First impressions – 6/13/18
By Nick Carbonara, NYU ’19
Hey there! I’m Nick Carbonara, an associate production and programming intern at the Summer Innovation Program (SIP). For anyone interested in joining the program in the future, here are a few things that strike me about my first few weeks in SIP:
1. SIP is focused on professional techniques and goals. Our task is to design tablet-based iOS games for release next year that get high download and retention rates. To produce these games, we’re taught project management techniques such as the Kanban method, and use tools like Reflection.io to do market research. These are just a few examples of the many “real-world” considerations that we’re taught to consider in SIP.
2. The development process in SIP is different than what one might have encountered in game design courses in school. Having spent the first few weeks researching to find game genres that would be profitable and feasible to make, my five teammates and I settled on creating a side-scrolling endless runner. At this stage we’re not building the game, but rather playtesting a handful of “whitebox demos” showcasing different possible game features to determine which ones will be the most fun. If all goes well, next week we’ll know which of these we’ll be expanding into a full game.
3. This may seem daunting, but you have support! Monty Sharma and Walt Yarbrough, the Managing Director of MassDiGI and the Producer of SIP respectively, are there to help you. When I deviated from the system Walt required us to use for project planning, he took the time to help me understand why we use his method instead. And last week Monty sat down with every member of SIP individually to discuss how they were handling SIP so far. On top of that, they encourage everyone to take time to rest after hard work. In short, they want to see you do well, and they believe that you can get the job done.
4. Every intern here is awesome. All 30ish of us live together in Becker College’s Merrill Hall, and we’ve had little trouble bonding. We find camaraderie talking about work, our overstuffed communal fridge, Forged in Fire (a show about people who make swords, win cash prizes, and quench their blades too early), and our interests and passions. Overall, I’m thankful to have colleagues who are as kind and friendly as they are excellent game developers.
In the limited time I’ve spent here so far SIP has presented me with challenges, but it has also given me the support to face them. With any luck, the rest of the summer will be successful for myself and all of my fellow SIP interns.