University of Westminster – Distant Horizons

The “Pandora International Student Program” is a project that will bring together students from a cross-disciplinary areas across the DCDI college in order to visit a world leading game studio in Spain, take valuable experiences behind how a taskforce operates in order to develop AAA games and to engage with their professional teams in domains from their studies.

As part of the “Pandora International Student Program” a group of nine students and one lecturer from the University of Westminster went to Genera Games in Seville, Spain.

People’s Experiences

Here we have collected a few words from some of the people who took part in the Pandora International Student Program.

Adam – “My experience at Genera was great! All the people working there were nice and friendly. Also, the city of Seville is lovely and has many places to visit. If I had a choice, I would love to go again.”

Alan – “The trip was pretty amazing, great experience Id love to repeat, just maybe the next time should last a little bit longer so we get to explore more the city while having more time to develop the game.”

Artur – “This trip was full of wonderful experience – working in an actual game studio during day and then going out to see the city in the evening and learn about it. Everyone who made this trip possible did a great job and I was i glad that they found enjoyment in our games we made for them in the end.”

Ben – “Genera was a really fun and great experience, the environment of the place felt so welcoming and actually motivated me to continue with my studies and wanting to learn more about making video games.”

Em – “This trip gave me an amazing chance to grow my skill and talk with people in the industry, not only was I able to understand their craft and how they work, but they also gave me feedback on my own portfolio. This trip truly was great experience and I would love to go again!”

Lewis – “I found this experience to be something wonderful not only did we get to travel to a beautiful part of the world but also meet some amazing people, this includes the people at Genera who were nothing shy of fantastic, the feedback provided was something that shall help steer me in the right direction of being the best Game Dev that I can be.”

Day 5 – Presentations and Farewells

This was our final day in Seville, but before we left we had time to present our games to the people at Genera and we were all surprised by how many people had come to watch us, close to fifty people I would say.

First up was the team which was comprised of Adam, Artur, Em and Sohaib. The game that they had created was called Puzzle’s Adventure a game where you would have to match the silhouette of various pieces of the Plaza de España (Spain Square).

After the first team had finished their presentation they were given live feedback via the form of text appearing on the screen, this was something that was greatly appreciated as it offered praise but also some constructive feedback.

Next up was the other team which was comprised of Alan, Ben, Kian, Lewis and Nathan. The game that this group made was called Gold Hunt and was a 2d scrolling shooter where you would need to navigate the Spanish Armada past the British Privateers. Once again the people at Genera offered live feedback to this group as well.

After we all had presented our games, thanked Genera for having us, at that point we were presented with t-shirts and certificates of congratulations for taking part in the Genera Game Jam and then we set off to the airport to return back to London.

Day 4 – The Game Jam Ends!

So as day four arrived on our journey some of us were down to realise that the end of this amazing trip was coming to an end but quickly we all realised that there were still games to made.

As we commenced on the final hours of this game jam having the core design out of the way due to that being the previous days focus we got to bringing our games to life and to polish them to a standard that is deemed acceptable standard.

With everyone working hard on the games when the time finally came to stop working, save what we had done and prepare for the presentations that we had to do the following day we were all surprised as that day had flown by.

Day 3 – The Game Jam Begins!

As we awoke on Wednesday we were all excited as we were starting a Game Jam, for some of the group it was the first game that they have made and for others it may of been one of many but for all it was still a unique one.

The theme had been released the day before and it was “Seville” this meant that we should look to the historic buildings of Seville as inspiration for our games, in our groups we had gone to the places we meant to feature in our game, taking photos and taking in the history of these locations.

Once we had our idea for what our games were to be, we got to work in a room that had been designated just for us, with computers that had any of the software that believed we would need and some peripherals such as graphics tablets.

Day 2 – Game Dev Workshops

On Tuesday 28th May we were treated to workshops delivered by some of Genera Games most experienced Devs.

In the morning we had a Production Workshop with Alejandro, this taught us the launch process that Genera goes through. After the Production Workshop, we had workshop on Game Development with Hugo, this taught us about the key Game Loops and Game Pillars. After our workshop with Hugo we had another, this was with Sasha and this was on Quality Assurance (QA) which taught us the various processes that QA goes through and what are some of the software that is used.

After these group workshops we had the chance to break into two groups, those who wanted to take part in a programming or a design workshop, these were led by two of Genera’s best in their specified fields and were both very engaging and informative for the respective groups.

After these fantastic workshops it was time for us to call it a day and head back to our hotel, instead as a group we decided to do an activity as a whole and we went to Acuario de Sevilla (The Aquarium) this was also a great experience as it allowed us all to bond more as a group and work out who we think will be the best fits for the upcoming Game Jam, plus we got to see lot’s of cool and interesting creatures.

Day 1 – Arrival and Indroduction plus a tour of Seville.

We arrived in Seville on Monday 27th at around 10:00 AM local time, from the airport we headed to our hotel where we dropped our bags before heading to the offices of Genera Games, once there we were welcomed in and taken on a tour of their offices which included the Art and Programming departments, after the tour we had a talk from two of the most senior members of the Genera team. The talks were about who Genera are and what they do, something I found very insightful as it helped illuminate certain pieces of information that I had found on the internet.

After the talks we were treated to lunch and then taken on a tour of Seville by a few of the people from Genera.

A park local to Genera Games

On the tour we were taken to the Plaza de Espana a place which is a landmark in Spanish Architecture as it mixes two types of architecture (Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival), it was also the location of Naboo in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Plaza de Espana

After seeing many of Seville’s landmarks such as the Plaza de Espana as seen above as well as the Torre del Oro (Tower of Gold/Golden Tower), La Giralda which is the bell tower within Seville’s Cathedral and many more.

After seeing many of the site we all agreed to find somewhere to eat, we went to restaurant which was a stones throw from the Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla (Royal Bullring), this allowed us all to get to know each other more socially.

Markos (Second from the Left) with members of Genera Games