use my experience from the past weeks to overcome difficulties.

The Start of Something Good

Have you ever had an epiphany that causes you to see something differently forever? I am a different person than I was a few weeks ago because Propel has opened my eyes to a world of education that is undeniably good. I am already more decisive, prepared, and self-inspired because I got to be in this unique and futuristic program. As a result of my competitive nature and my inner drive, this is the perfect environment for me. I expected that this program would be good, wouldn’t you like having an opportunity to be in school and do what you love at the same time? What I didn’t expect was how it would affect my entire personality.

I am very competitive. If you know me you know I will pursue something simply to prove someone wrong or be the best. Being surrounded these past few weeks by such creative and talented individuals has driven me to work hard and, be as unique and talented as I can. I am not working in the exact same field as anyone, however, my competitive side still drives me to excellence.

My classmates divided based on interests before they even really knew each other. The classroom we are in, screams professional work space. Everyone spread out into “departments”. You may notice that in day to day life people divide based on interests, morals and what drives them. This is what happened within a week of school. I have been switching between different room to see which suits me. My discovery was that each room has a distinct and interesting vibe. I came to the conclusion that I will not be boxed in rather I will continue to shift between rooms based on my plan and mood that day.

Unfortunately, most kids will not be able to experience a program like this within high school but I hope there comes a day that everyone will. I have been recognised for my entire school career as “the smart one”, this is never how I want to be defined. I see myself as an artist, a deep thinker, a creator, and an outside the box person. This is how I can be seen in Propel. I am not limited to my previous labels but to the labels that can propel me into the world.

My next few weeks will be dedicated to two separate proof of concepts. Within this time I need to decide which idea I will turn into a project. To get a taste of each of my ideas I will prepare and adapt one outfit from a thrift store and create a business plan to sell it. As well as writing a plot line and one scene for a potential play. I’m so excited that this is my “homework” because I would be excited to do it whether or not it was for school.

Never before have I been continually excited for a school on Monday. Knowing that I get to get up and pursue something I love in a supported and fun environment excites me. Propel is for me.