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Student game developer excels with hands on approach to learning at SAE

Pam is #saecrew. Pam is a talented Bachelor of Games Development student at SAE Perth who cites Alan Turning, Terry Cavanagh, and Jamie Cheng (of Klei Entertainment) as sources of inspiration.
PAM WEBB-ARMSTRONG

We chatted to Pam about her passion for games and for the contribution she makes to SAE and LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

#saecrew
– Student Edition –

NAME: PAM WEBB-ARMSTRONG
CAMPUS: SAE PERTH
DISCIPLINE: BACHELOR OF GAMES DEVELOPMENT (GAMES DESIGN)

What did you most enjoy about studying at SAE?

All the collaborative projects that I get to work on and connecting with many other people, in and out of my discipline.

What is the best thing you got out of studying?

Having a hands-on approach to learning instead of the more traditional learning style of most places of study. Being able to learn my discipline from knowledgeable lecturers while also creating my own portfolio of projects was a major bonus as well.

Could you please tell us a little about the SAE campus life?

I like to stay involved on campus, taking part in the Student Council and organising events when I can. I appreciate when the campus is full of life and bonding so I try my best to contribute to this as I know how difficult it is during and post lockdowns. Especially when it comes to groups that are often overlooked in the wider world, which is why I organise LGBTQ+ events where I can.

Had you studied previously?

No.

What did you enjoy most about Games Development?

I’ve always been really interested in making my own games so it’s great I get to do that for most of my projects. I also love how Games Development is a discipline that has to incorporate most of the other disciplines for a fully-fledged project.

What is your favourite software you use?

As a games programmer at SAE, the software I am using the most is Unity so it’d be strange to say anything else.

What is your favourite hardware you use?

It was the most fun to work with VR equipment and develop a game for that and had a lot more unique challenges to overcome with working with it compared to PC, console and mobile games.

YOUR WORK

What projects have you worked on?

I have worked on a range of projects, from card games to VR games to educational browser games.

My top three projects are:

  1. a card game called Feeding Frenzy;
  2. a VR arcade game called Camp VR and;
  3. an educational browser game called Sound Bites.

The project I am most proud of is Camp VR, even though it wasn’t as detailed as Feeding Frenzy and didn’t receive much polish, it was the most well-received and the people it was showcased to seemed to really enjoy it. On this project I lead the team for one of the minigames included and worked as lead programmer for the said minigame, contributing the bulk of the code, as well as helping design the minigame.
You can play this with a VR headset, download at itch.io: https://propellorhat.itch.io/camp-vr

CAMP VR
Who inspires you?
  • Terry Cavanagh makes various gems such as Dicey Dungeons, and VVVVVV ( Google | Apple )
  • Landfall Games also makes amazing games.
  • Klei Entertainment and its creator Jamie Cheng, started out as a very small studio and created many amazing original IPs (intellectual property). The designs of the games are so unique, like Don’t Starve.
Don't Starve - Klei Entertainment

TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF STUDYING AT SAE

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to SAE?

Be ready to be reflecting on yourself and your work constantly, it is an integral part of learning here.

Do you have any helpful tips to share with current students?

Always manage your time for your reflections (student diary)! Learning from your mistakes is a big part of learning at SAE.

What is Orientation and the first day of SAE like?

For me it was initially quite scary, as a socially anxious and LGBTQ+ person it was worrying coming into a large group of people I had no idea of. Luckily the process was fairly simple and I found a good amount of people that were like-minded to my experience.

Do you have any helpful tips to share with fellow students?

Branch out to other disciplines when you can and try not to just stick to one group, though it’s great to find what is comfortable it is also really important to explore other areas you may fit with, especially if you plan to work on a capstone project.

Image courtesy of Klei Entertainment
What is the best fun fact about yourself?

I have over a dozen pet rats. That fact usually excites or worries people when I tell them.

Who are 3 people you would invite to dinner, dead or alive?

Alan Turing, a gay man, who helped crack the Enigma code in WWII whose research assisted in modern computer technology. Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman, was integral to the gay liberation movement and was at the Stonewall Riots. I relate to both of these people as they represent key parts of me – my identity and my work.
Then also this guy I know called Winston.

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