LiD 2022 – Introductory Blog Post

(Source: Durham College)
The Learning In-Depth Project
The goal of the In-Depth project is for students to choose an area of interest and become experts on that topic. This all occurs over 5 months when students learn about their chosen topic and track their learning with the help of a community mentor. For this year’s In-Depth project, I have chosen to dive into game development.
Why Game Development?
I’ve chosen to do game development as my In-Depth project because I’ve been interested in coding since I was young. I also had a lot of exposure to game-making and coding because my older brothers are both interested in coding as well, my eldest brother having studied the area at BCIT and Alexander College. What drew me towards this area though, was beyond just the code. Being able to plan and create a game was appealing to me, and I tinkered with easier programs like Scratch trying to make my own game when I was younger. So, to be able to create a functioning game from scratch with a game engine like Unity would be amazing. Another area of game development that appeals to me is character development and animating sprites. For as long as I can remember, drawing has been my favourite hobby, but I’ve rarely ever tried drawing using digital tools. Through this experience, I hope to change that and become as comfortable drawing digitally as I am drawing or painting on paper, canvas, etc. That’s why I thought that choosing game development would be a great way to challenge myself to progress in multiple subjects that I like. (I will inevitably have to have to practice game design as well, so my project isn’t strictly game development. Rather, it’s an inclusion of all the steps needed to create a game, like design, development, animation, etc.)
What I Will Learn
Through this project, I am going to learn a variety of different skills needed to create a video game. I’ll learn how to draw and edit game sprites using online programs like Photoshop, Photopea, and Pixlr. I will also learn how to animate sprites using tools such as Spine, the Unity sprite editor system, and the Unity animator and animation components. Finally, I’ll learn how to import assets into a Unity game and code them to create a playable game. I already know how to do some of these skills, so I hope to discover more efficient ways to do them and learn more details about the functions and theories of the skills.
Some questions that I would like to answer for my In-Depth project are:
– How to manually add in bones when generating skins for sprites. I want to learn how to do this because I’m only used to generating bones automatically. As Unity’s bone generating system isn’t the best, generating bones automatically can often lead to awkward animations. I’ve been told that fixing the mistakes caused by automatically generated bones can take longer to do than doing it manually as well. That is why I would like to answer this question.
– What kind of steps do professional game developers take when using making games?
– How do games generate an infinite amount of obstacles? (Like in the dinosaur game that plays when a device is offline.)
– What is the difference between local and global variables?
– What is a Boole?
Plan Timetable
Practice drawing digitally and editing using Photoshop, Photopea, Pixlr. First 2 weeks
General overview of Unity 1st week
Going over animations for simple objects on Unity 3rd week
Going over animations for more complex sprites on Unity 3rd to 5th week
Learning about different components on Unity 6th week
Learn programming/coding on Unity 7th to 8th week (and continue during the rest of the project)
Create a simple game on Unity with skills learned so far 10th to 12th week
Start creating the final game 12th or 13th week
Finish the final product/game Around 1 week before the end of the project
Post the final game End of project



If all goes to plan, then my mentor will be a game developer that I’ve been contacting. He has been working in the video game industry for around 20 years and started working in the industry in South Korea. He now works in Vancouver as a game developer while also teaching at an academy and has worked at EA Sports on games like Madden and FIFA. I will also ask my eldest brother for help along the way, as he has experience in the field as well. Tutorials on Unity will be of great use as well when I start learning more about the functions and theories behind components in Unity.
Demonstration of Learning
To demonstrate my learning, I will be posting blog posts documenting my learning every two weeks. By the end of In-Depth, my goal is to create my own video game with the skills that I’ve learned over the 5 months of this project. I will also challenge myself to recreate at least one already existing game like Geometry Dash, Flappy Bird, Pac-Man, Dinosaur Game, or Doodle Jump.