Tuesday 1 November 2016

What you might want to know before studying games

"Wow! You study games?! That must be awesome and fun!" ... I hear that a lot. Well yeah it is fun! But it is also super exhausting! When I played games as a kid I never ever thought about making games myself, and I could not even imagine the amount of work it requires. And it stayed that way until about 2 years ago. "I´m gonna make games! I spent a few summers playing games and I accomplished a 3 year multimedia course ! I know all about it !" WRONG. I didn´t know a thing. I didn´t even know the amount of games that are actually being made and released! 

Learning games is like learning everything all over again. Take Manual Samuel, it is the perfect reminder of how exhausting living actually is! And so is doing games. It is not just a few rows of code and a bunch of fancy assets thrown in a magic pot and TADAA you got your game. Everything has a reason. Why did you choose these colors? How are you going to transmit best what you want to the player to feel? How can a few audio-effects and details in control and even camera affect your gameplay? How will you make your players come back? What platform is it designed for? Why? What audience? What is going on in the industry? How can that affect your game? When will you release it? Every littles aspect seems like a whole life changer! And for those who are in the industry for quiet a few years now might not relate to this anymore as it hopefully will come out naturally one day. You want a great polished game? Well unless you don´t need to sleep at all, that is going to be a very hard job to manage. I have been literally in PJs to uni and after all nighters. Hats off to all the people who learned how to manage it! (Or secretly learned how to survive without sleep) 

Another thing as a game student is the amount of references you are getting thrown at your head. "Have you played this?" "Do you know this amazing game related person?". Fact is you better should. Truth is you probably don´t. The amount of information that is out there is just brutal and will hit you like a brick against your head. My first reaction was pure silence. I was too scared to ask, and to ashamed to say that I didn´t know something. And it still happens... "Hey do you know that new awesome indie game everybody is talking about?" "Absolutely! I loved how it is so immersive! And how they combined the gameplay mechanics! And the visual style? Aren´t they just perfect for the game?" (No I don´t know it, I haven´t played it, what are you talking about ?!!") There is a lot you will not know, especially at the start, and it will get better I promise! But I can also guarantee you that whenever you feel you finally know about this industry: someone will come around and proof you wrong! 

Summing everything up - being a game student is exhausting! And you will not have much time anymore to play, sleep or socialize. Actually it is just like one giant game jam. 

Good luck surviving it! 

Monday 3 October 2016

Everything tastes weird and different!

... well okay maybe not weird...just different! I literally feel like I am in a parallel universe where somehow somebody came up with the same ideas and inventions BUT ...different. Here is a short list about my first impressions of how things work over here:
  • Plugs. Like seriously. I have found so many plugs already with actually a third plastic part instead of three metal pins. Why not have them like the rest of Europe then? On the other hand that little on/off switch besides them is pretty handy.
  • NO PLUGS IN THE BATHROOM ?! So I first thought that my landlord might have had no chance to put one in as the small, but lovely, studio I am staying in was just restored in a house that was empty for a few years now. But turns out you just don´t get them over here!
    Where am I supposed to charge my 3DS now while I am on the toilet ?! (No just kidding, but I haven´t really figured out how to blow-dry my hair yet)
  • Why are your flies so enormous? I mean seriously monstrously big! Like some kind of science experience got wrong? Or is it just in Middlesbrough? Or maybe just in my place? What are you feeding those animals?  When one of these first came in I my studio I didn´t understand what kind of UFO is flying around me. Now I just call them Joe (They are big enough to deserve a name) and scream around with them as they desperately try to find the way back out the wide opened window. "JOE IT´S RIGHT THROUGH THERE! JUST GET OUT!"
  • Look Left. No right! ... No Left..? I don´t know. I mean this one is probably quiet obvious but I actually thought I would get used to it better. Whenever I need to cross the street I get confused. And even if there is no car coming and people are crossing the street with the red light on I stand there and wait for the green little guy to pop up at the other end of the road telling me it´s safe to join him. 
1/2 Parma at Manjaros. Super Delicious!
  • Parma. Now this is typically from Middlesbrough and area. And I first thought they would speak about cheese. Turns out it is a typical dish where you get some chicken with bechamel and melted cheese on top. Quiet Tasty!
  • The Coins. WHY? Why are the 2 pence bigger in size than 1£ but 1£ thicker than any other coin I have ever seen? And why not print just big numbers on them? I am only paying in 1£ coins and notes as I haven´t had the courage yet to stand by the cashier for half a decade and figure out what coins to give him/her. 
  • Formalities. I never ever had to be this formal to even apply for a job. This might seem quiet normal, but for a part-time student job I never had to go through so much formal things! It´s like a test to even figure out if you have the brains to get the job to clean up someones puke in a bar.
Well the short list turned out to be a bit bigger than I thought. And I haven´t even mentioned everything! Things are just a bit different around here but I am sure that I will get used to it! :D

Friday 23 September 2016

What Happened? And who is Girlbit?

What is GirlBit?
To all those who don´t know me. Girlbit started as a Youtube Project between Rute (my lovely flatmate in Lisbon) and me. The content was completely in Portuguese as we felt a lack of visual content about videogames made in Portugal. Turns out both of us had no time with our HND in Animation and Videogames back then. We had to concentrate on our final project in order to pass. Some sleepless nights and a few months of some rest (*cough cough*)  later I am back to tell you that GirlBit did not disappear! It will have some changes though... 

We did have a great time filming!(Rute in the Back and Me taking the Selfie) 
So what happened to us?
Rute got a great opportunity to work with Nerd Monkeys, Video Game Company based in Portugal, and decided to focus more on her career. You can find some of her awesome stuff here:

I, on the other hand, decided to finish my Bachelor in Game Design and got accepted at Teesside University for the second year! 

"Enough! Tell us what is going to happen to GirlBit!" 

Keep Calm! GirlBit will change. With the drop out from Rute it will only be me bothering you guys with nonsense. So basically it will turn into my personal journal to share with you guys my experience in the UK and the course itself. You will continue to find content about games, but also about what it is like to be a Game Design student in a new country. And I promise you guys whenever it is possible I will upload a new video (I actually do have material-but just no time to edit it). 

So if you are interested in the adventures that are awaiting me keep an eye out for updates on the Blog or the Facebook Page.