Produced by Guest blogger
This guest blog is from Jack Creasy, a BSc (Hons) Games Design graduate and TIGA (The Independent Game Developers’ Association) Graduate of the Year.
In this blog, Jack reviews his experience of the course and offers some top tips for prospective students considering our Games courses.
What made you choose BU?
I attended a Bournemouth University Open Day and was able to get an idea of how robust, and varied the Game Design course was. I am the kind of developer who wants to learn both the art and science behind video games, and this course was general enough to teach me everything I needed. So I chose BU as my first choice during my A-Levels.
What was your favourite part about your course?
I absolutely love the tutorial classes. Getting hands-on using game engines and digital art software with miniature assignments designed to hone certain skills was enjoyable, challenging, and informative. Using industry-standard software was the perfect way of getting students prepared for working in the industry.
Can you tell us a little bit about your project and what your idea behind it was? Any tricky bits and how you’ve overcome them?
My dissertation was an attempt to make an action game where the game mechanics not only feel enjoyable to play; but also aid in the storytelling. It was supposed to engage players in terms of enjoyment and challenge, as well as change and adapt the player’s emotions to mirror those of the character you play.
The difficulty was the emotional design and mechanics of metaphor implementation. There were many pillars to overcome before getting players to feel sad, anxious, happy, or angry mirroring the character. First I had to create an immersive and believable world; then give the player narrative context for the actual plot of the game. The choice to animate all the cutscenes and gameplay animations by hand was a long process, but it was very much worth the time!
The game is one I’m very proud of, even if the results of the user study were somewhat polarizing. Some players felt the emotions of the character, others questioned why the character wouldn’t fight back against the final boss (the final boss was someone they were very close with, so they would refuse to swing their sword.)
Also congratulations on your new job, maybe there are some tips and words of wisdom you could pass on to anyone who’s thinking about a career as a games designer?
Keep updating and adding to your portfolio! No matter if it’s a prototype, a single 3D model, or even a full indie game release – add it anyway! Having a degree is an outstanding achievement, but the portfolio is a necessary showcase of what your degree helped you achieve; as well as a demonstration of you using your skills outside of exams and assignments.
I recommend using WIX or something similar to create a website to place images/videos/download links to your projects. You don’t need to be a web designer, but do make sure the website is easy to use and presented professionally. Employers would get many applications at once and only have a minute or two to look at your portfolio, so really make it pop! Show them you’re a great asset to the team!