Aims for the Summer

June 14, 2009

I get the impression that in the States, University runs through the middle of the year. In the UK however, it tends to run from September until June/July. This leaves several months during the summer to do… Things.

I’m now currently in the summer between my second and third years of University and whilst previously I might have spent plenty of time just playing and analysing games, this time I need to be better focused. For starters, thus far I’ve done some modelling and level design and bits and pieces. I’ve had to in-fill in a few areas where I’ve lacked knowledge and it hasn’t been taught, for instance, no time was spent on giving us the basics of photoshop (Though I understand this has since changed, partly on my recommendation).

Worst of all however, is that I don’t have a strong understanding of anything above mod making level. As far as I’m concerned this isn’t good enough, it’s all fine and well being able to chuck some static mesh models into a level and light them but if I hope to get anywhere in this business I need to form a stronger understanding of a proper tools pipeline and a working game engine. Plus, I’m not overly sure I’m happy with the depths of information taught on the theory side, fortunately a gent by the name of Ian Schreiber has been kind enough to put an online game design course on the web for free as a trial for a paid game design course.

Heres the full list of tasks I’ve set for myself during the next 16 or so weeks between now and the time my degree resumes for the third and final year:

  1. I’ve bought an indie license for Torque 3D, I aim to learn it well enough to use it in the third year, the documentation looks to be really strong which was why I was willing to put down the cash. I hope to, at the very least, build a framework for a mechanically straightforward adventure game set so that in year 3 I can focus on putting a game together instead of losing time to learning the engine.
  2. I’ve already signed up for Ian Schreiber’ design course it conveniently runs during my down-time months which is all kinds of awesome. Plus, it’s clear that stuff that hasn’t been covered on my degree is going to come up on this course, such as prototyping. If game design is something your interested in, then I’d suggest you either sign up yourself or visit the site during the coming few months, either way, it’s bound to be interesting.
  3. I’ve already paid for Develop in Brighton (The event itself, the hotel room and the train tickets at least), running from 14th-16th July it’s an event aimed primarily at game developers from a variety of fields including design, art, audio and plenty more. And students (like myself) get in for half price, though that’s still more than I would be likely to pay for a science fiction conference or something. Having been to two previous Develop conferences, I feel it’s good value for money.
  4. As my degree has an inevitable academic background to it, there’s a dissertation to be done as well, I understand that 6000 words is actually rather light for most dissertations and on the face of it that doesn’t sound like a lot. That said, I’ve been in situations where I’ve struggled to hit a 3k word count on an assignment for one reason or another. In order to reduce the chance of this happening I’m gonna need to put some advance work into it… I’ll leave the specifics of what I’m going to do for another blog post though.

That’s the full list, I’ve got several months, technically, but I know that those will all dissapear in the blink of an eye… So I won’t be counting months, I’ll be counting it in weeks and asking myself, what have I achieved this week and probably end up telling myself that’s not enough…


2 Responses to “Aims for the Summer”

  1. Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.

    I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    • Robert Farr Says:

      Yeah I’m on Twitter as Larington, regrettably I haven’t really been able to muster the enthusiasm to work on anything and I’ve found forcing it backfires so until inspiration strikes I’m on hold on making things.

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