“How to develop games can be learnt at University; but learning how to work as a professional developer cannot”. – Vitor Hette
Matmi had the pleasure of welcoming Vitor to the team for a 9 week placement. Vitor is a 20 year old student in his second year at Salford university studying games. Vitor approached us asking for a placement before his final year to gain an insight into the industry.
When did you first start developing an interest in games?
“My interest in games came when I was about seven years-old and since then I had this curiosity of how games were made and tried my best to learn it as much as I could. It was difficult at the time because I did not have the English skills needed to get the online resources and find my way through”.
How did your gaming education begin?
“I started my learning on computer science and games in 2012 when I was introduced to Computer Logic Applied to Games back in school. Then I learned about Introduction to Games Programming in school as well given by a University. When I finished school in my country I got to the University that provided those courses for me, but I then moved to England and started at University here”.
What was the first game that you created?
The first game that I made at University was a mobile game, which at the time was something that was not expected by students. I then decided to tackle projects on the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Arduino, creating my own arcade machine and so on. I have always had the interest for new technology because I feel that this keeps me somewhat creative. At University I try to explore as much as I can to create different projects that use different technologies and go beyond the expected.
What are you enjoying working on at the moment?
“I really like to experiment with new technology especially when it comes to mechanical things, such as the Arduino with which I can make a program that controls something mechanical. I also have an interest for graphics in games, I love making shaders and developing rendering pipelines to achieve unique results”.
Would you recommend work placements to other gaming students?
“Every games student should seek experience as it not only helps them get better in terms of skills, but it also teaches them how to get involved in projects and a general understanding of how to make a career in this field. I enjoyed very much my time at Matmi and I believe that it is an excellent work environment. This time at Matmi helped me to evolve my skills in programming and as a professional developer.
The reason I wanted to have this internship was because I wanted to understand how the industry works and how people work in order to make a living out of it. Because at University I spend my time on my own projects, I had no idea on how actual developers work and how they communicate between each other and how they work together to build games.
That’s why I think students should seek for experience so they can understand what and how the industry work. How to develop games can be learnt at University; but learning how to work as a professional developer cannot”.
Matmi’s Digital Strategy Director, Nathan Broadbent is keen to work with local universities to help undergraduates have a better understanding of the industry. “We believe we have an obligation to help prepare budding developers and designers for the working world“.
“Vitor demonstrated he is an enthusiastic and committed developer who has can quickly understand a new development platform. This includes well established platforms such as HTML5 framework Phaser, as well as more experimental platforms such as the floor projection unit. We’ll be asking Vitor to continue to work with us throughout year and over holiday periods”.
Matmi have recently become an industry partner with Salford University. We provide students, such as Vitor, with long term placements, collaborate on research projects and attend for guest lectures.
Matmi also have a close working relationship with Staffordshire University and their final year students come to us to pitch their projects for feedback. These are always lively sessions and we hope that the students learn from the experience.
The Matmi team look forward to continuing these partnerships and helping the next generation of developers.
Vitor takes us through some of the projects he has worked on during his placement.
“For the first week I was developing a prototype for the projector that we had. This was a very fun and unique project that I was very interested in developing. During this time, I have made a mini-golf prototype in which the player interacts using the feet to shoot the ball and try to get it to the hole”.
Mixed Reality Puzzles
In this project I was exploring some of the mechanics that could apply to the mixed reality setup; considering it was the first time I had tried this out I had some ideas and I explored them in this demo.
Mixed Reality Ghosts
This project goal was to do a prototype to link together the mixed reality idea and one of the rooms in the Escape Room, so based on the Room 13 the prototype is about the Ghosts Ritual in which the player must find hidden symbols and activate them in the order the ghosts want in order to get the passcode for the next room.
“The last project I worked on was the Matmi Interactables. These are the interactables for the website and those were quite fun, especially as I have not used HTML5 for a long time and to be honest I had forgotten most of it, but I worked with it and in the end I managed to create a small framework for it to be extended”.