It’s crazy how fast a year can fly by when you’re busy learning about game mechanics, design theory and of course, modelling your own 3D octopus. And even though I can hardly believe it, I find myself working in the industry as a Project Manager Intern at Demonware.
For readers that may not know what Demonware is or what they do, here is a quick backgrounder for you: Demonware is a subsidiary company of Activision Blizzard that provides game studios online software and services so that they can focus on creating great gameplay experiences. In the meanwhile, Demonware works to make all of the multiplayer magic – matchmaking, leaderboards and game lobbies – happen behind-the-scenes. Some of the titles that Demonware supports are arguably the most anticipated games to come out this year - Destiny and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
While Demonware doesn’t require game designers, they do have a need for project managers to ensure that all of their projects are running smoothly while staying on budget, scope, and on time. Fortunately for aspiring project managers like myself, the internship between Demonware and the VFS Game Design program provided me with the opportunity to prove myself in the industry.
The internship so far has been rewarding, challenging, and using a term that is widely used throughout the office, grand! My first couple of weeks at Demonware was spent learning about the overall company structure, the people, and of course, the projects. While reading their project plans, I was extremely glad to have taken the programming stream at VFS because I was able to understand the purpose of the project at a very high level.
Now that I have a better understanding of the inner workings of Demonware, I have been slowly taking on more responsibilities as a project manager under the awesome guidance of Phil Merricks, a level designer who found his calling in project management. I have been writing reports, tracking tasks and doing some pretty cool Excel exercises. And while all of this documentation seem torturous to some, my time at Demonware has taught me that they are vital to the life cycle of all projects as they show their accountability to stakeholders.
The learning curve at Demonware is undoubtedly steep, but having graduated from the game design program where students produce a complete game and learn to have a working knowledge of several programming languages and software in the span of a year, I am much more confident in my abilities to learn, to ask questions and of course, to work my butt off.
Maria Lee is a graduate of teh Game Design program at VFS