SIPBLOG: Struggles and magic – 6/24/22

Published on Friday, June 24th, 2022

What’s up y’all! My name Is Kristophe Yen, I am a rising Junior at Brown University. I am one of the programmers for Team Batura and am working on Grandpa Run/ Raving Grandpa.

Walking into SIP I was incredibly excited to share the ideas and visions that I had for games that my team and I would potentially work on. It was one of my first times working on a multidisciplinary team and I wanted to contribute in any way that I could. This process did not go the way that I expected. At all. I gravely underestimated how tedious and, at the time, repetitive the brainstorming phase of our games was. Along with the fruition of new and fun ideas that we all wanted to tackle together also came a mountain of rejection. At one point each time we pitched our ideas I walked in being ready to have our idea shut down.

Pic 1

Our team and the visiting 5th graders

I failed to realize why we had to put away so many ideas that we truly believed we could execute. It was not until two distinct moments that I realized the importance of going through such an iterative process to release a successful game: having the 5th graders come in to play our game and having to put away a game that we were excited to work on. At the moment when we put away our first idea for a game that we started working on, it hurt to stop producing a game that we had already put so much work into. But the rejection I faced before showed me the importance of cutting a game short when multiple red flags are pointing toward struggles, we may face in the future. When we had the 5th graders come in, I could not help but be happy when they were excited to play our game, I was able to see all our hard work finally instill joy in someone’s gaming experience, and I could not be more grateful for an experience like that. It was a full-circle moment!

Pic 2

An older build vs the most recent

I am not sure if it’s because I am a programmer, so I have become detached from reality after staring at my computer all the time, but I am a thorough believer in magic. Due to this role, I often feel the need to execute a vision perfectly. As a programmer with a team relying on you, you want to make sure that you can make the dreams of all your teammates come true. Writing this out I guess I have taken the guise of fairy godmother unprovoked, huh?

SIP has introduced me to many struggles but has also introduced me to a strong support system. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity and people I have met in the program as professionals and as friends. Walking forward I hope to release a game that we will all be proud of, and I promise none of the teams will disappoint, the work that they have all put in will speak volumes once the games are released. Tune in because SIP22 will shake the table!

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