During 2012 I joined Dare to be Digital, an international competition hosted at Abertay University in Dundee. After passing an interview stage and an initial pitch our team was chosen to attend the compeition, where the top three games would be up to win a BAFTA nomination, with other awards up for grabs too.
My team developed a first person survival horror game called Project Thanatos; that combined a Sensics virtual reality headset with binaural sound and a unique no-weapons gameplay. We spent three months developing our game alongside industry professionals, taking on feedback and ideas from them. We came out of the competition with a BAFTA nomination and the audience choice award, as chosen by the public during a two day event called Protoplay.
The experience was invaluable, and though my skills were still developing I gained experience working in a team in a fast paced environemnt, taking on critique and industry feedback as well as teamwork and leadership skills.
For the project I worked as the primary 2D artist, taking on all concept, promotional and video work, as well as texturing, modelling, voice recording and level design.
During 2013 I applied for Make Somehting Unreal Live with a new team from university. Unlike DARE, this team was almost twice the size and the entire development was a very different experience. We developed the game for nine months whilst still attending university in our final year.
We developed a fun, colourful 3D platformer called PolyMorph, which followed the story of Axis as he travelled the magical world of Allele in search of a cure to the muck destroying the landscape. We worked with Ninja Theory, our industry mentor team, and the Wellcome Trust to develop a game which was inspired by Mendellian inheritance - the fact that genetics are passed from parents to children via reproduction. We implemented this into our game through a mechanic which allowed the player to take in the DNA of creatures in the world to then die and be reborn with new traits and powers.
During this project I worked with another artist on the concept art, modelling, texturing, UI and promotional artwork. We finished the competition at the Gadget Show Live for a week where we presented our game whilst crunch developing our demo infront of a live audience, taking in industry feedback and speaking with mentors, and came out with Second place and a UE3 Licence.
This experience gave me a much wider knowledge working with the more technical side of business management and team organisation, as I was promoted to Creative Director and was in charge of the Animation and Arts memebers.