<– Jam’s final stand –>
At long last, the day to present the polished version of Food Friends to came had arrived. I was in charge of doing a final push to add mobile functionality (touch events), so I was rushing to get the functionality in at the last minute. Luckily, we got an extended time to get ready before heading to King, so I was able to run back into my apartment to apply the last few touches.
<– Presenting the jam –>
Nonetheless, we were greeted warmly by the team. They had some swag laid out in a table near the entrance to the studio, and I managed to get a shot of it before discovering that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the rest of the studio
Once we heard a bit about King and what they do, it was finally the time that my group had been waiting for – presenting the game. We definitely polished the game up significantly and I was really happy with what the team did even after the game jam had finished. I played the game while one of the other members explained it. We didn’t receive any feedback, which to me got me extremely worried that they hadn’t liked the game at all. I received reassurance that no comments meant that they had liked it, but I was rather skeptical.
Other teams showed off their games and received some positive feedback. Once we were done with presentations, we talked a bit longer with some of the members of the team. One of the engineers approached my group and gave us some really useful pointers on how we could improve our game. Despite being in the transitional period, it was nice to check in at the King studio and to meet some of the members of the team.
<– break –>
After leaving King, we were given some time to hang out in Berlin and explore. The city is deceptively small, and most things are a few minutes away walking. The group I was with went the the chocolate museum to make some purchases. Needless to say, the chocolate there was pretty delicious. I handed my camera off to someone else, and I got some cool pictures of the place back at the end of it.
<– Wooga –>
After hearing it so many times, I got hooked on saying Vooga instead of Wooga. I don’t know why, but it feels cool to use V’s instead of W’s.
I had expected Wooga to be around the same size as Blue Byte, but I was in for a huge surprise. Wooga’s studio was also part of a larger building complex which housed different companies, which gave me the illusion that it wouldn’t be as big as it actually was.
When my group walked out from the stairs, things got big – fast. From the get-go, it was extremely spacious and there were a lot of cool things hanging around everywhere. Very much themed, and I liked that a lot. It showed off the effort that went into making the studio feel at home for the developers.
We were greeted by Anne Seebach, who is in charge of University Relations. We made our first pit-stop at Wooga’s kitchen, which was very much equipped to keep everyone in the studio well fed. Those carrots are just waiting to be made into carrot juice… *mouth waters*
Anyways, after we picked up some refreshments, we headed over to another location which resembled a small auditorium. On the way down to the bottom floor, things began to get bigger again. Every development team had a huge section of the floor dedicated to them.
Once at the auditorium, we were given a few presentations in a similar format to the ones at Blue Byte. Anne talked to us about the history of Wooga and the way it’s changed over the years. In addition, she gave us some high-level insight on what the development process is like at Wooga.
The second presentation, from lead designer Brian, was about how to be a designer. He gave out some really good information in regards to things that we should be doing as designers in order to expand our knowledge. Some of the things he mentioned that we should be practicing are things that I definitely struggle with a lot now:
1) Don’t worry about architecture 2) Fail fast
I’ve been creating things recently with a huge emphasis on initial architecture in order to make it easier to scale the project in the future, but at the same time I’ve been slowing down the actual progress that I make by a significant amount.
The last presentation was from Cristoph, a 3.5 year Wooga engineer. Christoph talked to us about testing, and some of the tools that they use in their tests as well as how they interact with one another. We were recommended to learn SQL and Excel due to their popularity in the industry, so that’s something definitely something else to look into in the coming weeks.
<– Sleep –>
After many crazy days, I finally would have the chance to rest my eyes properly. Both company visits were a lot of fun today and I learned a great deal of knowledge about additional processes and technology that are used by game studios. Definitely something more to be looking at going forward.