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Inspiring Young Game Developers at MediaGymnasiet Nacka Strand


Last month, after receiving top marks for a group project, me and my team received the exciting opportunity to present the demo build of our game over at MediaGymnasiet Nacka Strand.

It had been a daunting, but immensely rewarding assignment. Our mission had been to deliver an Action Role-Playing Game in just six weeks, complete with sophisticated 3D graphics, fighting animations, and specific design & programming challenges set by the school to adhere to. Just like at a studio, we had to meet the producer’s targets, while using our imagination where things were not set in stone. 

By the end of it, we had produced a game that had surpassed our initial exceptions: Avem Mortis. A journey through a crypt environment, complete with quests and NPC interactions,  and with crow-worshipping cultists lurking around most corners, eager to heed you from reaching what lies behind the final gate. 

However, for us the journey didn’t end there, as presenting our final product to a new generation of video game developers was something that we didn’t want to miss out on. Especially given, to our great surprise, the students were bursting with questions and intrigue for our mad-dash of a game. All the while remembering that we were all very new to this arena, with many of us relatively fresh to our study topics. I, personally, had only written my first line of code 6 months beforehand, anywho.

The response then was extremely validating and it was a great pleasure to share our insight, processes, and how we worked together as a team to the younger students. The artists did an amazing job of breaking down the plethora of software that they use to get from concept art to fully-animated models and immersive, explorable environments, while Sear did a great job of illustrating the all-too-often invisible science behind the game design. My job then was to just make sure that the coding side of things didn’t seem too boring, which it genuinely isn’t in a cross-disciplinary project like this that keeps you on your toes.

Given the positive response and questions, I think I can safely say that we achieved our main aim of showing that a polished minimum viable product of a video game can be delivered in just over a month from a seemingly ragtag group of new students; so long as there’s great teamwork and workflow behind them. 

Thanks again to MediaGymnasiet Nacka Strand for having us!

Written by Harry Heath, GP21

Harry is a British-born game programmer who made the jump from writing scripts for film & TV at university to writing c# scripts for video games. They’re a little different.