Chris Robinson – Industry Experience Diary No.1

June 1, 2011

Industry Experience Diary

Well.

Here is my opportunity to detail my experiences; working at DR studios as a junior designer; what it’s really like working in a studio environment; the bits I enjoy and the bits I don’t, because the inevitable truth is -no job (even the job I’m so passionate about doing} is sugar coated and perfect.

The studio is a very quiet, professional, friendly, accompanied with a passion you sense from everyone working within the studio. My first day was very stressful; I was up at 5am and got a lift down the motorway from Huddersfield; 3 hours on the road; constantly worrying and apprehensive about my first day.

I was welcomed and meeting everyone was great and calmed my nerves. The day was nice and easy; reading previous student placements work, which was very interesting to see the quality level and creative flare from other students.

Now that I’m well into my second week, everyone is very friendly and I feel like a member of the design team rather than just a student, which is awesome. Working along side a Lead designer is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I’ve learnt a great deal from Mete in such a short space of time, I’ve also learnt a lot from Jason; teaching me art techniques and document layout art sizes, etc. So really appreciate his help.

The most enjoyable factor is working in such a dedicated, passionate environment, it boosts my abilities & confidence, and it’s definitely without a doubt a career I wish to pursue.

One of the most enjoyable jobs of a designer is creating ideas for games, writing pitch documents, level editing and play testing, I love creating concepts and seeing the end result, my style of pitches is visual, catchy and concise, but this is not always the case: A pitch will differ in quantity and structure depending on whether it’s a pitched within the studio, or to a publisher. It also depends on the genre and current market. One of the most important things before you do any pitch is research. IP research consists of: finding out market trends sale figures (although I advise to avoid this) competition, etc. But I can honestly say that research is a pain in the arse. But that’s just tough, because it needs to be done; if not, you’re buggered. It’s what a job as a designer entails, no job is perfect, you aren’t going to like everything, if you do, well, then – you’re just lucky.

Another job task is brainstorming, now this is really cool; brainstorming awesome ideas, but guess who has to take every ones notes and put them into one concise document? That’s right me, and if you’re a designer reading this then YOU too! But as I’ve already said, its part of my job and I’m willing to do it because I’m passionate and determined with what I want to do, which is, as you already guessed – a designer.

Level editing with DR’s engine and laying out my level designs in Visio is awesome and really enjoyable. I love the level engine here; you can asset co-ordinate within the script, but at the same time – view your changes in live time on the game screen, and test your changes by play testing.

Another valued experience and enjoyable aspect is pitching, I’ve pitched my pitch doc to Tony this week, and Its really cool, was nerve racking, but still cool, I’m pitching again today and I’m buzzing with nerves.

So yeah that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to these past two weeks; flown by — but loved every second, as well as learning so much that will easily be remembered, because I’ve done it practically and done it under the watchful eye of a very experienced lead designer.

My next diary will be in the next 2/3 weeks, so until then – stay tuned!

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