• Griffin Carlson

Production Development Journal #2

My time abroad in Montreal is the most I've ever felt like an actual developer. I was working part-time at an independent studio, attending numerous developer talks and meetups, and even got the opportunity to go to MIGS/MEGA and talk with recruiters from number of big studios. Ultimately, it was a great experience and it feels a bit strange to be back to be routine of classes back at my school's main campus in Burlington Vermont.

An awesome painting my girlfriend did of the logo of the game I work on in Montreal. Thanks MJ!

One of the ways I want to help this transition is to funnel much of the energy I was focusing into my internship to really make my projects shine in my production class. I feel like I learned a lot about my strengths as a designer while in Montreal and I believe that I can capitalize on these strengths in a way I wasn't able to before.

I think one hard skill I learned that I am good at is working on parts of projects that have interplay between design, programming, and narrative. One of my greatest passions in development is working on game narrative and throughout my internship I realized that the technical and design training I have gained throughout my college education allows me to do many jobs that writers without this kind of background can't do. For example, on Soul Reaper (the game I worked on during my internship in Montreal) I spent large amounts of time focused on creating cutscenes and dialogue directly in Unity. I also worked on building and arranging the hub world and wrote scripts that allowed for NPC's who inhabited that world to have shifting dialogue depending on which of the bosses the player had defeated. This kind of interdisciplinary work really allows me to bring the narrative of the game more directly into the gameplay instead of simply writing the dialogue and then handing it off to other team members to implement.

I believe the soft skill I excel at the most (at this point in my career) is my ability to talk with people. The number of people I've met and the number of problems I've avoided on a team just because I've taken the time to actually talk to the people around me is staggering. I see many of my peers run into problems in projects not because they lack communication skill but simply because they never even took the time to communicate in the first place (or ask questions when they were confused).

Moving forward in my career, I really want to learn what other strengths I have. I feel like I only recognized the ones above because I was thrown into situations where I was able to use them. I'm hopeful that my production class this semester, as well as wherever I end up interning next, will allow me to see new areas in which I excel (as well as where I need to improve).

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