Vega Game-Making Day
Naseem Essa, Caleb Jerrier, Karan Moodley, Luyanda Koboka, Arjun Ramphal and I (Adam Mohamed) were six DHS boys in a group of around 30 teenagers, all from different schools around Durban – some even made their way to the Vega campus from towns outside of Durban; a few were from Ballito and Richards Bay.
We all had something in common: we were interested in creating. At this event we were shown how to design games. Many of us get so lost in the overwhelming task of creating something new that we do not even initiate the process with the essential question: what if?
The two lecturers who worked at Vega, Meghan and Adam, brought us to this realisation. They showed us the basics of game design, making us aware of the foundations on which a game should be built. They taught us that it all starts with an idea – it could be anything. To build upon it, we ask ourselves the question: what if? Going along this train of thought, we may end up with something that’s never been thought of before.
After giving us the basics, we were split into groups of 4 and 5. We were given a theme, tasked to create a board-game or card-game of our choice by the end of the afternoon. Five or six hours to create a tangible, playable game. The making of a board-game or card-game was ideal for those of us who had no background in coding. It took away the daunting task of writing hundreds of lines of code, leaving us to only cultivate our creativity.
We had one hour to brainstorm ideas. By the end of this hour many of us had come up with, and discarded, at least one idea. This is one tip that they gave us: throw away the first 3 ideas that you come up with – those are the ones that everyone else thinks of.
After the first hour within our groups, we had lunch. We got straight back into making the game after lunch. The four hours passed by quickly, all of us immersed in our ideas and the making of a game.
At any time of the day, we could get up and make ourselves a cup of coffee or tea, and there was plenty of fruit and muffins available to the students with large appetites.
By the end of the day, most of us had achieved something that we were proud of. Many of our games were born from good ideas. We had successfully made something in a short space of time, working with people that we’d never worked with before. Besides the irreplaceable experience of creating something we never thought we could, we formed new friendships with interesting teenagers who shared similar interests with us. It was an enjoyable experience, and one that we won’t forget for a long time.
Grade 10 XX (Cambridge)