Despite the sticky, humid heat of India that wets my back when I sleep and walk outside for just five minutes, I still somehow find a lot of joy coming back here; listening to the cars and buses go by, the birds chirping early in the morning, all the Indian sweets I missed while living in Ann Arbor, and the showers of rain that come during the monsoon summers.
Of course, this time, I’m not simply here for a vacation, but for an internship at a small gaming company called FriendsLearn. What drew me to this internship was the idea of the game that the company created: cultivating healthy food habits for children through gaming. I am a firm believer that while gaming has a lot of entertainment value, it can be educational too. So, joining this company seemed like a good fit with what I want pursue in the future: game design.
I would really like to learn how to create my own game towards the end of the internship. Or, at least, know the mechanics and the how-to’s, since my fear of coding always stands in the way of doing things. Additionally, I would like to learn how to model environments and characters and carry those skills in other game internships that I can get in the future. Lastly, I hope that this internship will provide me the understanding and pipeline production of how to create a game within a small company and hopefully take those lessons to start something of my own.
First week coming in I feel that as interns, we are presented with a lot of challenges and questions regarding the actual game. Is the game popular? How was it received with kids? What did they seem to like, or not like? Would kids willingly download this app, as they may do with Temple Run or Minions Dash or Candy Crush? Those questions haven’t been answered yet, and given that this is an educational game app, based on a lot of research, I am struggling a little to ask these questions without going over the line on what seems appropriate to ask and what doesn’t.
I am also struggling in terms of how to explain to the company my perception of the game and the makeovers that can be done to improve the game as a whole without overstepping or undermining the work that has already been done to the game. I hope that with time, I can learn how to provide this feedback and perhaps give this information in a way that the company will think about it without me directly saying anything (if that makes sense).
I hope this will be a fruitful internship and that I can take a lot of the skills I learn with me to college and beyond!