Member Sign In

An Interns Point of View - Andy Etter @ Locomatrix

We have invited some of our interns to be guest bloggers about their experiences as an intern

Here is Andy Etter, who is the intern @ Locomatrix

"No problem, Boss."

This is the only phrase you'll ever need when doing a freelance design job. Because whatever your client asks of you; however deep and unfamiliar the water they ask you to swim across, you feel like you do not want to disappoint. First you promise them the world on a plate ... then you work out the least stressful way to give it to them.

Most of what I've been doing for Locomatrix in Brighton has been in territory with which I'm familiar, from a design point of view. But there is always a surprise every now and again to keep me on my graphical toes. The first of which I encountered right at the beginning, at my interview for the internship position.

Now, I'm a Southampton Solent University graduate who's been taught to sell my talents and ability for all they're worth. I was taught that if I didn't think I'm the best at what I do, then I might as well go work for Ronald McDonald. Consequently, I turned up to the interview with my entire arsenal of graphic design work, 3D portfolio, videos, animations and paintings, expecting to be critiqued and torn to ribbons by an entire board of graphics personnel. Naturally, I felt rather silly upon realising that I was applying for the ONLY art position on the team. "At least you didn't under-impress them," I told myself.

Another thing university has made me 'used to' is having state of the art computer software to produce flashy artwork and animation that is visually stunning. However, there are no need for such things to produce games for mobile phones. Anything that is too detailed, looks like a jumbled, pixelly mess on an iPhone. That, and the phones are not yet advanced enough to show animation that is any faster than 10 or 12 frames per second (which, for those of you who are not familiar with animation principals - is slightly slower than the speed of smell).

At first, I had doubts that this internship was going to give me enough experience, or space to stretch my wings, what with the 3D games element I specialize in being absent. But in less than a month, I have integrated with Locomatrix and helped produce the graphics for a funky little archaeology game for kids. In a way, it has actually been more of a challenge to fit my graphical style to the technological restrictions of the mobile phones and still create something that is aesthetically pleasing. Plus, I got to see my work in action (something that is very rare for a games designer). We drove all the way to a school in Essex to watch the kids dig up a virtual ancient building. Then something amazing happened.

When I saw them laughing in glee at the crazy animations I'd spent the last few weeks , I remembered why I pursued games design in the first place. They were enjoying themselves - and having FUN. That's the only reward I need.

And what with the notion of creating a website on the horizon (something else I have no experience with at all), it looks like there will be plenty of cool stuff for me to do in the future.

To wrap up, I suppose the main message I want to give to all the interns reading this, is UNFAMILIARITY IS GOOD! Your employer would not have hired you if they didn't think you were awesome enough for the job. It's not like you applied for a leech-farming job. University is designed to prepare you to be the best and sell every inch of your talent. But sometimes, people can have different ideas about where your talents lie. It could be an aspect in your skill that hasn't been given much space to develop yet. So, even if you don't think the internship is right for you - stick it out. You're much more employable being multi-skilled than you are as a one-trick-pony.

Hope you're all having as much fun as I am.

About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Managing Director of Wired Sussex, overseeing our strategy as an organisation and work to promote our membership and its needs to local, national and international stakeholders, including government.

View more posts by Phil