Robin Channon – Industry Experience Diary No.2

June 1, 2011

Industry Experience Diary

Ok, so here I am 5 weeks into my placement, I guess the first question you would like to ask is me “Am I enjoying my experience?” I can categorically say, without a shadow of a doubt “yes”, this experience to date has; furthered my thirst to my work in the industry, given me knowledge beyond my Train2game education and shown me that; with the right team around you, so much can be achieved in a very little time.

Above and beyond these things is the personal growth I have started to notice, I have become more confident in my own ability, strengths and what I have learned so far, I am also more aware of my weaknesses and how to overcome them, how to turn my weaknesses into a strengths, and how to help others do the same.

In terms of the work I am currently tasked to do for my placement and indeed the studio, I have been asked to produce a placement students “How to” guide for the title I have been working on during my last few weeks, the idea being a new student would be handed my “How to” guide and after carefully reading the information and following the instructions, would be able to follow in my footstep and go on to produce more levels for the “cutesy, cartoon styled, physics based title” I am working on.

The team continue to make me feel welcome, and I feel that I have become an integral part of that team, as if I was employed here, making leaving in a few weeks a much harder prospect.

I have just finished the levels I was tasked to design, and the title is now ready to have its music and sound effects added, this may take some time and I will have probably left before this happens.

I feel both relieved, disappointed that the game from my point of view is complete, this game has after all been my first live project, my first credited title and a significant boost to my confidence and knowledge in game design, to some designers it must seem a joke, however this game is a milestone on the road I am travelling its ‘My First Game’ and I feel I have earned through hard work ,early mornings and a few not so late nights; the right to brag about it.

The relief comes in the form that; I know I did it, I managed not to completely screw up, I managed to design parts of a game that actually work’s and it will get to see the light of day.

The disappointment is the fact that it’s over, it’s complete and I can do no more ‘My First Game’ is no longer mine to, manipulate, alter, add and subtract from in fact the next time I see it, the game will belong to the consumer and then it will be just ‘A Game’, and I guess I will be working towards ‘My Second Game’.

I guess that’s something else I have learned, the amount of hard work that goes into something even as simple as the above mentioned game, its taken the whole team (not including music) 7 weeks to produce this title, that in its self is something to be very proud of, take into account during this time, they have had to teach me how to use the programs required to complete the levels, and deal with anything I broke or couldn’t fix without there help, its not only a personal achievement, it’s a team achievement one I’m very proud to be part of.

So what’s next I wonder, I have to complete the ‘how to guide’ (almost done) and finish writing this student diary, which is slightly surreal as that’s what I’m doing right now as I type this?

But then what where do I go form here? What will Tony task me to do in my final weeks at DR this anticipation is killing me, and to be honest I love it, having a constantly evolving job, where one day you are testing a game and the next your re-designing it, is awesome it keeps me on my toes, the studio itself is never still, its in a perpetual state of movement someone is always doing something its never static, as I spin in my chair to view the room some people are eating breakfast some are writing their latest blogs, others are deep in contemplation (or asleep) not sure which at times, however all of them are working towards a common goal, and to me that goal is putting smiles on faces and lets be honest money in our pockets, I used to use a motto and maybe its time to dust it off “It’s not the games I make, it’s the smiles I make because of them” this still holds true for me, to watch someone play something I have designed, to see them smile as they do creates a feeling I will never get over no mater how many times I feel it.

I am totally confident that at some point in the future, I will be sat behind a similar desk to the one I find myself behind today, doing the job I am growing to love even more everyday, despite having bad days, days where if its going to go wrong it does, days where no matter what you do it just will not work, this day may not be next week next month or even next year but it will arrive and the skills I am learning here at DR, will hopefully come into their own on that day and put me in a position where I can say, “wow I know how to do that”, or “I have the skills required to complete that task”, giving me the edge over other people in a similar position, and landing me the job I so want to spend every day doing.

Well I have two weeks left at DR, and I intend to glean as much knowledge form the people who work here, I would like to leave here saying I have learned something new every day, so far this is an achievable goal and I don’t see me failing in this task, my knowledge base has grown beyond the level I thought it would reach in this short time here, and I still have 2 weeks left.

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