Before I came to VFS I was working as an architect. I have always loved creating and design and I see programming as another form of making, and like architecture it shapes our world in meaningful ways.
Therefore, for me, the progression to programming has been a very logical one. There are the same management issues, maintainability issues, good practice, incorporating new technologies and human factors. What is different and I find incredibly fulfilling is that I no longer have to rely on a 3rd party construction team to realize the design, I can now built it myself.
I decided to take the Programming for Games Web and Mobile course at VFS after taking a two month online course called ‘Introduction to Python’ by Rice University where I built simple games like Pong, Blackjack and my all time favourite as a child, Asteroids. It was incredibly satisfying when learning to code to create games and very quickly see the results.
What has been a surprise was learning that while I very much care about the design of the code, I find I leave the user interface and design to the end of every project. It just doesn’t excite me and make me want to prioritize it in the same way as getting the core code components working.
When I came to VFS I didn’t have a strong preference between the gaming and web stream, I just wanted to code. Though I thought I would take the game stream, instead i’ve chosen web. The web stream covers servers, cloud computing, scalability and web performance. The web stream at VFS is overwhelming, challenging but very interesting. We have even gotten to make some games. At the end of term 2 we made a physic based game using Box2D called AngryPG03’s.
Traditionally the web stream students final projects are independent from the game stream and focus on web or native mobile apps. Creating an app didn’t hugely appeal to me and I really wanted the experience of working in a team. So I am delighted that I’ve been able to join a game team and do the networking for the project. It is the first crossover between the gaming and web stream. MOBA-land here we come!
Screen grab from AngryPG03’s a web game written with Takashi and with art by Andreia and Steve (all PG03 students) in Term 2.
Meabh McCarthy is a student in Programming for Games Web and Mobile, and a winner of the Women in Games Scholarship