I walked into SHG Studios for the first time on October 13th. The studio sits at the summit of a non-descript building in downtown Hamilton. As I travelled down the hallway and into the foyer, I noted the standard video game studio fare – microwave popcorn, mini fridge, and several board games in pleasantly organized piles. The staff of designers, artists and programmers all welcomed me and my uneasiness faded quickly into familiarity – these are my people.
My internship commenced with uplift projects for SHG’s three browser based games – Gates of Camelot, Star Pirates, and Spy Battle: 2165. The core gameplay remains as it was, in-depth and immersive. The games are just in need of a coat of paint, and I am holding the brush.
Digging into somebody else’s code is kind of similar to flipping through War and Peace for the first time. At first glance, my inner voice is screaming ‘oh no, I don’t understand a single part of this…all that schooling was for naught, run while you still can!’ That faded rather quickly as the masterfully written code started to make sense. Coding languages are like spoken language, an accent does not turn English into Spanish or Italian. An accent is simply a different way of communicating
When renovating in your house, adding new rooms must be done without unsettling the foundation. I entered this project with a similar mentality.
I learned through several projects that implementing 3rd-party APIs can be the stuff of nightmares. Telling four different external forces to work together…no problem. Problems.
After several days of hair loss and coffee consumption, players will now be able to use their social media accounts as their login for Gates of Camelot. Existing users can, of course, still use their existing logins.
A graphics uplift has taken place thanks to the artist here at SHG.
His concept is the basis for the new layout, and will be the basis for the other two browser games to follow.
On second thought, there seem to be quite a few hands on this paint brush.
We’ll talk again soon.