Community engagement is something we’ve always been involved with since the get-go, and just recently we’ve taken on some other responsibilities.
It’s a side activity for us, but nevertheless important, and about high time we put together a summary of our activities alongside our main company projects.
STEM Ambassador Scheme
Several months ago our CTO Alex and programmer Brian signed up to the STEM Ambassador scheme. On the programme, they are essentially responsible for promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects. Their task is to advocate and inspire young people to pursue these subjects, and follow relevant careers. The video games industry is very relevant to STEM, and they’ll be taking part in a number of different events over the year to promote a career in the games industry.
So far this has involved a number of different promotional activities for young people keen on the games industry and looking for the next stage after high school. They recently attended a ‘Meet the Expert’ event the Dundee Science Centre, meeting local teachers to promote CoderDojo, a community of free programming clubs for young people aged 7 – 17. In the coming weeks they will be helping to set up a Dundee CoderDojo.
Student Teams – 3rd Year Projects
For the last two years we have provided project briefs for 3rd year student teams at Abertay University. During the first year of our involvement, three teams accepted projects from Guerilla Tea, and by the end of the academic year one in particular stood out. It was a virtual reality game called Drop, where the player free falls through a space station environment, finishing in the core. The team attended showcase events including Protoplay and Deecon alongside Guerilla Tea, giving people the chance to play the game using the Oculus, which went down very well.
This year we are working with two student teams, who are building prototypes for some of the game concepts we have in our back catalogue, but haven’t had the chance to make yet. One team is again working on a virtual reality prototype, with the second team building a castle defence game. Hoping for some impressive vertical slices by the end of the year.
Talks, Glasgow Caledonian University, IGDA Scotland
All four co-founders give talks at industry events, including guest lectures and presentations at Abertay and University of Dundee.
Matt and Alex have both given talks at Glasgow Caledonian University, and Matt is on the industry advisory board there. He has been involved in ongoing communication with students, providing 3D Art project briefs for honours projects, and critiquing portfolios.
Several weeks ago I attended a games industry event at the Creative & Cultural Careers Festival, giving a brief presentation and then speaking with students about routes into the games industry.
Since late 2014, Mark has been on the board of IGDA Scotland, and is serving as the treasurer.
Breaking into Video Game Design – A Beginner’s Guide
Not long after starting Guerilla Tea I decided to write a short eBook guide on how to get into game design. The main idea was to share some tips from the perspective of someone who isn’t a 30 year veteran, who would have joined the industry at a time when it was a completely different beast compared to what it is now. I wanted to provide some tips as someone who is in a position a little more relevant to recent graduates.
Later last year I gave the book a major re-write, updating it with some new insights.
Here’s an extract from an old Gamasutra blog post.
Or buy the book, it’s only £1!
A few years ago we teamed up with ENABLE Scotland’s East Renfrewshire LAC team to run game development workshops with a group of young people with learning disabilities.
Over the course of two workshops, we organised talks from Brian Baglow, Phil Harris and Ryan Locke, and used the first workshop to establish a game concept, under the team name Lazy Boyz decided by the group!
The second workshop involved building a game, an endless runner called ‘On The Freerun’, which was released on iOS and Android after the event.
You can give the game a try…
This post is just a short summary. We’re always active on social media about community engagement work we do, and will continue to share info about further activities throughout the year.