I have always wanted to dive into game development. When I was a wee little lad, all I wanted to be when I grew up was an astronaut, or a video game designer. But going through university I realized how much I didn’t want to work in the game industry. I learned through my peers who had done work placements at EA and Ubisoft that it was a less than desirable career – stressful work environment, unpaid overtime and rigid release dates.
I put off the idea of making games and focused on developing my skills toward the job descriptions of San Francisco start-up companies, which appear to much more “fun” work environments. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I started learning about the independent game industry. Hundreds of developers in small teams creating experiences that gain popularity greater than the big studios. This is something I wanted to be a part of.
A requirement to receive an engineering degree at my university is to do what is called as the “final year project”. The project can be chosen by the student and it is supposed to encompass all that they have learned during their studies. A fellow student approached me to work with him in the upcoming semester on a game. Initially I dismissed the idea, I have seen other software engineering students create games that crashed and burned – many got in over their heads and tried to develop their own engines, others had no experience with 3d art or sound and both ended up presenting a half-assed product. What changed my mind was the fact that my future partner had a significant background in music and art. He plays several musical instruments, sings and does watercolour painting. He said he wanted to combine his artistic background but needed some technical direction. So I joined him.
Now I am attempting to gain experience in independent game development. I want to get a head start so I know what I’m getting into developing my final year project, and I have a few “dream projects” that I wouldn’t mind sharing with the world. I’ve been playing around in the Unity 3D engine and I plan on posting development logs following my process and logging the work that I have done. They say the best way to understand something is teach it to something else, and I will use the blogs as a reminder of what I have done so that when motivation is lost, I can see how far I’ve come.