Part 1 of Train2Game Games Designer student Jon’s video diary
It’s been a dream of his to get a career in the games industry, ever since he was visited by a Careers Advisor at school who asked him what he wants to do with his life and he said all he wants to do his make computer games.
For more information http://is.gd/bAApW
“Train2game is the name of a new educational course that sets you up for a career in the gaming world. The course has been given the thumbs up by important men in suits and you could end up with a properly recognised qualification. (Bonus!!).”
Over the past month I am gob-smacked at the amount I have learnt. Although I have only started the course and done my first modules, I feel like this is what I should of been doing all my life.
Every morning I’ll wake up with answers to problems I had the night before in game designing, even when trying to sleep my mind is buzzing with new ideas.
I would never of thought I would be able to learn and create such games so quickly and to a good standard like http://www.yoyogames.com/games/show/97263
(although the long days and nights are probably the reason!)
I have made great social network on the forum and have even started helping people out with their projects.
Project : Colonisation (World Map Designer)
Project : Soul Wars (Guild Sign Designer)
I hope they lead to more projects as I thoroughly enjoy working with the people.
Over all this has been a great opportunity where I have learnt SO much knowledge and can’t wait for more materials… BRING IT ON!
Well I have been doing my course while being in a lot of pain from the 20 wires that went through my leg in a frame in recent weeks. I have been doing physio to try and regain the ability to walk even with the pain I have been doing the course to the best of my ability so that in the end I will be able to be a game designer.
I have managed to start work on a few design documents for ideas I have had for years. One of these ideas I have adapted so it can work as a portfolio piece. Nearly all my ideas are my own, apart from one which was thought up with late night chats between me and my girlfriend (she likes to get involved). I am also quite surprised and enthusiastic about a lot of the things I have learnt while revising for the course.
I am currently doing something I never thought I would do, and that is get a library card so I can study a bit more and look up some history for one of my games. I have recently secured a job alongside my studies and feel I am putting even more time into the course than previously. I feel I have taken a positive step towards the future I have been dreaming of.
Who ever came up with the Train2Game idea is a genius to say the least. Not only does it give people the opportunity to create their own game but it also builds peoples knowledge of gaming and how computer games are created from start to finish. More importantly it actually gives people the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of becoming a computer games designer.
A bit about my background. I grew up with computers as I started out with the old commodore 64 and went right the way through each console to the current day XBOX 360 and PS2. I’m totally I.T literate, which is courtesy of the C64 because where as many people just used to play the tape games, I used it for my typing skills. This paid off as every job I’ve had since leaving school has involved a computer in one form or another. My I.T grades speak for themselves, having achieved a GCSE and a level grade at school in the subject, I also passed my ECDL and got a Merit in an advanced HEFC course at the local college to further my own knowledge which also included designing and creating my own website. So from an early age, I always had aspirations of one day making my own game and now thanks to this course, which has been a little ray of sunshine, I can now have that opportunity. One thing that I did regret was not being able to get my hands on the Nintendo power glove for the original NES, that thing rocked as I believe it was only available in the USA and I still think that it had a lot to do with the creation of the Wii because it used sensors that were place around the TV, kind of like the Wii today.
So far I have found the course challenging but interesting at the same time. I have learned things that I never knew and were quite surprised at. My achievements so far have been steady for most of my TMA’s. As you have noticed I’m sure, I’ve got 85% for 3 of them meaning 3 answers wrong each time with exception of the resubmitted one which I understand fully now where I went wrong. However there is always room for improvement and I want you to know that I always aim to get 100%. Which is exactly where I want to aim for in this course. I want to aim for the top of designing and creating my own computer game but I can’t tell the future and wants going to happen so even if I ended up as part of the team that design games then I would be satisfied with that.
To finish off, I would just like to thank you all for your help as you are always there for me when I call after each TMA to go through the incorrect answers as I do enjoy the chats as they help me to progress furthe
I should admit from the outset that I was recently made a Student Moderator for my contributions to the forums. Which I was pleased to receive because I don’t really help students for T2G as such. I help them because usually I’ve been through the exact same things myself.
Although my recent TMA’s have slowed down this is due to the fact I feel that I’m not knowing the material enough. So I’m taking time to relearn everything thoroughly and make sure I know the material. Also I’m supplementing my learning with some projects I’m working on through meeting people on the T2G forums.
Ballocks! – Made by Overdrive 24/7 Group Ballocks is a breakout style game with a twist. I learnt an incredible amount quickly from this and even wrote a little piece on what I learnt from this so other students didn’t make the same mistakes we did. Overdrive are now looking to start work on our next project, a currently unnamed platformer with a Gothic theme.
Soul Wars – Made By Gobbo Games Soul Wars is a free fantasy based MMORPG, I am currently a Senior Designer/Developer on Soul Wars. My design work has included designing systems for the inventory, persistant storage, levelling, experience, guilds, guild areas (outposts) and I’m currently working on skills and crafting systems. I also post weekly blogs letting people following Soul Wars know what the development team are up to and stuff the Soul Wars community can get involved in.
16-BIT-GAMES – A group I made. With more people appearing on the forums saying they want to join a group but not really having the time to take part in one, I designed a group which allowed more people to join and dedicate whatever time they have to a project. This slowly starting to take off and our first project looks like it will be a tower defence game. A GDD is being produced as I write this. 16-BIT-GAMES – http://16bitgames.od247.co.uk
Since starting the designer course last month I’ve been very active in the community both asking my own questions and answering those of others where I can. My most pressing concern other than the course itself is a project of mine which has been in and out of production many times for
several years but has never been approached seriously and professionally.
Since I feel I am now in the best possible place to recommence this project I have been on the lookout for new team members and am slowly but surely putting together a small team who I hope to work with to give the project a new lease of life.
Hopefully by the time this is read I will have both a basic website and a T2G group up and running and work can really begin on the project, in the meantime however I have been spending my time trying to assist others with their projects on the forums here at T2G.
Original concepts and storyboarding are two of my strengths as a designer and via the public forums, private messaging and messenger conversations I’ve been doing my best to share my thoughts and experiences with other budding designers who find themselves at a similarly early stage of design as myself in their own projects.
It’s very exciting to be part of so many fresh projects and one or two very promising ideas. Initially I was simply passing time waiting to begin my own project but now I feel quite involved in one or two of these projects and hope I have been able to help in some way with their development. I certainly feel that I have and will endeavour to continue in such a role for the duration of my time here.