Prior to coming to college, I did not consider myself a gamer. I grew up playing Pokémon on the Nintendo DS, and Mario Kart on the Wii, but I hadn’t really played games since. Right before I came to college, I spent a large amount of time in the summer crushing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I loved it. This game was the first game I really thought was beautiful.
There are two reasons why I took this class. First, I think of myself as flighty and independent; I really like to do projects by myself, but I also jump around the domains in which I like to do projects. I thought that taking this class would prepare me to make a game in the future if I ever felt the desire. I think that this learning objective was satisfied for me in this class. In the second assignment, I got to learn about Unity, but more importantly, I gained the confidence that I could do a Unity project, and figure out obstacles along the way.
The second reason I took this class was because I was inspired by Breath of the Wild to think about the future of gaming. Breath of the Wild was a far leap from Pokemon on the Nintendo DS, and so I really wanted to know what is coming up the pipeline in the world of gaming. Over the course of this class, I was really excited by the opportunities to play the best games and think critically about why they worked. Also, the general exposure to the gaming world that this class afforded was awesome. Just like you might feel more knowledgeable after taking a history class, I felt as if I was more worldly and experienced after this class. Now I feel as though I know what is out there.
The main challenge I faced in this class was that I was learning something entirely new. I had never even thought about making games prior to this class. Jumping headfirst into Unity, especially in an environment where other classmates have worked for AAA studios (they know their stuff) was daunting. What a relief it was to learn that these classmates were also SO willing to help me with my own learning! In particular, one teammate in this class, Shimea Bridgewater, was a fantastic helper for me over the quarter. Shimea knew very much about what she was doing. There were times when I was tasked with implementing something for our game, and it took me several hours to finish. Shimea and I both knew that the same task would take her half an hour to complete, but she was still willing to be patient and help explain things to me as I finished. I was very impressed by her patience, competence, and character.
Next time I revisit game design, I feel confident that I will be equipped with the tools I need to succeed. After the completion of this course, I do not think I could easily create a game out of thin air. However, I do believe that if I were included to create a game out of thin air, I could get there with a little grit and determination.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to take this class and interact with the amazing students and staff. I hope it continues for years to come.