The Space Exploration course is a Special Topic in Technology class offered here at the university. The overall goal of the class is for everyone to work together to go beyond their limits to create a functioning weather balloon payload. The course has been running for currently four semesters and each start with the same expectations of a successful weather balloon launch and a successful recovery. And so far, reality of each has been somewhat successful. With four missions we have failed to bring home two payloads and only had one failed launch, which was just delayed and successfully launch later.
I loved many of the classes that I took here. The teachers are extremely sociable and the lessons are always made to be interesting! I gained something new from each class that I took, making my experiences in these classes to be amazing. So imagine how hard it was for me to have to choose one to be considered my favorite class! The first thing that came to mind was Introduction to Game Tools, since I was allowed to learn about the tools relevant to my industry and even create something unique in them. That is definitely up there on my list of favorite classes, but then I thought about how much I loved Composition, due to my love for writing and research. I had a lot of choices and it was a hard to choose one.In the end, the class that I choose to be my favorite ended up being Nathan Eskue’s TCH115 - Thinking Strategies!
Over the weekend, I had the awesome experience of being able to participate in the UAT summer game jam. A game jam, for those of you who don’t know, is an event where teams are challenged to create a game with set restrictions in a short amount of time. For this game jam, we were given the theme “Abstract Art” and were given 48 hours to make a game around that theme!
This semester here at UAT, I’ve had the opportunity to take some really cool classes. I’m now in my sixth semester, which means I’m taking some of the later courses in the average student timeline. This semester I got into some of the big ones like Game Production Studios (GAM281) and Student Innovation Project/Portfolio Presentation I (SIP401). Alongside those, I also took Technical Writing (ENG301), Communication in Technology (COM226), and my personal favorite, a very unique class called Game-a-Week: Rapid Prototyping (SPT323). I want to go a little bit more in depth, so I’m going to briefly talk about my experience with each of these classes to hopefully give you an idea of what you will learn when taking the courses.
Consider this scenario; You are in the middle of your college semester, and your classes are starting to get harder. The number of assignments that you need to complete has grown, while your time to complete them has shrunk. On top of that, these assignments make up a large portion of your grade, so skipping them or doing poorly on them is not an option. If you were ever in this situation, What did you end up feeling? What did you do during these instances?
Some can be nervous and intimidated while others are poised to learn and soak in the knowledge of great leaders. It was the latter that set me on a mission to meet with University of Advancing Technology President and CEO Jason Pistillo. First I had to figure out how to even contact the president of my university and how could I get an opportunity to soak in the knowledge and leadership skills straight from the source? I knew it had to be in person, not by email or by phone -- I also knew it was going to be a daunting task but I was determined to make it happen.
For many years, game developers have run into the same problem over and over again: How do we explain our game without boring the player to death? Nobody wants to read a manual on how to play your game and nobody wants to play a 30 minute tutorial. A good game should be able to teach you how to play the game naturally in a fun and engaging way. This idea of how you teach the mechanics of your game is called conveyance and it’s a big part of what separates a mediocre game from a good one!
For many years game developers have been hiding Easter eggs throughout their games. Anything from a small note with the programmer’s name on it, to full on playable mini games could be hidden away within the game. Fans of gaming love Easter eggs. It gives them fun hidden bits of content to look for as well as being a cool little method for developers to leave messages for fans. This concept of hidden messages and secrets has almost always been around, even from the earliest games.
This blog is sadly the last post in my zombie apocalypse experience series because of my recent changes. Unfortunately, I have been infected and now roam around campus, infecting the remaining humans. I put up a heroic fight until the end, but it seems patient zero had his eyes on me and really wanted to infect me.