It has been about 6 months since my plane landed back home in Sweden after 2 years of game design studies in Australia. This is where I have to use my skills and knowledge to find work in the industry, and continue working on personal projects.
So what have I been up to?
Untitled FPS Game
Almost a week after I came home, SAE’s Make-a-thing jam started. I wasn’t sure if my brain would have recovered enough to participate, but I wanted to do something to keep my momentum going. This was something my lecturers advised me not to, considering how close to burn-out me and the rest of the team of Dragon Drop Games was during the last trimester.
But since I felt fine at the time, I decided to work on something for the Jam, even if it didn’t become anything. I started making a cartoony first person shooter game, where you shoot pumpkin monsters. I quickly realized I wouldn’t have time to finish the game for the jam, because as per usual it grew too big, but I kept working on it anyways.
I had a faint goal of making it into a higher quality game, and only used the low-poly assets as placeholders. I got fairly far on it, and got to work on a bunch of things I don’t usually do like rigging. In the end, I never really had a clear goal for the game, so I stopped working on it, but I still enjoy looking at the things I did for it, as I believe it will become a good point of reference in the future.
after maybe one month of working on this, I took a little break. I still had the game development spirit burning in me, so I decided to try and make something smaller, with full documentation. I went back to my old Viking themed games, and decided to make something like it. I settled on a game where you bounce ingredients into barrels.
From the start I was very uncertain on how to make certain things, like the barrels deciding an ingredient and checking if the ingredient hitting it matches. However, after working on it for a while, it all became very clear on how it should work, and I managed to fix it.
I actually got very close to finish before other things happened that forced me to stop working on it. All I really had left was to decide a win and lose state, and add some polish and sound effects. However as I mentioned, something came up.
East Sweden Game
Pretty much as soon as I landed back here in Sweden, I had kept hearing about this “East Sweden Game”, that supposedly was a community for game developers, and that was fairly new. Having just left Australia, and therefore the indie dev group “Squiggly River Games Collective”, I really felt like getting back into a community that supported all kinds of games and where you could get feedback on your work. Still, I was a bit shy, as I wasn’t sure my level of game making was as high as everyone elses. But I decided to go to one of their meetups anyways.
My presumptions was right, most games here had had a development cycle of at least a couple of months and most of our projects in Australia (not counting the graduation project) was 4 weeks at maximum. But I began talking to some people none the less. After all, I had two years of experience with Australia to talk about. But I began visiting more often, and it is thanks to the creator of East Sweden Game (ESG) that I landed my first job (more on that later).
ESG has been a perfect change in my life that will help me keep momentum on ANY project I make. Everyone here is incredibly nice, talented and knowledgable. I’ve always been taught to surround myself with those that are engaged in the same things as I, and there is no better place than ESG for that.
The Accelerator & Dragon Drop Games…?
While a member of ESG, I decided to sign me and Graewolv up for an Accelerator course. This is a business coaching course that will teach us the ins and outs of the business side of running your own company. Teamwork, marketing, and much more will be included, as well as guest visits from other companies.
While I love my job, I still want to keep all my other skills up to par and work on my own projects. This course will be excellent both to improve myself and my teamwork skills within the Graewolv team, and to give me the skills to perhaps revive another group of people making games together. Dragon Drop Games.
I got my first job as a game designer! I am now the AI designer and programmer for a startup company here in the town where I live. I can’t mention anything about the game, but it is a very exciting step in my life. I look forward to where my career will go from here.
Currently the project is set in Unreal Engine 4, mainly using Blueprints. I however, mostly work in the Behavour trees, making sure the AI does what it is supposed to.
My time in Australia was one of the highlights in my life. I met so many amazing people that I try to keep track of and in contact with to this day. I hope to return at some point in the future. Things have gone well here in Sweden I’d say, and I hope that within a year or so, things will be even better.
I’ll try to keep updates here on further projects I make, even thought MONTHS pass between each post.
Thanks for reading