John and I went down to London for an orientation meeting for our new role as Windows Games Ambassadors. Our role for the rest of the academic year and further is to;
“Inspire, evangelise and get students loving building games for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8”
It’s also our goal to publish 4 titles this academic year. We see the importance of a solid portfolio after graduation and the only way to get experience in the games industry is to make games. I’m planning to use various platforms to create my games on platforms such as MonoGame, Construct 2 and Unity to get an all round feel for what is to offer.
So back to London we stayed the night near Kings Cross in a very fancy hostel (4 stars I’ll have you know) went for a few beers at our new local, The Lexington and settled down for a big day the following morning. The meeting was at the Yammer HQ in The City a pretty fantastic building and a great working environment, 20 of us in all from across the country some in pairs. The day consisted of various talks from Lee Stott who is the co-ordinator of this team about our role as ambassadors and what is expected of us. We also managed to meet various indie game developers, game engine makers and people from Nokia and TIGA.
One of the highlights of the day was talking to AJ from DLaLa studios, creator of Janksy on Windows 8 describing his journey from University into the games industry as well as Henry from Mudvark games, creator of Mortar Melon and Mush on Windows Phone 8. Two very different journeys but they are where they have always wanted to be, making games for a living which are being published by Microsoft. Henry showed us what you can achieve on the HTML5 2D game engine construct 2, a fantastic piece of software which gives efficiency for things like level design and collisions. I’ll defiantly be giving it a try in the coming weeks to make a game.
We also got some insight as to what Nokia can offer when building Windows Phone 8 apps including some really useful API’s as well as competitions they are running in the future. Other talks included Dom from MonoGame, Rapid 2d, a C++ direct X game engine and TIGA, the trade association for the games industry in the UK.
Another thing I forgot to mention is being given plenty of Goodies!!!! A brand new touch-screen ASUS Ultrabook, Nokia Lumia 820 development device and software licenses for Office 365, Construct 2, GameMaker, Nokia and many more.
The experience has only motivated me more to make great games and get my presence out there, so please, start your portfolios early, make games (preferably for Windows 8 :p), network, have fun and BE FUN. In the words of AJ “you gotta be batshit crazy”.