Four months can go incredibly quickly when you’re working in a fast moving, exciting industry that is completely new to you. It was this long ago that I began my experience as a co-op student/noob in the video gaming industry, and since then I have learned much. Moving forward, there are definitely defining things about the gaming industry that I will remember most about the experience.
The team here at Snowed In Studios is different than any other I have worked with. I found the need for collaboration and cooperation while developing games incredibly important, and individual goals have less of a focus than the overall project. Further, the nature of the industry allows for more experimental methods and norms, such as in Snowed In Studios’ case new project management methods such as a Lean/Scrum mixture, as well as the most open concept office I have ever worked in.
The gaming industry in Ottawa is incredibly supportive. The focus on establishing the city as one of Canada’s development hubs has resulted in fantastic growth, demonstrated by its number of companies as well as establishment of new events such as the Ottawa Game Conference. Although my placement was at Snowed In Studios, in the last four months I also learned about how other companies in the area do business, allowing for comparison and evolution of best practices.
Today’s gaming industry is full of opportunity for developers, especially indies. Now, more than ever, rather than large sums of money and a massive teams, developers can succeed on great ideas and drive alone. Innovation is a key element of success moving forward, and those teams that can imagine and produce truly unique ideas rather than revamping tried-and-true games are the ones that will see success.
My term at Snowed In Studios has been a great experience, and I am taking away some key learnings about game development. Granted, this was a four month position so I’ve only had a taste of what the industry is truly like, but it sure left me wanting to learn more!