Hey everyone, sorry it’s been a while, but for the last few months I have been incredibly busy with University work, plus I have had some technical difficulties which I’ll explain further later on. However, the good news is that it’s all finished!
That’s right, all of my remaining assignments, which includes one mobile game written in MonoGame, one PC game developed in Unreal Engine 4 with a full game development team of artists, designers and other programmers, my thesis on Procedural Content Generation to Create Levels in Games, and the combination of a Procedural Level Generator, Procedural Level Editor, and 2D Tilemap Shooter which makes up my dissertaion artefact, were all finished in time to make up my full University degree!
Some of these projects even got some exposure, the game for Unreal Engine 4 was Collision Course, which I am credited as the Senior Tech for the team Ironworks. It was developed over the course of a year under the Junior/Senior module run by the Games Design course of Staffordshire University. Footage of the beta build made its appearance on a Student Showreel, shown at the Unreal Engine Educational Summit at GDC in San Francisco (you can spot the footage at the 0:24 and 0:35 marks)
On Friday 15th May, my Final Year Dissertation piece, the Procedural Level Editor, was shown at GradEx, Staffordshire University’s Graduate Expo, along with the works of all the students in the same year as me. Industry veterans from Codemasters, Radiant Worlds and Ninja Theory, as well as academics and current students all came round to have a look and see what I produced, and I talked in length about how the level generation worked, how it integrated with the level editor and how it could be used in game. It was a lot of fun and it was worthwhile speaking to members of the industry, as well as seeing all the other projects that were going on, since being focused and near isolated for the majority of time developing your own project meant not seeing much of everyone elses.
The last module I had to work for was Mobile Multimedia & Gaming, where I produced the game Number Swipe, which has a new page along with the Procedural Level Editor.
Now we get to the bad news, which will effect the amount of work coming in for a few more weeks. On the evening I submitted the mobile games assignment, my main development PC blew out. While this issue alone was easy to sort out, it lead to an even more serious issue of my hard drive being partially damaged. Because the damage wasn’t severe, the hard drive has been taken to a data recovery specialist in an attempt to repair/recover any data on the drive, and I also had my laptop which I also use for some development purposes. One week later, more specifically the day after GradEx, I was working on a small project for a job opportunity when suddenly, the laptop crashed. When I tried to boot it up again, it went into auto-repair and never got back onto the OS. On the day after I had it looked at by a PC World technician, and he found the cause to be a fault with the laptop’s hard drive. I got it back without any charge to attempt a Hard Disk repair, however as of writing this that process detects an error but cannot repair it. So to summarise, because of hard drives I am now down two computers that I use for all my games and software development.
The good news is that fortunately, none of my game projects, source codes, documents or reports are lost as far as my current damage report has found. I’ve been backing up most of my data onto external hard drives, flash drives, cloud services and repositories for a while, and three weeks prior I had increased my efforts to back up and store files elsewhere after some non-related file issues in the past. What is currently lost are some media files, including some I was going to use to prepare for this post (which is why I’m lacking in media for some of the stuff I’m talking about), and installed programs that I use to do work on. When I get my hard drives back and fully functioning again, I’ll have to spend time setting up my enviroment again. It sucks that data can be unstable, but it should be important to always prepare for the worst.
So that concludes what I’ve been up to, while I’m waiting for my work to get marked and my PCs to get repaired, I’m also looking for work in the games industry. If there are opportunities about, I’m gonna go pursue them and see where the road will take me!