CSE 481d 13sp - Retrospective Paper

The retrospective paper asks you to reflect on the design/build/debug/deploy cycle you just engaged in, and gives you an opportunity to practice written communication. Part of it asks simply to convey some facts, and part of it asks you to synthesize opions.

Your report can simply be a list of sections, with headings the questions listed next:

  • Briefly describe your design process. How did your team come to an initial design? Did you individually contribute elements to the design? How did you make changes to the design during the quarter? How does the final game design differ from the initial conception, and why?
  • Building this game is probably one of the few opportunities you've had to make sweeping design decisions. Thinking about how it went, did you learn anything? Is there anything you would do differently if you were to try to build another game in 10 weeks in a small team?
  • Briefly explain how your team was structured for implementation. Did you quickly carve out individual domains of responsibility, or were most people contributing across multiple areas? How did you communicate with each other? How did you keep track of tasks and their priorities?
  • Once again, are there things you experienced this quarter that would motivate trying a different approach (to the implementation process) the next time? Are there things that worked, and things that didn't?
  • Other thoughts -- reflecting on the experience, anything else about it that was important or useful to you that was not addressed by the questions above.
The length of the paper should be commensurate with the content. I'd guess that 3-5 pages will be typical, but length itself is not a criterion for anything.