Liberty joined Draw & Code this summer, fitting right in with our team on a season-long placement as one of two students who joined us from the University of Chester.
As part of studying for her games development degree, Liberty designed a dungeon explorer virtual reality game, as well as making its 3D models, working alongside another student, Joe, who did the games development. The final product is a promising dungeon crawler game, where they were able to put their VR making skills to the test.
How did you come to work with Draw & Code?
I study games development at the University of Chester, and one of my modules is called ‘Enhancing Your Employability Through Work-Based Learning’. It’s a module that helps to make us more employable in the future through allowing us to have an opportunity to do work experience in the industry while being at university. I applied to Draw & Code through the
university, as a ‘UX designer/games designer’ role. Although we had a lot of placements that we could apply to, Draw & Code’s advertisement stood out to me the most, because it was games related and ticked all the boxes for me. I felt like I had the right skills that Draw & Code were looking for, which motivated me to apply.
How was your experience working with us?
It was brilliant! I had so much fun working there. Everyone was really accommodating and offered lots of help and advice. People made time for me out of their busy schedules to help
when I needed it, which I really appreciated. It didn’t feel like a stereotypical corporate environment; it was very laid back and relaxed, which really helped me to settle in.
What did you work on?
I worked on a VR game called ‘Crystal Casters’, along with another student doing the same course as me. It’s a dungeon crawler where you solve puzzles by casting different spells using crystals. The crystals attach to your wand, and if they are full, then you can cast different spells, such as water, fire and earth spells. To charge the crystals, you need to make your way through the different levels and collect items called ‘wisps’, where you can harness their power and allows you to use the spell which corresponds with their different elemental types. My job was to design the game and make the 3D models, including a modular kit for the level, the wand, crystals, etc.
It was a big challenge because I have never made anything in VR before. The workflow took some getting used to, along with other design aspects that are unique to VR. However, I feel as though I made good progress, and I’m happy with the final product that we made.
What did you learn from the experience?
I learned that making games for VR is hard! It’s a completely different workflow of making games than if you were making a game for PC. There’s so many factors you need to consider
when designing for VR that I didn’t even think about before, like preventing motion sickness. This is especially important with movement and the UI, because having the UI being stuck to the screen can be a big cause of the player feeling motion sick. It has opened my eyes to how much thought needs to go into making a game for VR, and scope is very important, so I think this has really helped to prepare me for if I need to work with VR again in the future.
What’s next for you?
Finishing university, and working on my portfolio. After that, I’m planning to do a master’s in Games Art, then after that I hope to become a 3D environmental/prop artist.