UX Lab Quest, Part 02

The limitations of having us producers double as developers/programmers was made abundantly clear this past Friday.  We had a mission due that day, and because of various producers trying to figure out how certain types of software works (Flight Simulator X Software Development Kit (FSX SDK), G-Max, etc.)), and just general lack of training / familiarity with the software, the mission wasn’t completed until 3:30 AM on a Saturday morning, technically mission the deadline but c’est la vie.

Homer Simpson Saying D'OH!


This leads to a few concerns on my part, which I’ve always suspected but were more or less verified from this mission 2 debacle experience.  The foremost concern is the lack of a full-time, dedicated developer / programmer for this NFA project.  Standing side-by-side with this concern is the fact that the producer most skilled with these programs is graduating by the end of this week.  There is a rumor that Tech Games, who is associated with this project, will offer him a job.  When I ask myself what’s best for the project as a whole, I’m hoping the job offered is competitive and that he accepts.

But I digress…

Luckily, we do have a producer with a programming background, so hopefully he can step into that lead designer role.  As for the remaining producers excluding myself, I know there have been some interesting difficulties that have emerged with regards to learning FSX SDK.  Actually, that would be an understatement.  We’re quite a ways beyond our comfort zone.

For myself, I can say that it’s far beyond my skill set to script things.  Some people find certain things easier than others: math, music, language, etc.  Being the oldest one in the lab, and having worked in life, albeit in different industries from gaming, I’ve grown to be able to give fair assessments of my limitations.  Learning Flight Simulator X Software Development Kit (FSX SDK) for myself would be a full-time job that would personally take me at least 3-6 months of consistent effort.  The level I would need to be at to script the missions we’re doing would be two weeks.

With that said, curriculum development for the missions has kept me busy enough that I haven’t had time to attempt to learn FSX SDK anyways.  My former teaching background helped me in this regard, though not entirely.  I think I talked about it at greater length in part 01, so I’ll refrain from doing so here.

Ultimately, I’m still trying to figure out if not having time to learn FSX SDK is a blessing or a curse for both my sanity and the NFA project as a whole…in the meantime, I better get a head start on the mission 3 curriculum development powerpoint.


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