Earlier today our lead programmer Christopher Pollati and I (Noelle Posadas) had the privilege of speaking with our NYSCI Explainers about the ins and outs of game development. These young women came prepared with questions about what it takes to join the world of game development and we offered our years of experience as examples of how to break into this competitive industry. As someone in the game industry, I love to offer my experience as an example of how someone with a non-conventional background can become a game developer. All of our Explainers are currently studying various science disciplines in college, but are all interested in game development.
I graduated from Pratt Institute in 2010 and wanted to become a children’s book illustrator, but after graduating I fell into a career as a 2D artist at a mobile game studio and eventually progressed into a UI/UX designer and now I’m the award winning game designer of Biome Builder (COUGH COUGH BRAG). I want our Explainers and every other young person in college struggling to make their degree into a career to know that you don’t need all the answers now, that your degree should never act as a block from doing what you want. I also strongly suggest to anyone considering a career in games to reach out to their local gaming communities. Here in NYC we are lucky that there are wonderful groups like Playcrafting, General Assembly, and IGDA that provide classes and networking opportunities.
Even though Chris always knew he wanted to do game development, he didn't take a super direct path; he transferred colleges and majors along the way. After graduating from college, Chris found himself working at a variety of educational, graphic design, and then finance companies before going back to school. He switched schools three times before graduating Bloomfield with a Game Design Programming major. He loves it so much he has been teaching students to be game developers at Bloomfield for nine years now!
Chris and I also had the opportunity to explain different types of games, not just digital and tabletop, but interactive play (i.e. Hide and Go Seek). So often when we think of games we think of experiences that happen on a screen or over a game board, but so many of the first games we play involve little more than a group of friends and an environment. After discussing a few of our favorite interactive games like Sardines and Manhunt we brainstormed ways of making the museum an interactive play space. Hopefully this session will help to inform our DIR project and become an interactive way of connecting the exhibits in our favorite museum, the New York Hall of Science.