Guest blog by Tim Stoddard, Staffordshire University @Gamepopper
Standing out above the crowd
My discovery into games development came from an opportunity at A-Levels to make a project on anything, so I decided to make a game using GameMaker 8. I decided to pursue making computer games in University, when I transferred from Computer Science to Computer Games Programming. After making a few games for the Windows Store, I decided I wanted to make one fairly large indie game, and being a student is the best time to do it.
So for the duration of a year, I was working on a game part time, during my degree and placement, and mostly on my own.
So what is the Game?
The game was Secret of Escape, a top-down stealth action game developed in Construct2. The game has since been released on Desura, Itch.io and IndieGameStand, as well as being shown at several game events such as Launch Conference, Norwich Games Expo, Insomnia52 and London Gaming & Anime Con. But out of all the moments I’ve had from making a game, the one that surprised me the most was Secret of Escape being nominated for the TIGA Games Industry Award for Best Student Game.
I submitted my game to the awards because I figured it might be a good chance, and the process of entering was straightforward. All you needed to do was enter your details, choose which category you wanted to submitted to, and upload both a copy of your game and a video and give a reason why you should win the award. Then in mid-October I got an email which showed my game as shortlisted for Best Student Game, needless to say I was excited.
What is your advice?
If there is any word of advice I would give here, it would be this. If you are ever nominated for an award, go to the award ceremony. Not only is it a moment to be proud of an achievement in your career, and is common courtesy to accept an award in person if you win, but an awards ceremony is a big opportunity to network and speak to professionals from all parts of the industry.
I had the opportunity of speaking with people from indie developers such as Futurlab (Velocity 2X), Evil Twin Artworks (Victory At Sea), Sumo Digital, all the way up to large studios such as Rebellion (Sniper Elite III) and Bullfrog Productions (Fable Anniversary). Not to mention people who work in Recruitment (Aardvark Swift and Amiqus), Accounting, and Quality Assurance.
Of course there was the ceremony, with the nominees of each award being displayed on large monitors, some with footage of the games being shown. I got to see my game being shown during the Best Student Game, and cheer at excitement for seeing it there. I also cheered when Staffordshire University was shown during the Best Education Initiative award. I was also sitting with the developers at Bullfrog, so I gave my support for them too.
Sadly I didn’t win, but being nominated and going to the award ceremony is definitely one of the highlights as a game developer. Hopefully one day I’ll return and take a trophy home with me, so I guess it’s time to start working now..
Tim excellent stuff and great to see you making the right steps!
So if your a student and interested in standing out above the crowd go and build a game for the players and not for yourself!!
Enter the www.Imaginecup.com gaming competition or individual competition like http://gradsingames.com/competitions/search-for-a-star/ and http://gradsingames.com/competitions/sumo-digital-rising-star/