November 1 - 7, 2021
The vast majority of my time went into my first portfolio piece: Designing A Zombie Apocalypse. It covers two design iterations and explains how & why certain decisions were made. It took a lot of back and forth with my mentor, but I’m pleased with where it ended up. I’ll let the piece speak for itself. Give it a read! If you spot anything wrong or have any thoughts on it, feel free to send over an email.
Let it be known that I’ve sent dozens of emails with no reply since starting this journey. This week, however, I got a response! They were more than happy to talk about game design and answer any questions I had. I was honestly a little starstruck when I heard they had designed levels for games I loved as a kid. I got a solid piece of advice to transition into gameplay programming first. Gameplay programmers work closely with game designers to fulfill that creative vision. Given my technical background, that sounds like a good idea.
They also suggested learning Unreal Engine 4 over Unity because larger studios prefer the optimizations possible through C++ (among other things). As an engineer myself, I completely understand. Games are ridiculously complex, and large games need to take every opportunity to increase performance.
Among all the great advice my new mentor gave me, they also suggested I take a course on UE4 by Tom Looman. I would have immediately jumped on it, then saw the $350 price tag. Oof. Thankfully Tom has many UE4 tutorials on his youtube channel for free. After doing a few of them and enjoying his teaching style, I put my money where my mouth is and bought it. I didn’t have time to jump on it this week, but it’s on the shortlist for next week.
Eventbrite has been good to me lately. I found Game Design Improv hosted by Ian Schreiber. Ian has written and co-written books on game design, so I couldn't miss this opportunity. To prevent this post from being massive, I'll save my thoughts on his workshop for next week (spoiler alert: it was great).