Pre-GDC Update – Avalanche and Box Castle

This program has really been amazing, and opened a ton of doors for me. It’s hard to even know where to start.

 

I’ve been at the Genetics Science Learning Center for about a month now, and it’s been a really great experience. I’m getting to work on a small team, all working towards a similar goal. We’ve been tackling learning objectives, and I’m getting to design based on what I’ve learned about user experience. I’m really hoping that I can convince my bosses there to start implementing data collection through their interactive learning aids. I think that would help inform some of their projects going forward, and might even help secure grant funding.

 

Around the time of my last post, I interviewed at Avalanche in Salt Lake (Warner Brothers). I took the interview mostly for practice, and I thought it went ok but not great so I didn’t post about it. Yesterday I found out that they want to hire me for an internship position though. That’s really a dream come true, it’s a really excellent opportunity and I’m really looking forward to starting this summer. I still don’t have details on what I’ll be doing exactly, but I’m sure it’ll be great. Since I didn’t expect to get that position, I had been working on lining up interviews with Rockwell Collins here in Salt Lake. I intend to still go through with those interviews, at least for the practice. If that goes well it may open doors for me later, even if it’s unlikely I take a position there now.

 

Our semester project is coming along well. I’m really happy with our process, it feels like we’ve really taken to heart all the things we’ve learned from prototyping. Rob Baer’s animations look awesome, and the whole game reads really well on a phone. Jonathan has put together a level editor, and I’ll be working on getting our minimum viable product ready in time for GDC. Speaking of GDC, I found out that I’m the only one driving, so the EAE program is renting me a car to drive their supplies. It’s coming up quick, and I’m not sure how I’ll get everything done in time, but I believe! Oh, and we settled on the studio name “Box Castle” and our team really liked my concepts for a logo, which we’ll get printed on shirts. Super stoked.

 

Ashley’s class GUR is also going really well. She’s brought in a local studio run by previous EAE graduates, and we’re going to get some consulting experience testing their game. I’ve realize that I’m going to have to make a more flexible resume soon, as my experience is quickly outpacing my layout.

 

Again, this program is amazing. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned and gained.

Spring Semester – Explosive Start

This semester (Spring 2018) is already off to an amazing start…

First, we got the bombshell that we weren’t starting a three-semester project, but instead set to develop a mobile game in time for the Game Developers Convention over a single semester. This also means that next year we’ll be undertaking a year-long development on some other type of game. I’m really happy with this change, and really looking forward to this semester’s project.

We also got to choose our groups, which went quite literally perfectly. Every member of my eight-person team is both highly skilled and enjoyable to be around. We discussed everyone’s goals for this semester, and have settled on a really strong concept. From our time in the prototyping class we’ve really learned the value of developing a core mechanic through iteration and testing. Within the first week we had a white-box playable and over the next week I’ll start using what I’m learning in Game’s User Research to keep driving our development with data.

I was also very fortunate to be offered a position as the Genetic Science Learning Center as a Unity developer. I’ve only been there for a week but I really like it so far and it’s a great opportunity to continue developing my skills in both Unity and C# more generally.

This last weekend was completely occupied with the Global Game Jam, my first jam ever. I cannot express enough how much I loved it. The 12-person team, the breakneck pace, the pure chaos; it was heaven. I was completely blown away by how much my team accomplished, and was floored by the quality and inventiveness of all of the teams. I’ll definitely be doing more jams, and am already looking forward to next year’s GGJ.

Looking forward, I’m really excited about applying all the things I’m learning in Ashley’s Game’s User Research class, and the development of our mobile game. We’ve got a bunch of new mechanics to test over the next few weeks and I’ll be sure to post updates as it progresses.