Champlain promises a lot of things to applicants and admitted students. The most alluring of all of these is the opportunity for internships. It was definitely what helped me make my decision three years ago. And now, while studying abroad in Montreal, I can say that Champlain did not lie. Industry internships are available to students who apply and yes – they are worth the three year wait.
This semester I am interning as a game designer at Lumo Amuzo. It’s a small indie studio that is working to send out its first project: the Larklamp Game Lantern. Part board game and part lantern, there is nothing else like the Larklamp. It is really exciting to be able to work in this new and unique area of games every day. I am learning skills and gaining experience doing what has never been done before!
I work directly under Paul Warne, owner of Lumo Amuzo and lead designer for the Larklamp. An average day in the studio starts with a one-on-one design meeting with Paul. We discuss the various games being developed and lay out goals for the rest of the time. Then I get to work researching, designing and iterating on mechanics in the game. There is a lot of play-testing each day to make sure the games are as fun and as clear as possible.
One of the coolest things about working for Lumo Amuzo is its location. The Mile End neighborhood of Montreal is a melting pot of industrial, artistic, and residential characteristics. Very different from the area around the campus, the Mile End has a life of its own. There are small parks with community gardens next to hip cafes and lots of passionate creators everywhere you look. Montreal has a lot of game studios, but no more than in the Mile End. I am surrounded by fellow game developers every day in the Mile End and it is inspiring.
Internships are a Champlain promise you can believe in. This is a great experience. I am learning valuable skills and putting to use all my classroom knowledge. I get to work on something entirely unique and new. With Champlain internships, I am more than just a student – I am professional game developer. It is a lot of work but the feeling of riding the bus surrounded by Ubisoft employees and knowing that they are my peers is reward enough.