I was recently called in to judge a Design championship event at a local school in Chennai. The event hosted different competitions across Industrial design, Game design, App design and Film making and I was judging for Game Design which was essentially games that the school children put together- class 5 to class 10. Like always I was skeptical when I went in (You see,your Producer/ Game Dev ego wont go easy on others) and waited for the first set of team to hit me up with their submissions and boy was I in for a surprise! I began to see demos ranging form platformers/side-scrollers, first person shooters, survival games to full blown third person adventure game built using several tools/engines including Construct 2, Unity, Unreal, Scratch and such. What really impressed me was the creative effort behind their demos and the competitive spirit they all exhibited. It simply put my past to shame! I dont think I was ever close to being any smart like these kids. While we may argue that the current gen kids have tremendous exposure due to internet and tech at hands, you still have to give to their sheer effort in developing games of that degree which were on par professional ones and in most cases they should be eating the general applications we receive for breakfast!
Some of the game prototypes that caught my attention that I ended up recording a few!
A Super Meat Boy like prototype built by Class 6 Students!
A Platformer demo developed by Class 6 Students
A full blown third person adventure game demo put together by Class 10 Students
While a lot these games used readily available assets from the asset stores (not that I expect them to create their own artwork at this stage), I was still amazed at the level design, engineering abilities and thought process that went behind. I could see clear team work and each of them had a clear role to play which again is a great skill they exhibited at such a young age. The games had a sense of narrative, an objective and more than anything was fun to play around. The kids understood what it takes to build that fun factor and I could see that enjoyment in them when they explained me what the game was all about and how they only built these in a matter of 3-4 days! Their understanding of tech impressed me equally. With some of the 3D games I saw, they talked about animation state machines, post processing, cine machine cutscene and several other process and techniques they used to develop.
How I wished I could get these kids onboard and work with them on some exciting original IP. Nevertheless I came back fully impressed and certain that we will offer Internship opportunities to some of these super talented kids in the neat future!