• Charlotte Grant

"Even though I'll never know what's up ahead, I'm never letting go"

Hey all :) This is my first post as part of the "personal blog" I was talking about ^^

The title of this blog was as a result of the 'wordpress inspire me' button which told me to use some lyrics from a song as the title of my blog post, but it's relevant to my post nonetheless :D

I'd like to start my 'personal' blog off by talking a little about the gaming industry, inspiration and anxietys along with a few other relevant things :)

Recently it has been vital for us to begin planning resume's, CV's and thinking about the path we want to go down, in the future. I'll admit this has been a pretty stressful process for me, it feels like University has gone incredibly quickly, so preparing myself to begin applying for jobs already is kind of surreal. I've spent the last two years really thinking about what I'm most passionate about and what I'd like to do for the rest of my life......I mean art is something I'm incredibly passionate about, but not really specific enough.

So...story time, because I think I've figured it out~

A few months ago, whilst clearing out the cupboards of my old room, back home. I found box full of old drawings, art books and school reports and other things my parents had stashed for memories. In this was an old game boy advance game box, which I had glued plain paper over and designed my own game as such, when I was 10 or 11. This had a rule book including controls for the game, a blurb and everything (The game was a building survival game, but included you owning a pet, so I guess kind of a Minecraft/Nintendogs kind of thing)

When I was younger, I'd dabbled with creating games a lot. Growing up we had an old Sega Mastersystem my neighbours gave us, with two games, The Jungle Book and Sonic 2. We also had a computer with a floppy drive and a couple of DOS games like Indianna Jones and the Last Crusade, Sim City 2000 and Civilisation. We were only allowed an hour a day gaming, so when I wasn't playing them, I'd spend time coming up with my own ideas, making a couple of board games for me and my grandad to play together, to dabbling in the YoYo games, game maker, whenever the babysitter was around and I had free access to the family computer. All of these games were incredibly simple, like a maze game where you played as a terrible quality, straight off google images picture of the Pokemon Latias and had to navigate though a maze collecting dots or a simple push back and go racing game (still using google images) :) I'm hoping all of these are still on my mums old computer for me to retrieve when I go home, because, as terrible as they all were. They're still pretty good memories :3 In 2008 my uncle bought me a license for RPG maker xp, where I started working on a RPG game called 'A heroes hour' about a young angel that had been cursed and left to fend for himself in an unknown area. The player wakes up with concussion on an island town that is surrounded by water 29 out of 30 days of the month. The goal of this game was to go around finding memories, talking and helping people to piece together a better understanding of your past, before using this information to confront the witch who banished you here. This game was sadly never finished (mostly due to the fact that I only had limited time on my mothers computer) but I managed to script a reasonably complex cutscene for it along with a few zones, a short quest and a ton of NPC dialogue, so even though forgotten, it's something I'll admit to being quite pleased with. (Next time I'm home, I'll retrieve all of these silly little games and record and upload them here) If you'd asked 13 year old me what I wanted to be, I would've told you I wanted to be a game designer.

Either way, it was time to start picking my subjects for GCSE's and for one reason or another, I decided to pick mostly science subjects, despite my passion for art, stating that I wanted to become a Biology teacher. I'm not really sure what striked this change, but I must've thought better of it for some reason as, even though 4 of my subjects were science based, I chose Graphics Products and Art and Design for my final two. Come to A Levels and I want to go fully down the art root, as much as I loved the sciences and they were interesting, I just didn't think it was something I could see myself doing as a career. Fast forward to A levels where I took Applied Art and Design along with Psychology and Media Studies. I really enjoyed all of these subjects and made a promotional project for a basic game for my final Media Studies assignment and dabbled in many areas for my art and design assignments. I decided I wanted to take either Animation or Game Design for my degree and applied to 4 different courses for this, eventually choosing Falmouth because it was nearby and I was familiar with the campus and the work it was producing :)

So for some reason, between A levels and getting onto the course, I somehow became undecided on what I wanted to specify in, pre production? post production? animation? VFX? Concept art? 2D animation? 3D animation? .......For some reason I didn't think Game Design was an option or if I did, it blew over my head completely, we'd been learning a lot of different animation techniques and I guess I'd just become lost in those. 3D character animation and game design/development are definitely the two areas I am most passionate about and intent do persue, I think.

I attended BAF games and gamecitynights in 2012 and got to attend lectures by some really inspirational people, like Lukas Hardi from Bethesda, Christine Phelan from Valve and some other really amazing people like Nyamyam games (an indie company), Sony Entertainment, CDprojeckt Red and JUSTADDWATER games (the makers of Oddworld). It was really, really inspirational to hear from people in the industry and have them answer questions about what it's like at their companies and how they got their break in the industry.

Here's one of the talks I attended whilst there a really inspirational talk by Christine Phelan from Valve about breaking into the games industry .

I'm hoping to go back to BAF this year, because it was a serious source of inspiration for me and a really enjoyable experience! I've been following other conferences online like GDC through their website and there has been some really amazing talks to

So, why am I blogging all this? Well, partially because part of combining these blogs into one website blog and part of that will be incorporating a more game-design-centric blog but also because we recently got told that, due to a new Digital Games course being introduced to our university, they are now accepting game submissions instead of films, for our final year pieces :) and of course this is something I am definitely going to go for! :D I've got a couple of tiny books that I use to take notes, doodle and basically use for noting down inspirations as they come to me and I've had a couple of ideas in my head for a while, so I'll be pitching one of those to my lecturers in the coming weeks to see if they'd be happy with me producing my production bible/final film around that. Hopefully it'll get the green light ^^ It's an idea I've played around with for a long time but never really had the time inbetween coursework to actually start producing assets for.

Since January 2013, I've been working with a small team, together with a Game design student and a music student from Plymouth University, producing assets for a unity driven game by the name of TDHaS (codename for now). Currently I'm producing textures, interface graphics and I'll be animating the characters when it comes to it. It's a project that has been progressing incredibly well over the past year. I think I mentioned it previously in one of my course blog posts. If you want to learn more about this, go visit the lead designer's website page :D and also been a part of much smaller projects like a few assets and animations for Freeze Frame a game a friend from college produced for a game jam (I was responsible for those pesky spiders xD) and I think working on mods or in small teams of indie developers is the way forward right now, doing things in my free time :)

Either way, I intend to personal blog much more regularly, when I get the go-ahead for 'Taking Wing' my idea for my 3rd year project :) I'll try and keep everyone following me updated on this :D Also, as soon as I can, I'll retrieve some of the old games I made from home and show them on my blog :)

Until next time!