Making progress, moving forward – 11/9/22
By James Taubman, NEIT ’25
I consider myself fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with MassDigi in their semester-based studio program. Through the help of RIDigi and the dedicated faculty at New England Institute of Technology I was given a path to further my journey to a career in the video game industry. The team from MassDigi is quite informed, offering a well-planned out remote program. This studio program, or internship really, has been challenging while also helping me progress and develop important career-related skills. Working remotely brings on its own obstacles, while introducing contemporary industry tools. This also helps create the ability to connect with other students of varying skills.
The program has a specific approach that feels as if I am working at a professional video game studio. Our team is tasked with helping build a mobile app/game for Android and Apple users. We look at one of MassDigi’s recently released games and using analytics, we work to improve on parts that need fine tuning. To start, we spent time introducing ourselves to and getting to know our team members. Following that is the onboarding process which makes sure everyone is ready to go before moving forward. Afterwards, the teams start breaking down goals and how they will be resolved. At this stage in the program, which is a couple weeks in, we are starting to be assigned tickets/tasks that will need to be resolved before new ones come in.
This program has been challenging so far, without being overly exhausting. They keep in mind students have outside schedules and school assignments, but make sure to have it use a good part of your free time. I am working mostly with the development team while also helping with sound effects, since I have background in audio. For development, we are first looking at how to improve the code scripts for analytics to make sure it is reporting accurate information. The analytics will help us figure out where balancing and fine tuning needs to occur to facilitate a more engaging gameplay experience. After that we are fine tuning smaller pieces like collision issues, health damage, and new obstacles.
The tools we are using are industry standard and are set up in a way where students must figure out certain aspects of it on our own. We are using DevToDev for our analytics information but must set up a lot of how it functions ourselves. We are also using Ryver for communication, as this position is remote, and Ryver is just like any other form of remote business-oriented communication tool. We are also using Miro for tickets and task building, where the team will reference it for any important information. Since this is a more independent style of video game creation the main engine we are using is Unity, with the IDE and Modeling software being up to the individual student.
This program has also provided a great space for networking. As we are communicating with students of all different experiences, skill levels and schools. Most of the students on my team are from different colleges in the New England area. All the students are amazing at either art, coding, or music. They are all open to working together and creating easy communication with each other. This also opens the door for a lot of future opportunities, as the skills I am learning here apply to many jobs within the game industry, as well as the tech industry more broadly.