Event 1 : Game Concept Stage
We held an initial game concept design day in early February, where we met the group from ENABLE Scotland LAC and introduced them to the video games industry; roles in the industry, the process of games development and an overview of the Scottish Games Industry.
We then moved onto some basic pen and paper game design with the group, asking them to come up with some initial ideas and a team name. They decided on ‘Lazy Boys’ for the team name by the way, which everyone was quite fond of.
At the end of this first day we had decided on a single game concept to be developed at the following Game Development Workshop.
The game would be an endless-runner called On the Freerun, featuring the protagonist ‘Norman’ running across roof tops trying to avoid hostile elderly people.
Event 2 : Game Development Workshop
The second workshop took place during Futures Fest 2013 in Glasgow. In the morning we met with the team Lazy Boys once again, and began the day with talks from two guest speakers.
Firstly, games industry adviser Phil Harris gave a presentation on the games industry in general, including the many career options and an introduction to the idea of weekend game jams.
The second speaker, University of Abertay Lecturer Ryan Locke talked about the values of attending University, and focussing on your goals.
Development then began and we separated the group into those who were interested in art, and those who were interested in programming.
The artists spent the afternoon sketching and colouring the game’s art assets on paper. This included buildings, powerups, and enemies and with assistance from Guerilla Tea artist Matt Zanetti, they created and animated our protagonist Norman.
The programmers on the other hand, worked with Guerilla Tea coder Alex Zeitler. Using YoYo Games’ Gamemaker. They fleshed out the main functionality of ‘On The Freerun’, and learned a lot about Gamemaker and the creation of games in the process.
As the development session came to a close, we collated the afternoon’s work and brought the art assets into the prototype, finishing the day by giving the group a chance to test their game.
Importantly, the attendees managed to create the entire game in only 4 hours, a minuscule development time in the grand scheme of the games industry. It was great to see the results of the day’s work come together and team Lazy Boys can be very proud of having a simple, but complete title to their names.
On the Freerun from Lazy Boys is out on Android:
It has been a pleasure working with the group and ENABLE Scotland’s Local Area Coordination (LAC) Team to run these workshops, and hopefully expose the games industry in a different light to the public. Games Development can come across as insular, but we hope to broaden the horizons and promote game development as a great career choice and something that really is open to anyone who is willing to put in the work.