Student scores job while interning with Games company
5 Oct 2016
Student scores job while interning with Games company
5 Oct 2016
SAE Sydney games student, Elliot Moule, sat down with us to chat about his studies, his work and the amazing work opportunity he scored while undertaking his studies.
Which SAE campus are you at?
What are you studying at SAE Institute?
Bachelor of Games Development (Programming)
What Trimester are you currently in?
Who inspires your work?
I draw inspiration from everywhere and everything. From small interactions with the world, which I’ve thought would be exciting inside a game, to the multitude of other games. I also draw inspiration from my family, friends, and work colleagues, who continually motivate me and make me want to work hard, and learn more.
Have you studied previously?
Yes. I have a Bachelor of Writing degree from the University of Canberra, where I majored in Literary Studies, Creative Writing, and Media Studies and Scriptwriting. I have also completed a Post-Graduate Diploma of Education (Primary), which I completed with the University of Wollongong.
In line with this degree, I have been working as a Teacher and ICT Coordinator at a Sydney based primary school, since 2013.
STUDYING GAMES PROGRAMMING AT SAE
What do you enjoy most about Games?
I enjoy game programming, both for the fun, and the challenge. The creativity and enthusiasm working towards a new game mechanic, or a challenging bit of code, is like nothing else. To then have everything work well (most of the time), is absolutely amazing!
What do you love most about studying at SAE Sydney?
I have enjoyed working with other disciplines, but working with the small group of programmers I started with is always rewarding. We bounce off of each other and help each other learn.
What is your favourite programming language or dev environment you use for your discipline?
I would have to say C#, mostly because it’s the one where I've had the most experience. I also enjoyed C++ but I find it's a lot slower. Hopefully with more practice I’ll learn to love it more.
I really enjoy working with Unity Engine, mostly because I like how it's designed and it's ability to do nearly anything. From creating my own tools, to having various code classes interacting with each other. I also enjoy using Unreal, though I haven’t had a great chance to get my hands into its C++ side (as it uses the Blueprinting node based system designed by Unreal).
What projects have you worked on, and which one are you most proud of? What did you produce in this project?
I have worked on a few projects now, from a small car racing game, to the classic brick bounce game made with pure code. I have also created a small side scrolling platform game for mobile (Android and iOS), along with a 3D immersive walking simulator. I enjoyed creating all of these, though I am most proud of my most recent project Wizard Warz, a top down, multiplayer game similar to Bomberman that was developed in association with Nsquared, designed to work on their DIGITABLE touch screen device.
Along with two other programmers (Eli Whitbread and Zac Clarke) and designer (Ben Molenaar), we designed and developed Wizard Warz completely using programming (C# and XAML), and through using Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). It was one of the harder projects I’ve worked on, mostly because of my unfamiliarity with WPF and XAML, but also because we only had the use of Visual Studios. This meant we had to create our own small game engine, as Unity and Unreal weren’t an option.
By trimester’s end, Wizard Warz was working on any Window’s based touch device, and soon ported over to Nsquared’s framework. We had an official chance to then playtest it during the holidays - it was fantastic to see how it all came together on the big touch screen! in comparison to previous projects the testers had fun playing it. It was rewarding seeing them having fun.
Below is a link to Wizard Warz – it includes images, along with a playtest video (via a link at the bottom of the page), and showcases the game at NSquared: http://code-elliot.weebly.com
Here's a link to my Tumblr page that profiles some of my other projects in my portfolio: http://ellimyt.tumblr.com/
"I implemented the navigation mesh, available within RAIN AI. This mesh essentially tells the AI character whether they can walk through a specific area." - Elliot Moule
Congratulations on recently scoring a paid position while completing work placement! Can you tell us a little more about how it came about?
At the beginning of Trimester 2, 2016, our tutors (Ivan Beram and Tej Padmanabha), offered our class several briefs that might be of interested as projects for the trimester. Given the fantastic opportunity to work with industry professionals here in Sydney developing projects for a custom touch device, many students selected the same brief. After about three weeks of pitching projects, two groups were given the nod by our tutors and Dr. Neil of Nsquared. The projects were a Wizard game, where players battled against each other, and a Bomberman style game. The two groups merged into one to develop the project while some students chose to do a different project with Unity Engine. Our group consisted of three programmers and a designer. We joined heads and came up with Wizard Warz, a Bomberman style game, with a Wizard theme and design.
We continued developing Wizard Warz for the next ten weeks, meeting with Nsquared fortnightly (sometimes more if we had issues). The work was hard, with a steep learning curve for XAML combined with C#, but soon enough we had a grasp on how to get all the pieces together. By week 8 most of our mechanics were in. It was time to playtest the game for the first time with Nsquared. We found a whole host of issues, with the biggest being not able to play with multiple people (multitouch), so we had a few late nights to adjust this fundamental mechanic.
By week 10 the game was complete, minus a few polishes. By week 13 (after playtesting by other SAE students), we had improved general playability and Wizard Warz was working really well.
Following the official playtest of Wizard Warz, with Nsquared, Dr. Neil contacted me and suggested I submit my resume to their team. I will be starting with the team early next year. I've been incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to work with Nsquared and Dr. Neil. Interships are incredibly valuable, and I hope this leads to a more permanent role with the company.
What is NSQUARED?
Nsquared is a team of intelligent software developers, with an exclusive focus on cutting edge technology. They are headed by their Director, Dr. Neil Roodyn, who has a twenty year software development career, including jobs at Microsoft, authoring eXtreme.NET, and developing for Windows Surface. The Nsquared team have been amazingly - I am very excited to work alongside the team!
Who do you follow on social media?
I follow a range of people from really differing areas which match my broad interests. If we’re talking music I follow alt-J, but if we’re talking technology and programming, I follow Dan Bricklin (the Father of the Spreadsheet). I also like watching Generikb (a game reviewer/player on YouTube), as he exposes me to new games. I also follow Markus Zusak, one of my favourite authors, and Felicity Packard, a screenwriter known for Underbelly (who also was a lecturer and tutor of mine, when I studied screenwriting).
Can you share an artist that inspires you?
I have quite a few, but as a Programmer I’m really inspired by other game makers (and programmers particularly). I really like Brisbane-based game studio, Beam Team Games, particularly their game Stranded Deep. I also really like Telltale, as I have a huge interest in storytelling and games.
What are your goals after finishing studies at SAE Institute?
I would love to be able to continue programming and just generally developing software. I am definitely aiming at finding a job in the industry while continuing my love for making games too.
I am hoping to continue with Nsquared, though I’d also like to continue working on games with some of my fellow students – whether that be on the side, or something more.
I'm also really looking forward to travelling more, seeing more, and meeting new people.
This and That Game
Converse or Vans
Coffee or Tea
Apple or Android
Instagram or Snapchat
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