Okay, so it’s been a while since I posted properly. Apart from Saturday’s post about the 99 Percent Bundle.
University’s going… Well, it’s going. Last week of the autumn term’s just started, and after having a dip in motivation, I’m back on track. This course is far from perfect. At times, it barely scraps the “good” bar. Some of the units are a chaotic mess, others are barely manageable. Occasionally some of the lectures are fun. However, don’t even get me started on the horror stories I’m hearing from the third years. That’s for Chris to tell you.
It’s not all bad though. Last week, I finally had an email regarding my grades for our first Java assignment. First bit of Java I’d ever coded, and I had a First. That was an ego booster for the later assignments. Our current Java assignment is regarding GUIs, and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into that – despite me still laughing every time our lecturer says “GUI” (What can I say – I’m immature!)
With regards to the rest of our coding this year – C++ with Allegro. Yet again, I can understand the more advanced stuff that’s not covered in the syllabus (audio, for example) yet I’m having trouble with the more basic stuff that we’re covering in class. Last week, I manned up and asked for help (on a worksheet that was from 4 weeks ago). Now, anyone who knows me, I am afraid of asking for help. For some reason, I’d rather plod along not really know what I’m doing or where I’m going than ask for help. However, in this particular worksheet I had an issue I’d been spending weeks on trying to solve. In the 20 mins my lecturer spent with me, I swear that was the most stupidest I’d ever felt. My mind always goes blank whenever I ask for help as the lecturers will talk you through the thought process of where you’re going wrong (which is fantastic, by the way. You get to the solution by yourself, yet with some guidance) by asking you little questions such as “What do you think you should be doing that variable?” And my mind always goes blank. However, I eventually got there – my problem? I’d sized a bitmap incorrectly. All that worry and stress over something that took less than 30 secs in Paint to rectify.
Something that I’m really enjoying this year is Gameplay and Game Design. I’m enjoying the unit content, not necessarily the unit. Designing games (in a written format – I have no art skills, at all!) and creating new mechanics is something I love doing. The assignment for this unit is a paired piece of work that is supposed to represent 200 hours of work (each), our third year dissertation is supposed to represent double that. However, I’m doing this work alone, and I am looking forward to diving into this headfirst over the Christmas holidays.
That leads me nicely into my last piece of “news” that I wish to cover here. As many of you are aware, Blitz Games Studios runs Open Days every year for applicants from a wide range of aspects of the gaming industry. I had originally thought about applying through the Programming track, however I (sensibly) decided that nothing I could code in that amount of time would ever be good enough, or I’d probably never even get around to submitting something. After deciding not to apply, I thought nothing of it, until last week. I went back to the website and noticed a Game Design track, and after reading the work brief – well, there’s nothing I want to participate in more. I think with game design, I have found my calling. I’ll be posting some ideas I have over the next few weeks and please, feel free to provide constructive criticism. I am not looking for false positive feedback – that’s no good to anyone in the long run.
Just a finishing note, I want to get back into writing. It used to be a passion of mine and over the last few years, I’ve been wanting to get back into it. However, I can’t seem to think of any ideas. So, dear readers, I’m requesting your help here; Decide on a short story idea for me! Leave your ideas in the comments or tweet them to me.
Thank you for reading this.