We spoke to Jack Mills, one of the winners of 2015's Game Making Award, to find out what he's up to now.
We spoke to Jack Mills, winner of last year's Game Making Award, to find out what he's up to now.
What did you/are you studying at college?
I'm currently finishing my A-Level and BTEC studies at my sixth form college. At the moment, I study Creative Media alongside Computer Science and Enterprise.
For the future, I'm hoping to go to University to study Computer Science,or Games Development. I’m also completing an Extended Project Qualification which has seen me conduct research into speedrunning games.
What are you up to nowadays?
I've learned to create 3D models which can then be implemented into games. As the game I created for the BAFTA YGD was a 2D game, perhaps I could use this knowledge to explore 3D games as a platform.
I've also improved my coding skills, in which I used the C# programming language to create educational quiz software. Whenever I'm not working on my studies, I like to edit videos together for my YouTube channel, which primarily hosts comedy gaming-related content. I'm a huge gamer and I love to play both single-player games and multiplayer games with friends. At the beginning of the academic year, I was invited to attend a Studio Schools Trust Conference in Buckingham Palace, where I gave a presentation to members of the trust, including the Duke of York!
What did winning BAFTA YGD mean to you?
Winning BAFTA YGD was a huge accolade for me, and one that I'm immensely proud of. It helped me to realise that I have a real chance in the video games industry if I choose to pursue that career, and the opportunities given to me as part of the grand prize were educational as well as exciting!
Talking to people who already work in the industry I've held a longstanding interest in since my childhood has been a big help in making my decisions on how exactly I should continue from this point.
Also, winning the award made me very grateful to my friends, family and tutors who had supported me as I worked on Utopia of Rhythm, the game I entered to the competition. I had confidence in my idea for the game, so seeing it go on to win an award was a huge boost for me!
Do you have any advice for our young games creators?
Implement your main ideas first and test that they work. Create a proof of concept before you begin to work around it to make sure it's as exciting in motion as it is in theory!
I would also advise young games creators to begin with lots of small projects, and keep a note of their best ideas until they have more experience. It's a great feeling to have an innovative idea or concept, but it's an even greater feeling to be able to do it justice!
If you're struggling to come up with a Game Concept, try some idea generation techniques such as creating a mindmap of all your ideas; no matter how oddball they are! That's your opportunity to seize the idea and become the first to give it life. You don't have to be good at everything to create a game -- that's why game development is usually done in teams. Your top priority should be makingsure it's an idea that plays to your or your team's strengths!
What do you think makes a good game?
It depends on its genre: for games such as platformers or fighting games, responsive gameplay should be top priority. On the other hand, games such as role-playing games can still be a success if enough focus and care is given to the story and world-building.
What games are you currently playing?
I've been playing Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, which is a Strategy RPG for the Nintendo Wii. As someone who loves employing well-thought-out strategies and tactics in gameplay, Radiant Dawn has proven to be a true test of my strategy prowess!I've also been replaying Final Fantasy IX for nostalgia. The Role-Playing Game was one of my childhood favourites and is host to a fictional world I find very immersing.