Computer Building and Game Creation

Name: Jacob Rahe

Type of project: Creative Endeavor

1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

For my STEP signature project, I designed and built a computer, and then used this computer to create a small video game demo. To begin my project, I researched components for a computer that would be the most efficient at processing and rendering a video game. The research consisted of the way that different computer parts function with one another, as well as what would provide me with the greatest performance for video game creation. After research, I assembled the computer and put the operating system and all the other software onto the computer. Finally, I used Unity game design software to make a small game demo by coding through C#, a coding language.

2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?

While researching the inner workings of a computer, I was very interested and stunned at the intricacies of what makes up a working computer. There are a lot of different and important components that all need to work together properly and be cooled properly. Although once I learned how these parts worked together, assembling the computer was much easier than I had originally thought. My view of how computers function and all the parts work together was significantly changed. Computers are fascinating devices that someone who is just a casual user may not know the important and interesting way that all the components work together to allow people to do all the tasks they need done on a computer.

My understanding of how video games, something I have a very strong passion for, work and are created has definitely changed. Large scale games require large amounts of people all working together and games in general are not easy to create. There are many very intelligent people, from computer scientists to artists, required to bring everything together. I gained a new-found appreciation for the talent and hard work that goes into creating one of the things I love. I originally set out to make an entire game, but as I realized how difficult it was to create a game and the amount of time that went into designing an entire game, I decided to make a small demo instead.

The largest change that came from doing this project is that I decided that creating video games is more of a hobby for me and less of the career path I would like to follow. This project, along with other circumstances, allowed me to realize that I would like to be in the video game industry, but not as a creator. I switched my major to journalism and I want to cover video game news. This project played a large role in my decision to change my career path. Although I may not be following game creation as my career path, I still would like to create games as a hobby and love that I got to have this experience of creating a game because it gave me a greater appreciation for the video game industry as a whole.

3. 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?

One event that affected my STEP project was a delay in some of the parts I ordered that pushed my project back a semester. This then required me to try to juggle work, school, and game creation. This came as a setback to me, but I really enjoyed creating the game in general, and I felt that this gave me an inside look at someone who is in the game industry juggling work and family and other obstacles.

During the selection process of the parts of my computer, I worked closely with a friend of mine who has built a computer before and has a lot of knowledge of the components that make up a computer. I discussed all the inner workings of computers with him and he helped me with my research. This interaction played a large role in how well I began to understand computers myself and he was a very large help. This not only helped me learn more about computers but also strengthened the relationship that he and I had with one another. The knowledge I gained from this was a large change in the way I interact with computers in everyday life.

The difficulties that come with and the understanding that is required to create a video game came as a shock to me at first. The realization of the work and knowledge that is required to create something so intricate like a video game made me consider if I was capable enough to do this as a career. With this change of heart, I knew that I should switch and this was a huge part of my decision to switch.

4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?

This change is significant to my life because it led me change majors and gave me a new-found appreciation for computers and the video game industry. The knowledge gained from this is vital to the way I know perceive the way computers function and how something I am very passionate about in video games are created. Overall, I would say this project was a large force in changing my view on the technology we have around us and the great, intelligent people that have created it. Also, the change this helped me make in my life, I am sure, will most likely pay off in me finding a career that I feel I fit into and can succeed at.