Yu-Gi-Oh! 3Digital Monsters Postmortem

I lead the senior projects team at Villanova that worked on the Yu-Gi-Oh! 3Digital Monsters fangame for the Oculus Rift in 2013.  This is a list of lessons learned.

Here’s everyone who helped:

  • Jeff Linahan (me)- stereoscopic rendering (C++/DirectX)
  • Kyle Dunn – webmaster (WordPress)
  • Todd Giang – YGO rules engine (C++)
  • Chris Backofen – moral support and feedback
  • Tom English – console (C++)
  • Taylor Clifton – version control, scripting (Git, Python)

What went right

  • We worked successfully together as a team
  • We proved that virtual reality would be here soon and could work on it
  • We got to work on a project we felt passionate about based on a fandom that we love
  • Someone even made a video about us!  Unfortunately, he didn’t show any of the monsters or effects.  (It was a school project but not in Unity.  I took some rendering code in Frank Luna’s book and started extending it, adding a ton of new routines, implementing my own linear algebra libraries and shaders to support the Oculus Rift)

What we could have done better

  • There was no need to migrate from mercurial to git just because we wanted to use git – mercurial would have worked fine
  • We had no bug database, alerting each other of problems by email.  Tools like trello are easy to use and aren’t overkill for semester long projects
  • Better testing.  It crashed when we were demoing it to someone – so embarrassing
  • The rules engine didn’t have to be in C++ and could have been more easily coded in a scripting language like Python.
  • Talk to more fans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *