Name: Luke DeLong
Type of Project: Artistic and Creative Endeavours
- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.
Because my project was focused on developing a game and starting a business, the main activities included coding, creating pixel artwork, and networking with others. The first two were more straightforward than the last, but because of the networking was done, the company, Quadratic Games LTD., is working with a client to develop a game that they are attempting to develop
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?
When we first started, I thought the barrier of entry would be much larger than it is. I figured companies would not want to hire two college students to help them develop anything. I was obviously wrong. My partner and I are now on the development team for an independent video game (indie game) and currently working towards completing the owner’s vision as well as bolstering our experience.
My major is STEM Education and as such, I learn a lot about the education system and how it works. This project has brought over education into the spotlight for me. I had always believed that a college education was required for getting well-paying jobs but I now realize that you can get to a very similar position just by practicing what you would like to be doing. Getting a college degree for game design is only one way to join the market. I only wish that there was less of a gap between the pay of a college graduate and a high school graduate even if they are equal in terms of their vocational skills.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?
After starting our game, it was obvious that we still had a lot to learn. We both decided that we should spend part of our time dedicated to develop the game towards learning what exactly it is that makes a good game, how to implement the different mechanics we wished to see in the game, and finally the importance of testing our game on paper. These events bolstered our planning skills and also our ability to predict how game mechanics would play out.
It was shortly after we had made a small prototype on the computer that I found someone who was trying to find a group of people to dev his game. We ended up talking and it came to the point where I was hesitant to agree to help him so I put the condition on that if he was able to find more people then we would be more likely to consider it.
He came back a few months later with the people that I had asked for. The three people he had gotten to agree to help him were all college graduates with degrees in game design. Honestly, I was shocked that he even came back to us with the roster that he had formed but I was glad to agree to hear him out. We started out all signing non-disclosure agreements and then figuring out exactly what the idea of the game was. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that it had potential and we began working the week after.
I was actually shocked at how backward we had started developing our initial game. We hadn’t designed out exactly how the mechanics would work with numbers before we tried to prototype it in code, but with this new group, those that had degrees insisted that we get everything on paper and even run paper tests before even touching anything related to code.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?
Ultimately, going into teaching, the concepts and ideas I’ve learned about making video games will not help me much. I have begun to see the tip of the iceberg of what is engaging for others and how the nebulous concept of fun works but overall this aspect of the project will not be too helpful for me as long as I stick to the education route I planned on following.
The business side of our project though has impacted me immensely. I had always heard how important networking was for businesses but it had never really stuck in my mind that it was as important as it is. Going into teaching, or any profession, networking can bring you options. I would never be able to be apart of the development team I’m on now if I hadn’t made an effort to reach out to others in similar situations to me.
Below are the different iterations of the artwork for an ooze that was to be intended to be in the game
On the bottom of this image is the first attempt at drawing an ooze. As you can clearly see it’s very rudimentary and looks extremely flat. This is due to the pillow shading used to attempt to give it some depth. The ooze above the first attempt uses a more realistic shading as the object is curved almost like a water droplet. The corners are also more rounded to resemble surface tension
The third iteration of the ooze is much lighter than the second due to the incorporation of internal refraction of light. The light source was also raised changing where the brightest spot on the ooze is located
The final iteration of the ooze before we moved onto someone else’s team sees a change in the color palette. We added green and yellow into the blue and white of the original palette. Ultimately I like the third iteration the best as this final one has a bit too much dark.
This is a blown up image of what the ooze would be dropping after defeat. We had named this adhesive. We used the shading style that made the first ooze look so flat and because of the size, it was not noticeable.