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Staff Profile - Rebecca Fernandez

Staff Profile - Rebecca Fernandez

Staff Profile - Rebecca Fernandez

21-Jan-2013  

Rebecca is a programming whiz and passionate Game Developer who is one of the founding members of indie games company, Convict Interactive. Rebecca took time out to impart her programming knowledge on to other keen game developers.







AIE: As the newest addition to the AIE family, it is only fitting we take the time to get to know you a little better. So welcome, Bec.

Rebecca: Thank you

AIE: Let’s start with why teaching and not just making games?

Rebecca: I really enjoy teaching, I love seeing the look on a student’s face when they finally understand something. I am really passionate about the games industry and feel it is important to support the next generation of developers coming through the ranks.

AIE:  You were lecturing at Wollongong University before coming to AIE, why the switch?

Rebecca: There are a couple of reasons; AIE class sizes are much more conducive to teaching effectively with only 25 or so in each class – much more manageable than lecturing to 170 students!

AIE also has a good reputation in the industry. AIE students seem to be out there a lot more getting amongst it and networking – something you don’t see as much from students studying elsewhere.

AIE: You and some mates started an indie games company a couple of years ago, how did that come about?

Rebecca: It actually started off the back of a 48 hour Game Jam competition in Brisbane, which we won! We worked really well together as a team and thought we really had potential to make awesome games. We were in our last year at uni so we started to develop some games casually, and then got stuck into it once we have completed our courses.

We have been developing a PC game called Triangle Man recently – it is still not quite finished but we have had some good feedback so far. We’ve hit alpha and the game’s available from http://www.desura.com/games.triangle-man

AIE: What it’s like being a female programmer in an area of the industry that is fairly male dominated?

Rebecca: There is a shorter queue for the bathroom for once!

But in all seriousness there isn’t much of a positive or negative connotation associated with it. I have worked hard just like most other people, I would never want to take a job because I was a female, I want a job based on merit. And I haven’t felt disadvantaged as a female programmer to date.

AIE: As a professional Game Developer, what have you learnt in the real world that no one taught you previously?

Rebecca: The first thing would be game design. I was taught how to program, but the skill of actually designing games for real people is something that you can really only grasp once you start making games.

There also wasn’t enough emphasis placed on the importance of talking to people and networking. I cannot stress enough how important it is to talk to as many game designers and people in the industry as much as possible. Get involved in the Independent Game Developers Association (IDGA) who catch up regularly, participate in 48 hour Game Jams and start networking!

AIE: Do you think a formal qualification in game development is essential to being a successful developer?

Rebecca: For programming – Yes! Although I may be a little biased. There will always be the odd amazing individual who will shoot to success by self-teaching themselves, however for the rest of us a formal qualification in programming will open a lot more doors not just in the gaming industry, but across all software development type jobs.

AIE: A final word of advice for all the potential game developers out there?

Rebecca: Make lots of games all the time, and preferably with a group of friends. The more you trial and prototype, the more chance you have of creating a successful game.