Erasmus Intentensive Programme in Serious Games

Hi

I wanted to write something on the amazing two weeks I’ve had as part of the Erasmus IP program.

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What is the Erasmus IP program.

Erasmus IP is a EU funded program involving 4 colleges from across Europe.Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Netherlands),Fachhochschule Vorarlberg GmbH (Austria), Hogskolen i Sor-Trondelag (Norway) and I.T. Carlow (Ireland).

Quote  from Erasmus IP website

“Each year 60 computing students (15 from each partner college) and 8 lecturing staff (2 from each partner) gather at the host college for two weeks to develop prototype serious games relating to industrial safety and training. The sixty students are divided into 8 groups. Each group is an international mix of game designers, software developers and digital artists. The groups work in conjunction with an industrial partner to develop prototypes serious games for the purposes of safety education or training or other uses on behalf of the industrial partner.”

IP 2014- IT Carlow

So this year my college(IT Carlow) are the host. I will admit I was disappointed we didn’t get to go to a new country.But  was excited to meet loads of new people and work in different teams.I am very interested in travel and and cultures so getting to know people from different country I’ve never been to was lots of fun.

My Team – Team Phi

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We were divided into teams made up of people from different countries, two from  Norway and Ireland, three from the Netherlands and one from Austria.  The first day was getting to know each other and getting are room set up for the next two weeks.

Planning

First it was important to decide on software and process to use. So we talked about what people were used to using . We all had a preparation week in our own college to make demos using Unity , so we choose Unity as we all had experience with it and all were most comfortable scripting in c#.We were also asked to use Github and Jira for the project. We had all used github  before so there was no problems using it. Only me and my other teammate from my college had used Jira so we set it up and showed the rest of our team how to use it.We also set up a physical task management system with post it notes on the wall. We made user stories and tasks and we out on the board which we divided into To do, In Progress, Review and Done. I hadn’t used the review method (getting another team mate to review your code before moving the task to the done section)before but I found it really helpfully and would use it again in the future.

Games Pitch

After a trip to the Irish Air Corps where we given a more detailed description of the kind of game they where looking for.We were asked to come up with two game pitches to present to members of the Irish Air Corp. The team discussed ideas for games and split into two to work on flesh out each one.The first idea was playing as someone working in the Air Corps. The second was a management simulation . I worked on the second idea and presented it. I did get a little nervous when it came to the presentation  it was in front of sixty people including members of the Air Corps.But it went really well they loved are second idea of management simulation, they said we hit the nail on the head and got exactly  what they were asking.So after the presentation we decided to go ahead with the second idea.

Development

We only had four days of development so we knew there was no way we could ever get all the things we wanted in the game.So prioritizing tasks was very important early on.  The main worry of our game was getting the back end logic and GUI to communicate and work together.To help with this we did a lot of pair programing and talking  to each other. when  I was working on backend logic and needed to get data from a gui slider it was important to talk to the person who was making the slider. It worked really well and there was no major problems.The only problem was time we and the rest of the teams just didn’t have enough time to build a full game so they were all more prototypes.

Demos

We had a power point presentation and play testing of our game with the other students and the people from the Air Corps. After the play test the Air Corps and lecturers sat down to review are work and decide on the awards to be given.My Team came second in the Best Game category and won the Team Spirit award.

I had a great time getting to know the other students and made a lot of friends  I will keep in contact with. I learned a lot about  working for an outside client and team work.

cheers

Katie

 

 

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One thought on “Erasmus Intentensive Programme in Serious Games

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