Meet SAE postgrad student and game developer, James Byron

James Byron shares his experience studying in the postgraduate program at SAE.
SAE postgraduate student | James Byron


James Byron

James Byron is a postgraduate student. He decided to study at SAE to further his experience and develop his skill set for a career in games.

Why did you decide to start postgraduate study?

I previously studied a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Games and Interactivity. I have also completed an Undergraduate Diploma of Languages (Japanese) as well.

Tell us about your capstone project.

Although I wouldn’t consider it a traditional capstone project, the project for CIM400 – Graduate Studio 1 was a key part of my postgraduate certificate course. The initial project I was considering was far too large to achieve within the time available for this module.

Instead of creating a full video game project, I created the Project Proposal and Creative Development Bible for my project “Space Junk Collectors.” The game would be a retro-inspired space-shooter game that focuses on the player’s goal to clean up space debris floating in the atmosphere of the planets.

Another project I really enjoyed working on in the course was the GAM458 – Virtual Reality unit.
This was my first time developing with VR hardware, I wanted to create a simple but effective sports games. Since I’m fond of Kendo (a Japanese martial art with bamboo swords), I hoped to replicate this in this project, making a VR Kendo Dojo prototype.

VR demo - James Byron
Could you please tell us about the workflow and processes applied while working on your project?

I think an important part of my work process focuses around making a good, early head-start on my projects with a project plan as the starting point. It’s also important for me to consider how much time I would have available and plan accordingly, adjusting my project’s scope to be feasible within that given time frame.

Have you collaborated with staff or other students on your project?

I tend to have the most collaborations with staff when working on my projects.
I enjoy discussing and collaborating on projects with SAE staff, particularly when the class size is small enough so that we can have 1-on-1 conversations about my current project.

My project in DES451 – 3D Printed, Internet Enabled Design B was a result of collaborating with my module teachers, and it really helped me to figure out the intricacies of the Arduino hardware and wiring kits I was working with.

VR demo - James Byron
James Byron -
"I enjoy discussing and collaborating on projects with SAE staff, particularly when the class size is small enough so that we can have 1-on-1 conversations about my current project."
How does completing the SAE postgraduate course online suit your lifestyle?

I think completing the postgraduate course online has really added an extra sense of motivation for me. While I do prefer being on campus for my university activities, and in addition to being exceptionally busy this past year, I’ve felt the online MCI courses have helped give me new and productive learning experiences that have been a lot of fun to do over this year.

What are your top three tips for working online and staying motivated?
  1. Rest – Be sure to take breaks every now and then – go for a screen-break with a book or a cup of tea!
  2. Plan – Work towards goals with an overall project management plan. Dividing the work into smaller components allows you to stay motivated and on track to complete the full task.
  3. Support – Reach out to friends and family! It’s always important to have a balance between study and life, and talking with others and enjoying hobbies can really help with that.
Film students working with a camera

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