Firsts, that is; the first day at university, first lesson and the first assignment, among other not so tasty or enjoyable firsts.
I was surprised to be told within minutes of the lesson that our lead tutor, Frankie Cavanagh, is going to be leaving soon – taking some of the staff with him – to start some other game related course across from our university. We were also introduced to the fellow who would be replacing him called Martin Holcroft, who just finished working at Ubisoft on Watch Dogs. Hopefully, this will work out better for us but only time will tell.
With that out of the way, we dove straight into the first assignment brief; a pitch to the local council for a video game based in your hometown. I had to sip the air and hold my breath, to stop myself screaming “JARRA!” in my best Viking voice.
Idea’s started to distract me from the class and within minutes I had ruled out any kind of large-scale genre-defining production. Sure, I could pitch an action-RPG where you play as the Venerable Bede, vanquishing swamp dwelling mud-men in the depths of Jarrow Slake, but the appeal would be too niche. I felt that giving consideration to the brief, it needed to be sensible and viable for the imagined investor. After mind-mapping my options, I found the best combination would involve some kind of mobile application for smartphones. Simple gameplay mechanics married with a history lesson, which can be used as an educational tool for a larger audience.
I started to get carried away in the details so I stopped and took a moment to re-read the brief. I reminded myself that I simply need to produce a plan, research, referencing and an analytical analysis. Something a team of developers could take away and create a game design document from. With this in mind, I continued to jot notes frantically, which I will type up by Wednesday because I’d like to have a chance to dream a bit before I commit.
Frankie told us that we’d need some key tools to succeed; folders for printed work, a blog (check) with entries for each day I work on the assignment and an Edmodo account which I’ll need to sign up for later today. I’m also going to make some adjustments to the website – categorising my blog posts – because it’s looking likely that I’ll end up with a lot more work on here than I thought.