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Photo by Fabrianne Brown

Game Design

Art & Design Department —

Ethan Munn comments on his experience combining Design and Digital Technology subjects.

Switching into Design 301 this year was quite daunting. It was my first year stepping into unfamiliar territory having never made a three-board portfolio. When I found out I was required to code a program for one of my Digital Technologies 301 - basically asking me to make a video game, which is what I want to do for a living - it brought up a serious question. Would I have enough time? I suddenly had the idea of merging the two projects together. I’d heard someone had done this in the past when they made a website in the DIT course with some of their designs from the Design course. I needed to create two characters, a logo, a website, an instruction manual and the cover art for a video game - I would be programming these in another class.

Designing ‘Steampunk’ characters, one “good guy” and one “bad guy”, while also creating original appeal was very challenging. Drawing up characters by hand, scanning and tracing them in Photoshop, then colouring and detailing the majority of them took most of Term 3. Creating a logo which got across both the industrial aspect and the gimmick of the game - merging your character’s abilities with gooey G.E.L.s (genetically engineered liquids) to solve puzzles - took the rest of Term 3. When I finished coding and testing for bugs in the first week of the holidays for the game, there were about five different versions, each dealing with 3D movement, cloning the character, and menu interactivity. At this point, I had about four weeks to develop designs for a website, manual and cover art. After many late nights, lack of sleep and many days of staying stuck inside the Design classroom, the folio boards were completed a few days before the due date.

The reason why I am writing about this, is because as students in 2018, you may also be able to use ideas like mine to gain credits across the Curriculum. If you see the potential to merge some internals from different school subjects together, such as creative visual piece in English and any art related internal, it makes it more meaningful and the workload more manageable. I feel privileged to have this opportunity here at Naenae College and I’m so pleased with the outcome of my efforts.

Ethan Munn