I took part in a video for International Women's Day for my new employer PQube Games.
When I started my role at Frontier I was thrown straight into to preparations for Frontier Expo 2017. This was Frontier’s first big solo community event - in the same vein as Runefest and Blizzcon.
The day consisted of panels and talks from our dev team, special guests, content reveals and all of the other things you would expect at a convention, such as a merch stall, partner stands, streaming booths, goodie bags and an arcade of Frontier games. Those who bought the “Founder’s Passes” also got to have a Q&A session with games industry legend David Braben.
Three experts gave insightful talks which link to themes in the current Frontier games. First up was Brendan Walker, who talked about the Art and Science of Thrill rides. Leading Astrobiologist, William Bains gave a presentation about the possibilities of alien life and last was Paleontologist John “Jack” Horner, (rumoured to be an inspiration for Jurassic Park’s Dr Alan Grant) talked about the possibility of a real Jurassic Park and some of his major discoveries. All of these talks can be watched on Frontier’s YouTube channel.
The main content reveals were in the afternoon, closing the show. This announced new features coming to Elite Dangerous and Planet Coaster and the first in-game footage for Jurassic World Evolution.
As well as doing marketing and communication emails, I was around on the show floor during the day. It was so great to see the different demographics of fans for the three games and to chat with them about the show.
Alongside my work at Frontier, I am working on my own game project in my spare time. It’s not ready to show off quite yet, but I would like to document its progress much like I did with Strawberry Thief (soon to be three years old on October 24th!) It’s a very personal and special project, in-line with my current inspirations and interests. I hope to share its progress with you next year.
My latest game Strawberry thief has been featured in the V&A Dundee’s Design in Motion Exhibition. The gallery of work, featuring various forms of art and design takes place on the Travelling Gallery bus. Designers include Geoffrey Mann, Anarkik3D, Sara Robertson and Sarah Taylor, the Digital Design Studio, Lynne MacLachlan and fashion designer Holly Fulton, whose designs have been worn by Rihanna and featured in fashion magazines.
Inside the exhibition, visitors can play the Strawberry Thief game, as well as view sketches, prototypes, artwork and see a short film about the making of the game. One side of the bus has an illustration of the Strawberry Thief game that fades from the sketch into color, custom created by Ellen Brown.
The bus is stopping at various locations in Scotland and will reach the V&A in London on June 21st.
Below are some of my favourite pictures from the tour so far, taken from the V&A Dundee and Travelling Gallery Twitter accounts. You can learn more about the exhibition on the V&A Dundee website and downloading the Design Scotland App.
During he past month, I returned to the schools I visited last year to see how their game design projects had developed. I am working with 20 different schools, so the designs have been showcased in many different ways depending on the schools. Of course there was no right or wrong way to approach the task, so it was especially interesting to me to see what the children had created and what they had learned.
Shorty after I finished working on Strawberry Thief, I took part in an event for the V&A Museum of Childhood and The London Design Festival. I want to talk a little bit about the events of the day, as there was lots of exciting things going on.
Near the entrance to the museum, there was a mini gallery showing beautiful pieces of work from games like Monument Valley and Moshi Monsters. We wanted to showcase examples of sketches and works in progress, rather than finished pieces like posters and advertisements.
Children who visited the museum also got the opportunity to do some 3D printing, and could create their own characters on cups – in the style of Rex Crowle, who was the creative lead on the Tearaway game for PSVita.
I spent the day in the classrooms of the museum running workshops for 5-7 year olds. In the early discussions of the event, it was decided that we wanted to do a workshop that links to the museum where children also get to make their own interactive pieces. Thinking of a way for such young children to do a bit of coding worried me at first, but after a bit of research, I found an amazing iPad App called ScratchJr which allows children to draw characters that they can programme to move around and even control.
I asked for an assortment of museum objects to act as inspiration for the children. I then took them through how to create characters and backgrounds and get them to move and interact on screen. I showed off a simple example of tapping on a girl, which moves her, and kicks a football on collision. The programming aspect of the app works really well, as it is very visual with each behaviour acting as a piece of a jigsaw. This seemed to make the children more experimental with the program, trying lots of different options.
As well as this new project, I am at the early stages of a new game idea! Continuing on from my work at the V&A, I am keen to do another game inspired by famous British artists. I have decided to look at the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s wife Margaret Macdonald, as well as the art of her sister Frances. I’m in the early stages of research at the moment, and look forward to sharing more info!
My new iPad game Strawberry Thief is now available on the App Store here - AppStore.com/StrawberryThief.
The game has had great coverage so far, being featured on websites like The Independent and Design Week.
We are holding an event at the Apple Store in Regent Street, London where I'll be talking about the game and giving a live demonstration. This takes place on 31/10 7pm - 8pm The tickets are free, and you can book on the Apple website here - Apple.com/uk/retail/regentstreet/
Tomorrow (October 24th) is the official launch of my new game Strawberry Thief for iPad. Please keep checking back here for updates on my launch activities! In the meantime, why not check out an interview with BBC Scotland's science correspondent Kenneth Macdonald where you can see some early footage of the game?
My new game Strawberry Thief will be playable tomorrow at the Dare Protoplay Festival in the big tent outside Caird Hall in Dundee. This is the first time the game will be on display to the public!
Dare Protoplay is a free event on 7-10th on August. There are over 40 games to see, as well as talks and contests.
Take a look at the Dare Protoplay website to see all the events taking place over the next four days.