This day, Monday, marked the first real day of the study abroad program. The night before those of us RIT students who were there had an informal meeting at the University of Paderborn with a couple of the German students and the big man on campus, Jorg who went over briefly what we would be doing the week.
Our first day started off with a quick tour of the University and some of its facilities including their cafeteria and radio station. I made the wise decision of purchasing some healthy juice at one of their campus stores since I was sick from my first few days of being in Germany before the program began.
Next, we were guided through the city of Paderborn proper on foot. It is a nice little town with buildings more modest than I had seen in Germany my first couple of nights in the country. Despite going to school in Rochester, I was still surprised at how small the city was. We ended up eating at a Chinese buffet for lunch for the sake of not spending a lot of money so early into the trip. This was a pretty good choice since it allowed us all to relax, eat, and chat with our new German pals. I learned quite a few things here about how people from Germany think about things as opposed to us. One not-so-professional example being pickup lines and phrases that carry over, like “That’s what she said.”
Afterwards, our tour continued through the city where we saw parks and a nice cathedral. Some history was imparted onto us concerning a window in the cathedral containing three rabbits in a circle, each sharing their ears with the others. After playing in a park for a bit and eating some delicious German ice cream, we split off for a bit of free time before we were to meet at the University’s GamesLab. I opted to go back to my room for some rest and medicine to ease my sickness and allergies.
At the GamesLab we found that the students had prepared a party to welcome us. I enjoyed the food and company of the remainder of the German students. It was very cool to see them show off some of the stuff that they made in the GamesLab. Their program is different than the Game Design and Development one at RIT in that our program is a degree with normal degree requirements, but theirs is an additional thing that Computer Science and Art students can take. This means they show real passion and devotion to making games rather than just do the bare minimum for grades that I often see, and am personally guilty of at times, from RIT students. That they make full-scale games in a large group over the course of a year is also something I think is really cool since at RIT, GDD students, for classes, can only really make quick projects (done in a quarter/semester or less) in much smaller groups.
I also had the blessed opportunity to witness Freddy attempt to show the German students a project he and I worked on this past semester for one of our classes. It took a few hours and trying on different computers before he could get the thing working; the wait not worth the payoff in my opinion.
All in all this day was a good start to the program and really helped start adjusting my mentality to how I treat my goal of making games.