I imagine we are not alone amongst Scottish game studios in receiving many requests from high school students looking for “Work Experience Placements”. High Schoolers (around 16 years old) are tasked with finding a company in a field that interests them who will take them in for a week.
It had never really occurred to us to take anyone in, since we don’t exactly have the most corporate atmosphere at Lucky Frame HQ. However, we are always happy when any of our amazing friends are able to stop by and spend the day in the studio with us making stuff. We now have an unwritten Lucky Frame rule: if we have room, you are more than welcome to come by and spend the day with us, as long as you’re making something. I guess that is now a written rule.
So whilst we don’t want to have someone kicking around our office doing nothing for a week, we are totally into having someone making something. Therefore we recently decided to start responding to work experience requests with a challenge: if you want to learn what it’s like to make games, make a game. Choose a coding language or library or piece of software (we suggest Gamemaker, but anything will do) and send us something you’ve made. If you can make something and send it to us to play, we will take you in for a work experience week, and you will make games with our help.
I have set this challenge out to a number of people who got in touch with us, and for the most part I have scared them off. However, recently one local student, Reuben Gourlay, rose to the challenge and sent us not one but two prototypes built in Gamemaker. As a result, he came in a few weeks ago to spend some time with us, and he made a game.
We spent the first day talking to him and introducing him to our favorite games (Super Crate Box was a particular hit…), and getting him to think about what kind of game he’d like to make. We talked a lot about scope, keeping things manageable whilst retaining the fun.
After that we tasked him with designing and creating a full game by the end of the week. Reuben laid out a design for a motorcycle driving game, and he worked with Sean to create the art. Jonathan helped him with the code and I made some sound (and, ahem, totally radical music), and by the end of the week there was a complete game. BIKERS RAGE!!!! A few screenshots for you…
You can download and play the game for yourself…
Play Biker's Rage!!!
Well done Reuben, great to have you with us and keep making games!