28 May 2010

Exciting possibility!

An awesome opportunity has presented itself which I am (for reasons not completely known to me) insanely excited about! As I mentioned just the other day in fact, I am really enjoying my Honours course I am currently doing, working with Sophie my supervisor being one of the highlights.

Anyway, my last meeting was a few days ago, and I had another with her today during which the topic of tutoring opportunities being available to me as I am Honours student came up. This will allow me to teach the practical classes for 2 of the current units in the Games Design and Development degree at my University! Awesome!

I have a choice between 2 classes, although I might try and teach both.

One of which would be teaching the first years in Game Fundamentals, which pretty much involves exposing the students to all the different elements that make up a video game (lighting, characters, stories, themes, graphics and so on) and how these all work together and what they bring to the gaming experience. This one I feel will be really rewarding as I am pretty good at connecting with people if I really need to, and it would be great to get the students thinking about how a game presents the experience to the player that could lead to some excellent discussions. The students also get free reign on their creativity, something I would love to encourage and shape if I could.

The second class is Audio and Visual Game Elements for the second year students. This involves using 3DS Max (a 3d modeling software) to draw things like swords, spiders and rocks in 3d, complete with textures and lighting. Then changing from visual to audio elements where we focus on how audio can enhance the visuals and induce a desired mood that changes the experience that the video game has on the player. There is also the fun challenge of producing sounds using the Foley technique.

I have got wild imaginations running through my mind on how being a teacher could turn out. My best case scenario would be being able to connect with the students, seeing their minds turning away with the breadth of their imagination the limit.  Fresh faces to an old field is always exciting.

So many people play video games, watch movies, read books, but how many actually stop to think about what kind of experience that medium had on them. Did you feel immersed in the world, invested in the characters, found yourself lost in thought about the back story, debated the resulting ramifications when critical monumental events occurred. If you did experience something profound, look further to how it had that affect. Was it the way the characters were described, the towns portrayed, the lighting and sound involved (if it was a visual medium obviously). Think about why a certain colour and texture was used in a certain scene, the background music used to set a desired mood, the camera angles, the names of the characters.  All chosen for a reason.

Then of course, how this was all brought together to (hopefully) seamlessly create an entire dimension within your own mind.

Anyways, I was pretty excited about that and thought I'd share it here.  If I do take the offer I won't start until next University semester which is 2 months away yet.  Will keep you updated!


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