What are your Goals, and where is your progress bar?

Well there are already 25 folk who have joined the UNversity FB event, plus the Twitter stream which seems to have picked up one other participant so far.

Not everyone has posted their UNversity goals yet, or some have only vaguely hinted at what they’ll be doing – so time for some more tips and suggestions.

Two tips for setting goals:

  • Make your goals realistic and achievable. You should aim high – as high as possible – but if you have a family holiday, other work commitments and still want some outside time, be realistic about what you can achieve over the summer
  • Goals should be as explicit as possible. ‘A game engine’ is quite vague as a goal, because game engines vary tremendously in scope and features. Do you actually mean that you intend to create a 2D or 3D game or demo, or are you really wanting to work on an engine (which might not result in anything that is playable)? Can you outline the set of features you hope to implement?

And some possible goal examples:

  • To rework <game coursework X> to add <list of features and/or improvements to the code>
  • To create a 2D/3D tech demo using <programming language/technology> and demonstrating <some features you want to implement>
  • To create a simple <FPS/strategy/arcade/whatever> game in 2D/3D <programming language/technology> and demonstrating <some features you want to implement>
  • To complete <some online course, from e.g. Coursera or Udacity>
  • To study <some programming book> and complete the major programming exercises from each chapter

The more detail you can fill in on your goals the better.

You also need some kind of measure of progress. The simplest way to update people of your progress is to post a weekly (or twice weekly) update to the Facebook group/twitter with some key notes of your progress. Even better, keep a blog and write it up there in glorious detail, and post a link to the group/twitter. And you might also want to use some of the project management methods covered in the classes to help you better measure progress against the goals you have set for the project.

I will soon (honest) be posting an update on the various projects chosen and progress made so far by some of the folk taking part… stay tuned.

5 thoughts on “What are your Goals, and where is your progress bar?

  1. My summer will be spent devoting time to digital art as I push to improve my skills and home in on a job as a concept artist.

    Currently I am working on a volunteer basis with a few games, but want to do my own stuff too and by the end of the summer have a much stronger portfolio of work.

    Will also create a website for myself rather than use the blogspot.

    • Having a good portfolio site is an essential – so ultimately that is a good goal. Even WordPress.com sites might end up inserting adverts where you don’t want them. Most budget hosts have a cpanel interface – which can give you your own WordPress blog at the click of a button. Then (optionally) install a custom theme, and away you go…
      Listing the projects you are involved in, and what you aim to achieve on each would make your goal list complete (assuming you aren’t under NDA of course)

      • ye, ive signed NDAs for both projects unfortunately. Will deffo be looking into the site, but first wanna have enough work to fill it up with. Maybe start a blog too on it.

  2. I’ve just this minute made a wordpress blog for documenting my progress through my projects, as i’m new to blogging i just made a quick wordpress blog (currently with only 2 posts) but i intend to eventually get a proper site up with my e-portfolio on it, once i have a bit more to put on it..

    • WordPress is very good for letting you copy your content out for when you do move to self hosting (or vice versa). For a smallish annual cost you can also use WordPress.com with your own domain name or disable adverts, so I think it is a good choice.

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