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What’s in a game? Our Salford Uni Interns explore

Posted by
Jodie Houghton

Categories
Design, Development, Us

In early July two students from Salford University joined BBI. Both they and the team had one goal in mind; to make an amazing mobile game. The challenge was set, two developers, one month, one game.   

Here we’ll find out, “how the heck do you make a videogame anyway?”

Jess, Design Intern

Because of our background in game design study, the team set us a task to make a game for the company based on the Olympics, as the games were not far away. We were given the option to share the task of programming with the development team or trying our hand at it ourselves with their support. Feeling somewhat adventurous, we opted to try to do the programming ourselves, even though between us we know about 6 or 7 lines of code! The team were happy for us to attempt this however, and gave us plenty of guidance when we needed it!

Making a game is a lot like trying to fix a car when you don’t even drive, and you’ve been given a manual to help but it’s written in a language you don’t understand. And you’re on fire. It is an intense, time consuming and often stressful process. However this is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I have never felt such a strong sense of accomplishment as I did when I saw the game we made playing on a mobile phone for the first time! At university, we develop for computers mainly, and almost always in 3D. To be given a task to create a 2D game which is mobile compatible taught me so much, least of all coding! I got to use software I was less familiar with and try new techniques in animation and illustration. Most importantly, I learned about creating a game in a professional environment. Some of the team have a background in game design, so it was a real privilege to be working alongside them and receiving their input.

Like I said, making games is hard. It requires a lot of planning, of reworking, of testing, a lot of everything really. And we only made a simple game! But to be able to say “yeah, I was a part of this” when one of your friends is playing the game you made is a really amazing thing. 

Steph, Design Intern

BBI has taught me a whole range of things these past few weeks – it has definitely been a challenge worth doing.  We managed to balance the fine line between game design, art and programming between two people, which I thought would be quite strenuous on the head between the pair of us as we both came into the office as game design artists in the making. I could say we’ve definitely levelled up as artist/programmer hybrids!

I chipped in on the artwork with Jess, where I helped create the graphics and environment assets for the game. I later found myself learning to write JavaScript for the first time ever – which amazed me as I initially thought it was a bit of a shock to the system. After lots of foraging and tinkering on the good ol’ World Wide Web, I managed to find my grounds and get a real insight on how HTML games function. Pretty damn chuffed if you ask me.

The Launch

The game was launched at 5.34pm on Friday 5th August, the day the Olympics started. The launch was somewhat a success, albeit with the game having to be renamed in the 11th hour. But nevertheless, the game was live! So that’s what’s in a game; a lot of hard work, perseverance and learning, and a challenge that is well worth taking on! 

Play it here.

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