An Evil Twin work experience student James Clements has just published an article about working through the Evil Twin grass root program, here’s a sneak preview!
I sit here today having written various lines of dialogue, blogs and press releases for Evil Twin Artworks’ Victory at Sea. Wind back little more than half a year, and I could never have imagined doing so much so quickly within the games industry.
As part of my class’ Media Diploma, we set out to advertise a games development club that was going to take place within the school. I was excited at this prospect alone. For the very first time within my school life, I was able to get a small taste of what I want to do later on in life – work within a team to create games that people will cherish.
Video games are a media form that I fell in love with from an early age. As far as I’m concerned, they are the best form of escapism that we currently have available. They hold the incredible power to transport you to another world at the press of a button. They hold the power to present you with challenges to overcome and with problems to face. Even more importantly, they present you with friends and enemies in a completely immersive way that no other media form can achieve. The idea that I may one day be able to help create those experiences for others in some way has been a very attractive one for quite some time. There was just one problem – Where do I start? In Swindon, there is seemingly no such thing as a student development program within the games industry. Yes, you can study Games Development at college. Yes, you can study supporting subjects, such as Creative Writing or Graphic Design. Yes, you can teach yourself invaluable games development skills with a little help from the internet. Perhaps even begin your own indie development team or solo project. But where do you go if you want to speak and work with established industry insiders? The answer was handed to me when I heard that my class’ Media teacher had managed to set up a meeting with two seemingly ‘Evil’ brothers.
We sat down to discuss the Media Diploma class’ aims, and to see how well they would work with Evil Twin Artworks. The two brothers evaluated our ideas and came up with some of their own on the advertising of the club as well as what to do within it. They also allowed us to go hands on with an early build of Victory at Sea, a game that was unknown to all of us at the time. I was instantly attracted by the game’s RTS gameplay which allowed the player to have almost complete control over how the battle-area was viewed, ranging from a top-down view to a typical third-person view of the ship. The thing that really stood out to me was how a development so seemingly solid was happening right beneath my feet. This unapproachable industry in Swindon suddenly seemed approachable. Of course that games were being developed nearby didn’t necessarily mean that I’d be able to work on them, but it sure as hell gave me hope.
The club itself consisted of a combined effort to make a game on Scratch. Before the team got to work, James and Mark Carroll briefed the team and taught them certain skills for use within Scratch, such as how to code using the development suite’s logic. The twins were always at hand to direct the team members and to help them out with any issues that they ran into, be it with designing in-game assets, mapping out levels or with creating music. The team was given a great deal of creative freedom, although guidelines naturally had to be present. Having played various roles in the Scratch project’s development, it struck me that the twins seemed incredibly easy to approach and to talk with. In essence, it was perfectly clear that they were no strangers to running these types of workshops. One time, I decided that it was worth a shot to ask James if there was any work experience available. During the next session, Mark asked what exactly it was that I wanted to do in the games industry, to which I replied that I was keen on both writing and coding. That same session, he pointed me to plethora of resources to help me get going with coding, including the brilliant Codecademy. During the next session, Mark approached me and asked if I wanted to write a few promotional blogs that would be posted on the Victory at Sea website. In retrospect, the role was a relatively small one, but it seemed like a huge opportunity at the time – and it certainly was. This unreachable industry that I dreamed to be part of was now there for the taking. So I took it.
The full article is on GoArticles