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Opportunities in the UK Games Industry

This week I have been working in a group to produce a presentation around entry level jobs in the games industry, so it feels fitting ti make a blog entry around the things I found out about the UK industry.

The first thing I was surprised to learn was the amount of big names that had graduate offers. Places like Creative Assembly and Codemasters have created games that I play frequently and the prospect of having a job at such a place that early was exciting to find out. Though they seem to only take the best of graduates, usually only taking first class or upper second class degrees, it gives me a good goal to aim towards if I want to apply to these studios.

Halo Wars 2 was created by Creative Assembly, a game I play often and enjoy. Src:https://i0.wp.com/www.thexboxhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/halo-wars-2-rev-2.jpg?fit=1440%2C810&ssl=1

It was very interesting for me to learn about the different roles within a studio too as it gave me an idea of what specializations are in the field and I hope to figure that out by the end of my first acedemic year. Despite this I will still train all my other skills to adequete levels as I should ecpect to be a genralist programmer when I start out before I specialize in a certain area of games development.

Another thing that surprised me was how reassuring the job descriptions were, welcoming many skill levels and being very consise about what they want, which was a lot less daunting than I expected it to be, Some, like Codemasters, even mentioned other ares of interest that would be of use to the studio which was also very nice to see.

Codemasters state that an interest of motorsport is welcome due to their long history with racing games. Src: https://car-images.bauersecure.com/pagefiles/94394/black_mercedes_2.jpg

The last thing I noticed was that the entry requirments between all the studios were pretty similar, this is due to the increasing popularity of Unreal Engine which means most studios will look for C++ knowledge and will sometimes makes applicants take tests about the language. This has made me keen to learn what the language can do in the future and I hope I can transfer my Javascript and Python knowledge over to increase my proficiency in the language.

Overall I feel more confident in finding a job after graduating as I thought it was going to be a lot more information heavy and and that big studios weren’t going to be accessible this easy. This research has helped me set some reasonable goals for the future and I hope that will help my learning throughout my time at university.

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Experimenting with Matter Physics

This week, I looked into the Matter physics engine that is present in Phaser. Once I had a basic project in place, I looked around at some Phaser examples I thought about implementing into the project to see how Matter works and what it can do.

The first thing I tried was to spawn a bunch of small particle objects that would move and bounce around. I made a simple image that I could use to be the particle and then worked on implementing them to the game. The actual particle itself worked similar to implementing a sprite, with specifying a loctaion and texture, the Matter stuff came in after than where an object was needed to assign a hitbox shape and size and various other properties.

One particle coming up!

Once I had a particle stored in a variable, I could change various properties about the particle like its mass and friction, luckily a lot of this is in the documentation so I can find what I need pretty quick

The properties I added to my particle

Now I just needed to make a lot of them, nothing that a simple for loop can’t do! With that in place I loaded up my level and bam, a bunch of particles falling from the sky!

Interesting weather today, isn’t it?

Some of them like to go through the floor, I can only presume that it’s perfectly landed in between the gap for 2 tiles so i’m not too sure how to solve that just yet, but hopefully soon I can find the culprit.

Another thing that caught my eye on the examples page was some cloth physics that looked interesting, they used a soft body to create it so I suppose I should follow suit if I want to make my own.

Huh, seems simple enough

Put the cloth into the scene and bam…?

That’s not a cloth!
Oh dear, what have I created…

Surprisingly if you don’t make any points static, it will just drop and make a mess, so yes thats a cloth, just not the one I envisioned. So I had to make the top points static so it would hang like a flag, luckily the example had me covered, as it stored the points row by row so a for loop checking the first row of items and making them static should work, but it seems like I needed to assign each point to a constant before I could.

Right that should stop that from happening again!

With that in place, all that was left was to test it. Fingers crossed!

That’s more like it!

Matter certainly seems like a very fun physics engine to play around it and would like to do more work around it, especially with things like stopping particles going through the ground and giving soft bodies a texture, but overall I had a lot of fun playing around with this and would like to make a game using Matter.