Articles Tagged with: summer interns

More Than They Bargained For…Reflections From Our Summer Interns

“Back to School” signs in stores around town are one indication that the summer is fast coming to an end, but another signal of the changing of the seasons is that we have to say goodbye to our amazing summer interns!

As a mission-based game studio, we not only make games for educational purposes but we also see the process of game design as an educational endeavor.  This summer Matt, honed is coding skills while working with the development team and Haley did a tremendous amount of research while working with the education team.

Here is a recap of their experiences in their own words:

My name is Matt Schneider, and I will be a senior at St John’s College High School in DC in just a couple weeks.  Since I am interested in going into the Computer Science field I decided to look for an internship that would get my foot in the door.  I was a beta tester for Dig-It! Games this past year so I applied for an internship here to get more coding experience.

 

Going into my internship at Dig-it Games, I expected to be helping out in some projects or other small things. I did not expect the amount of responsibility and work that I have had, but I have enjoyed it a lot. I learned a lot about both the developing aspect and the team aspect of game design. I learned about programs, such as Git with Source Tree and Text Mesh Pro, and improved my coding ability within Unity.  My project was to reskin and improve an existing match 3 game. I had to work with the project’s previous code, while also writing new code.  I designed the game with another developer, Reuben, and together we brainstormed new ideas to include in the game.  I also experienced what it is like to be making a game with a team: having meetings about the game, feedback from testers, and a professional and dedicated art team.  I had to create art lists, implement all the new art, and give feedback on it.  My favorite part of my time at Dig-it games was seeing the positive feedback and the excitement from others about the game I created.  I really enjoyed my summer at Dig-it games and am thankful for this opportunity.

 

 

My name is Haley, and I am a rising junior at George Washington University, majoring in Archaeology. I have been working at Dig-It! Games for over a year but this summer I have been working in the office, rather than solely from my computer back at campus. Working in-house has been a great experience that I wish lasted longer than a three-month summer. Dig-It! Games is an exciting workplace that thrives on collaboration and I like being a member of that dynamic. There are three main departments: development, art, and education. I work within the education department.

 

As an intern in the education department, I mainly research the games we are creating, such as Mesopotamia or Egypt. The type of research I do ranges from finding what is being taught in schools to actually looking through different museum databases to find artifacts. Finding artifacts is one of my favorite parts of the job; it is like a big treasure hunt. I am usually given a list of ideas or parameters that we want the list of artifacts to fulfill, but the tricky part is that we don’t know what specifically is out there. There have been many times where I have as many as 12 tabs open all with different types of clay figures trying to find the right one. I probably have looked at hundreds of various artifacts over the summer!

 

 


Getting to Know You: Mimi Wack, Production Intern

This past summer, Mimi Wack joined the Dig-It! Games team as a production intern. Mimi is a University of Chicago junior majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies, a dessert-lover, and gamer. Working daily with Head of Production Dayle Hodge, Mimi was responsible for keeping the whole team organized as they develop new games to be released later this year. Dayle shared:

 “Mimi is a joy to work with.  She’s conscientious, works hard and cares about Dig-It! Games’ mission. She’s a quick study, an excellent organizer and a truly wonderful person.  We’ll miss her when she goes back to school this year, but we hope to see her again next summer.”

Mimi will be heading to Chicago in a few weeks, but in the meantime, get to know her here on the blog:

Mimi Wack

Take us through your average day at the Dig-It! Games studio. What projects do you work on? What meetings do you go to? What’s your favorite part of the day?

Most of my work is keeping track of what needs to get done and by whom. There’s a lot of information that gets passed around the office, especially during design meetings when the team hashes out the plan for our next game, and it takes time to sort through it and organize everybody’s duties. I enjoy it, though–it’s satisfying work.

How did you first become interested in games—and what’s your favorite game that you’ve ever played (video, board game, app, etc.) and why?

I got into video games when I was young, with the very same kind of educational games I’m helping make now! My favorite at the time was Zoombinis, and my favorite game in general (which I still think holds up very well) was Spyro the Dragon: Ripto’s Rage. My very favorite game that I’ve played is Portal 2 because its mechanics are really inventive and it has a great storyline.

Why did you want to intern with Dig-It! Games?

I was mostly interested in game studios around the DC area, and Suzi was kind enough to respond to my application. When I looked at the released games, it brought back nostalgia for the educational games I’d played during elementary and middle school.

I’m sure you’ve had a chance to play all of Dig-It! Games’ products. Which one is your favorite and why?

I play a lot of Can U Dig It! It’s a great quick puzzle game, and I’ve always liked games that involve spatial thinking. I’m working on getting all the achievements now (most of the way done!).

What’s your biggest takeaway from your internship at the studio this summer?

My biggest takeaway is that while it’s easy to look at a finished game and say “oh, that’s easy, it’s just a video game”, actually being a part of producing them is mostly a series of complicated design meetings and organizing notes so that the art & development teams have a record of what they’re supposed to do (at least until the design is changed). And that making even the smallest components of a game, like a sparkly animation, involves some very specific communication and a bunch of intermediary steps. It’s a complicated process, basically. Game developers should get much more credit than they do.

What’s your favorite dessert?

It’s hard to beat the classic deliciousness of a chocolate chip cookie, but I also like brownies. And donuts. Honestly, there’s not a lot of desserts I don’t like.