The week that began the new academic year was a strange one. There wasn’t really much in the way of lectures which was to be expected, although we did have an introduction to C++ on Tuesday morning. In this lecture we were tasked with creating a text adventure. I was really interested to see how much of my C# knowledge was transferable to C++. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as much as I’d hoped, but I’m looking forward to learning more. However, I think this week was primarily about introducing the new first years to the course and to get everyone up to speed on some of the changes being made to the course overall. The primary change is that there is a new ethos within our studio spaces. From now on we are being encouraged to move around and collaborate with the different years as much as possible. I’m not sure yet how this will work, but it will be interesting to see how this gets adopted. I personally find working in the studios to be quite difficult, mainly because of noise pollution. Even wearing headphones and listening to music doesn’t help me personally and overall I find the experience distracting. I’m not hopeful that my aversion to the studio will change with this new way of working, but you never know.
To get to know the new first year students we had an ice breaker session. The entire Games Design and Art course, which is now a complete three years, played a game together. There were fifty plus students in attendance. I think this speaks to health of the course and it’s good to see it thriving. I like to think that in some small way our year had an impact on this. After all, we were the first year ever. During the ice breaker session, we discussed the idea of what makes a good working environment and good studio practise. Being kind to each other was encouraged along with embracing the differences between us. This kind of stuff is obvious to most people, but it was nice to see it mentioned anyway.
Friday was the launch day for our project this semester. I love to make games which is the reason I’m on this course in the first place. Coming up with interesting ideas and actually making things is what I thrive on. Which is why when I heard that the first five weeks of this semester was going to be spent entirely on research, I wasn’t particularly enthused. It’s not that I don’t see the merit in research, It’s just interminably boring to me. The idea is that through all this research we are to find a brilliant starting point for an idea, an idea which will eventually evolve into the premise of our final major projects. This could be a game, although it doesn’t have to be. We are being encouraged to expand our ideas of what games can be. Over the next few weeks we have to come up with four “starting points,” we then have to present these to the rest of the group and discuss them. I have no idea to what end, which I guess is the entire point. However, this just makes me feel directionless and that there isn’t actually a plan in place. I’m still uncertain as to whether these starting points are just things we found interesting or actual ideas for games.
However, despite the demotivating start, I’m really looking forward to this year. It provides me a great opportunity to work on something which interests me, and only me, for the entire year. Which is pretty much what I did last year come to think of it. Although, unlike previous years we are not being put into groups. This means we can work alone if we choose to. I am still undecided as to whether I will work on my own or not. I think it will depend on the ideas I come up with. Bringing them to life may require a group effort. Either way, I’m excited to get started on making something interesting. I already have a germ of an idea which I’m interested in pursuing. Although, we’ve been told that if we have an idea already, it’s likely the wrong one. Time will tell.