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A visit from Epsom College!

Last week we opened our doors and welcomed a wonderful group of sixth form students from Epsom College into the studio! The students came from a variety of backgrounds including programming, art and music and they were all very keen to get a glimpse into game development life, to see where the magic happens!

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The students begin their tour in the Play Room!

Along with their teacher, Miss Sorina Biletchi who is the Head of Computing at Epsom College, the students got to see around the studio and spend some time with Dreams watching hands on demos showing off the art, sculpting and programming capabilities of the game. Miss Biletchi has very kindly written up a summary of their time here if you fancy finding out more. Have a read below :)


"Media Molecule is a games design and development company based in Guildford, who have kindly welcomed 13 Epsom College pupils in their offices, to show them a glimpse into what they do, their achievements, and what it takes to work in such a career.

The day started with our host, Luci, introducing the pink, purple and happy coloured office. We were all told that we are going to see some confidential work which we are not to talk about with anyone else but each-other, and we signed NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) to this respect.

Kareem, the Art Director, then talked to the students about the Dreams project and tool which Media Molecule is using to create characters and the world of their games. Kareem also paints, and he talked about how the main background that makes the base of a game world could come up from simply trying out colours, shapes, and more colour on a canvas, until you can eventually ‘see it’. Pupils learnt how important creativity, team work and collaboration are. Dreams™ is a space where you go to play and experience the dreams of Media Molecule, and in which you can create your own dreams, whether they’re games, art, films, music or anything in-between and beyond.

We were then taken through the main offices where all staff were busy programming, testing, creating. We saw the BAFTA nominations and awards for various categories of recent games, and pupils were able to hold the famous BAFTA  trophy! The next part took us to the company’s dining / chilling out / display area, where several paintings made by the Art team were displayed – this is their little art gallery corner.

Our next demo was Emilie who showed us the digital sculpting tool which is part of Dreams. At the flick of a few buttons and two funky shaped PlayStation Move controllers, she drew a brand new character and the environment where it would walk, dance, run. We could see the various moods, types of walk, emotions etc that could be added to the character in the gameplay. Cool stuff!

Finally, Mark talked briefly about the programming side – a strong team of at least 16 – making all of this possible.

After so much excitement, everyone was feeling pretty hungry, and we were invited to have lunch with the team, in the same room. Lunch was absolutely yummy (Moroccan chicken with couscous and orange slices) and prepared fresh. Pupils had the chance to speak to other members of MM team, from various departments, and realise there is a lot more in games development than programming. They even met a year 11 pupil from another school who was just completing his week-long work experience, and chatted at length with Jamie from the QA (quality assurance, which represents *a lot* of testing) team.

Before returning to school pupils tried their hand at using this software to create a character and story using Dreams: the Donut Head man!
 
One of these students (Anna Vakht ) had already arranged to do some work experience during February half term (well done for the initiative, Anna!) and we are all looking forward to hearing about her more personalised experience.

All in all, pupils left MM inspired and charged up to…. follow their dreams."

And here's a few more snaps that Miss Biletchi took during their visit! It was so much fun having the students come and visit us, it's always so inspiring to meet the next generation of games makers. We can't wait to see what they get up to in the future we we wish them the very best of luck :)

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Jon and Emilie demo the sculpting tools in Dreams.

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The students get hands on with Dreams!

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And make a bright pink donut head biped!


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