Game Boy 006 – Learning

“Game Boy” is a weekly column in which I write about being a game developer working in Montreal. You’ll find them all under this category, and it starts here.

I’ve got “learning” on the mind.

First off, as I wrote a few weeks ago, I’ll be attending the Game Developers Conference (GDC) next month, which is going to be an incredible week of learning from my peers.

But last week I also started the following course by Ian Schreiber about game design (called “Game Design Concepts”), that accompanies the book Challenges for Game Designers: Non-digital Exercises for video Game Designers.

I learned about the book following a tweet by designer and educator Brenda Romero, who co-authored it, and after looking into it, quickly ordered it because it sounded like the type of exercises I’d been wanting to do. A few months ago I had discussed with a colleague about us trying to create some sort of board game together, and although we never got around to getting started on that, I figured I’d start by doing something a bit more guided, and as more of a learning process.

As for the online course, it was in fact created to accompany the book — it was initially done week by week, but all of the content is still archived and readily available for everyone to follow. It points to other readings to do along with the chapters from the Challenges book.

Even though my work at Ubisoft is on the project management side of things, I am still very much interested in knowing more about the art of designing games, and I’m looking forward to working on little non-digital game prototypes.

While I was still in Tokyo, I had launched a workshop called PressPause (pictured), to teach creatives who have no video game making experience to use Unity to produce little games. We unfortunately failed to complete our little games, but what we did accomplish was still fun and interesting, and so I’m glad to be trying to educate myself on the making of games again.

I expect future editions of this column will touch on some of the things I learn and make.

Author: Jean Snow

Production Coordinator at Ubisoft Montréal. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.