UNversity Update 23/06/14

Here is the most recent activity for UNversity. It looks like everyone is making good progress but remember to update us on Facebook.

  • Kenneth Mason is going to be working with Unity to make a full 2D character controller in preparation for a 2D game. He is going to try and include behaviours for walking, running, crouching, hanging, climbing, rope climbing, rope swinging, jump, fall, death, push and pull. He will also be making some games using Construct 2 and releasing them onto Windows 8, Android and ipad.
  • Danny Boyle is making a tabletop RPG which he is trying to crowd fund through Kickstarter and release through his own website. Danny has shown good initiative by talking to other game publishers who have made similar games to get their advice. He has also been working with a couple of artists to help him get a book for the game finished. His main aim this summer is to have this book finished. Danny has already gathered £372 on Kickstarter so he is already over a third of the way to his £900 goal. As a side project Danny will be getting to grips with Unreal Engine 4 and trying to make something for the Oculus Rift. Good luck in meeting your aim in Kickstarter Danny!

You can visit Danny’s Kickstarter page here:

Danny’s Kickstarter Page

  • Jonathan Livingstone is going to be making a 2D side scrolling shooter with C++ and SFML. The game will be similar to R-Type which is a classic space shooter from 1987. Jonathan has already got his work underway and is trying to get the basic mechanics working early on in development. He also plans on including his own level editor which would be a very nice touch.
  • Tinu Toader shared a link with us which shows off some of his amazing 3-D modelling skills. He is modelling a 3-D version of his home town football stadium. The level of detail which Tinu goes into is very impressive. This ranges from the exact measurements of the depth of steps to the refreshments stall with the Coca Cola advertisements. Tinu has been adding some small details to the stadium at the moment until his new PC arrives. The new PC should be able to cope better with the large number of vertices which are needed for a project like this. We look forward to seeing Tinu’s project when he can add it to Cry Engine where he can add more realistic materials in.

You can have a look at Tinu’s progress here:

http://iasistadium.blogspot.co.uk/

UNversity Back For 2014

The UNversity event is back for the summer of 2014 courtesy of Martin Grant and Kenneth Mason as newly selected Windows Game Ambassadors.

The format will run the same as it has done before, students of the University of the West of Scotland should be working on summer projects to further their knowledge, skills and add to their portfolio to show themselves off when looking for career opportunities after university.

So as simple as it sounds, pick a project and work on it! The catch is that you need to update us with your progress regularly, once a week would be a great frequency. You could either post about your progress on UWS Creative Tech or UWS Games Dev Society or post on your blog and share your posts on Facebook for us to see. If you do not have a blog yet this would be a great opportunity to start one to show off your work.

There are a number of different types of projects you could work on, there may be others not listed here, it is up to you what you want to do:

  • Revisiting your coursework and improving it further
  • Create a game or some technical demo
  • Create an app/game to be published on an App Store
  • Work with a group of other students on a project
  • Blog about your experience with a summer placement/internship
  • Work with a member of staff on a research project

So far we have a handful of students who have proposed their project aims:

  • Victoria Russell is revisiting her C++ programming and will be working on creating a portfolio for her work. Victoria also organised a game jam to run at her local primary school which went well, giving pupils a chance to look at game development with Scratch. Well done, Victoria this is a great achievement!
  • Andrew Devlin will be continuing work on a coursework project – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3oe4o7KSyQ – where he will be integrating Oculus Rift functionality into the game.
  • Some third years are working together in a group, working on a game engine where they are hoping to base a sci-fi shooter on. The group consists of Martin Grant, Andrew Gozillon, Liam Mcvie, Steven Gordon and Ryan Cook.
  • Tinu Toader is looking to pick up 3D modelling skills and create a model of his hometown stadium. We look forward to seeing it!
  • William Taylor published a game he started in January on Google Play for Android devices – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.planetDefense – a fantastic effort here, published games are a fantastic feature for CVs/portfolios.

We hope that more students will be joining UNversity soon. We look forward to posting the progress! Good luck to all who will be taking part.

 

And the winners are…

OK, so almost as overdue as a letter lost in the Alps for 50 years… but time to announce the winners of UNversity 2013 and give a final summary and thanks.

Honourable mentions first…

No longer students, and no longer eligible for prizes, but thanks for taking part and sharing their progress on various projects, or just for dropping in and saying hi:

  • Kieran Nelson
  • Derek Stobbs
  • Mazen Sukkar
  • Christoffer Pettersson
  • Keith Grant
  • James Moore

Other valiant efforts from current students who didn’t quite manage to complete their projects but shared their ongoing progress with us:

  • Stephen Mcgroarty
  • Ian Young
  • Stephen Wilson
  • Liam McVie
  • Kevin Murphy

Good to see the progress being made on a range of projects – and even if the project isn’t finished or doesn’t result in a clear deliverable, it was very clear that a lot of great experience and knowledge was gained by folk along the way.

A current student eliminated from the prizes because he was paid for his summer work was Martin Grant – again, some great experience gained, but no prizes for Martin. The money earned should help drown sorrows though.

This leaves the winners!!!

  • Jonathan Livingstone created a 2D top down shooter game. More details on his blog.
    He forgot to post a video, and no link to let folk play the game, but Jonathan wins a couple of games from my Library of Games to Give out as Prizes! Whoop!
  • Daniel Taylor helped Jonathan with art, and also released a game on the Android app store. This has been updated since, you can download Cops and Robbers from both the Google Play store and the Amazon Kindle Store. More details on Daniel’s blog.
    For helping someone else and also managing to get his game out there and published for download, Daniel wins a ‘genuinely as previously used by Microsoft’ Kinect!
  • William Taylor didn’t create a blog for his project, but did post a video of his OpenGL game framework on YouTube. Simple but effective, a framework is a good place to start coding, and the one William did includes a good range of features – including scripting! Well done.
    A great effort, winning William a Kinect.
  • Kenneth Mason posted a link to his playable game ‘The Space Ace‘, developed with Construct.  Nice game design, a I like the combination of story and simple gameplay. Have to say I found the controls mind-bending: In a 2D top-down game I expect the up key to move me forward, not up screen. But I’ll forgive Kenneth.
    Published and playable on a 3rd party web-site, Kenneth also wins a Kinect.
  • Cristi Szabo updated a game he’d already created using Construct (Monster Cards), and then made another (Nine Rat). Both of these games, plus a variety of programming tutorials and other demos are online at http://www.videogamelab.co.uk/
    I believe he’s a fan of racing games, Cristi wins a copy of Nascar the Game: Inside Line and a matching T-shirt.
  • Ryan Mc Donagh did something different. Not a game or demo, but a game review site. Critical Indie Gamer is still ongoing, and now up to 30,000 monthly views – not bad for a wee summer project! Get some subtle ads on there Ryan, and you should be able to earn a few pennies to keep yourself in Steam credit :-)
    Ryan also wins a Kinect.

All we need to do now is arrange to hand out the prizes – folk can get in touch with me via Facebook. If based in Ayr or Hamilton I’ll pass prizes to Jim/Gerry and they should make their way to you eventually. If Paisley based we can arrange something more easily.

Well done everyone, and thanks to everyone who took part, even if only for a fleeting moment.

I’ll catch up honest…

This is kind of not-an-update… The event on Facebook now has 35 folk ‘attending’, and a whole bunch of project updates since my last post. It’ll take me a while to work through them all.

But good to see project announcements from folk in every year of the games courses – from first years to folk just graduating and a few projects from some of our esteemed alumni.

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Choosing a Project: Hints & Tips

OK, a lot of folk have already picked a project for UNversity – or perhaps a large set of projects to work through. There are also still quite a few folk who have not declared a project yet, plus some who need to perhaps rethink their current project/list just a little to try to get some more focus. Below are my tips, but I welcome comments from UNversity veterans to chip in with their thoughts about what makes a good project.

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UNversity 2013 – Starters Orders!

Mentally I had set today for the ‘start’ day of UNversity, but some folk have already made a start and others (including myself, *ahem*) have still to set some goals for what is going to be achieved this year.

So while I can’t say yet what I’ll be working on, a whole bunch of folk have said what they hope to be doing, and some have even made a start…

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