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Tuesday 26 June 2018

At Solent, we offer several courses geared towards the different elements of computer game design. Jack Isaacs decided to study BSc (Hons) Computer Games (Software Development) in 2015, as it offered a comprehensive teaching scheme based around C++, a crucial skill within the games industry.

Jack is graduating next month with a first class degree and, at his end of year show, won a wireless gaming headset for the best software technical achievement within his course. We caught up with him to find out more about his time at Solent and what he’s got planned for the future.

What’s the project you’re proudest of?

It would have to be the PS4 game I created in second year, called The Last Samurai. It was 100% written in C++ code – no premade game engine – for use with the PS4 development kits we have at Solent. It’s a simple platformer with menus and basic enemy AI.

The player is a Samurai warrior who has to defeat as many enemy ninjas as he can, as the game progressively gets harder. As well as the code, all the artwork for the game was done by me – which is probably why I was in the computer lab 9-5 every weekday for about two months!

The hardest part of this project was the low-level code needed to interface with the PS4 system, such as memory management and the renderer, as it was my first jump into creating some sort of console game with a development kit.

What did you do your final major project on?

The idea for my FMP was to create a tool that aided developers in creating realistic, procedurally generated trees. The application was based around a simple UI and DirectX 11 window to view the tree.

I plan to keep working on the application to cope with more trees and a wider range of settings, and hopefully release it to the public.


How did you find your time at Solent?

I had some ups and downs – don’t we all! It was a great experience overall and I would thoroughly recommend the course to anyone who is looking to get into the games industry.

What’s next for you?

I have just been offered a job as a junior games programmer at Supermassive Games in Guildford; I start at the beginning of July!

What advice would you give those wanting to study your course?

Make sure you attend all the programming and group work lessons. If you don’t, they will come back to bite you towards the end of the year when assignments are due!

Start early on assignments – it’s much less stressful nearer the hand in. For programming assignments, it is also a great opportunity to learn more about C++ outside of the lectures.