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Passion for games - Alice Watt-Smith Game Art Scholarship Winner

Hi my name is Alice and I’m a student at MDS-Torrens. I’m currently studying a Bachelor in Creative Technologies; which is a fancy way of saying I’m studying games! In particular I’m studying Game Art. At the end of 2017, I was deciding on what my next move in life would be as I previously studied for a Diploma in Film and Television and wanted to put those skills to use within the games industry. While I was looking around for a place to study I started seeing MDS-Torrens everywhere and in particular their Game Art course. I knew that it was some kind of sign so I decided to come along to an Open Day to get a better idea what the course and university was all about. There I fell in love with the atmosphere of the college as well as the knowledgeable lecturers and I knew I had to study here. I was also tipped off on the various scholarships available at Torrens and decided to try my luck. I spent a few weeks putting together a portfolio and low and behold I was successful. Winning the scholarship has been really wonderful to have a whole year of tuition covered and not have to worry about that.

My passion for games started at an early age with the Tomb Raider series, my dad would let me play them (or rather attempt to play them) on his computer effectively distracting him from work. Eventually our household got a PlayStation and that's where my true love of games began. My brother and I would constantly fight over whose turn it was to play and eventually we were only allowed to play games that were two player so we could both have a fair go. I loved the challenge of figuring out the puzzles or simply beating my brother in a race.

As I got older games just stuck with me, playing games became my favourite pastime right next to reading. However as I progressed through school I developed a passion for film and games sat on the backburner while I devoted my time to writing and creating short films. One High School Certificate and a Diploma later and I slowly lost interest in the highly competitive industry. I went back to the thing that had always given me joy, games.

Now studying with Media Design School-Torrens I get to do a lot of fun things like create cool and unique characters and even use my background in storytelling/writing to create games. Some of these characters include a trio of Night Elves whom I call The Nightsong Sisters. They're a couple of characters I created some time ago and I am constantly drawing them. Using my story telling background I've even given them all a little backstory to make things interesting and fun and to give me new ideas to draw constantly.

Currently, however, I am working on a pitch for my next assignment where a team of students and I will work together to create a game. I’m looking at pitching a narrative based game so I can flex some of my storytelling skills. Pitching is always a hard process, coming up with ideas is easy however coming up with good ideas is the hard part. Fortunately I have an idea I’ve been sitting on for some time now waiting for the perfect opportunity to utilise it, hopefully this class will be that.

With pitching an idea you need a good picture of what you want to do and the best way to convey this is to relate your idea to things that already exist. My idea is based on the game The Last Of Us and I'm using elements from other games such as TellTale's The Walking Dead and Life Is Strange to create a base for my game experience from the art to the atmosphere and feel of the game itself.

Using these games as inspiration I've come up with a couple of character designs for the main character of the game, Candice.

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