By Michael-Paul Ho-Kang-You (GPROD ’20)
During the Fall 2018 semester, Michael-Paul interned at Iron Belly Studios as an Associate Producer.
Ironbelly Studios is comprised of a talented, passionate and dedicated number of game developers from all corners of the globe. The studio focus is on creating high-quality entertainment experiences as well as providing outsourcing services at a fraction of the cost seen elsewhere, such as 2D, 3D, Animation, UI, VR, LD, and Archviz. IronBelly was founded in 2009 and located in Montreal, Canada.
During my Fall semester of 2018, I interned at Ironbelly Studio in Montreal, Canada as an Associate Producer having Adrian David as my supervisor. He is the Vice President of Internal Operations at Ironbelly Studios. Throughout my time at Ironbelly Studio, I had a few responsibilities at Ironbelly such as:
- Micromanaged production’s tasks while using management tools such as Box and TargetProcess.
- Updated and sustained various projects’ schedule on day by day.
- Assisted in overseeing 15 unique projects
- Processed and creating workflow documentation.
- QA tested various assets in both Unity and Unreal 4 Engine
- Created and uploaded bugs
- Scouted freelancers in the Quebec area and international freelancers
I had previous experiences before interning at Ironbelly Studio. Over the summer of 2018, I was interning at Mineloader Software in Shanghai, China for ten weeks as an Associate Producer. I had an idea what outsourcing is and how to manage and communicate internally and externally in the company. Besides my previous internship at Mineloader Software, I only have worked in class projects as the producer of the group.
Week 1 – The Beginning (September 9th – 7th)
In the first week of my internship, I got introduced to a management tracking tool; TargetProcess. Trying to learn and use TargetProcess wasn’t as tricky that I predicted, luckily, I already knew a few managing tools, such as Redmine, Jira, Monday, and Trello. Of course, every tools and company have their own unique set up and uses different management methodologies like Agile and Waterfall. I got the whole day to get familiar with TargetProcess and Box; a community forum where they could easily present the project’s current tasks and status to the stakeholders and clients. I got assigned to updated both all of the Artists and Programmers schedules. This schedule is an allocation of which projects they will be working on, how long they will work on the project(s), and when they will work on them. It was fascinating seeing all the different component which is being worked on which features of the game. Once I was done with updating the allocation schedule, I was tasked to transfer and update the external folder, which we used to showcase the current status of the project to our clients. Both tasks of updating the allocation schedule and transferring the external folder are my weekly tasks for the rest of the semester.
Week 2 – Human Resource Adventure (September 10th – 14th)
This week at Ironbelly Studio, I was tasked to research many different forms of artists and designers in the Quebec province. I was especially searching for artists who are specialized in Visual Effects (VFX), User Interface (UI), and particle effect. During the search for artists with these amazing specializations, I was focusing on looking for designers who were skilled in level design. I went through various portfolio sights, such as art station, adobe, Wix, personal websites, and LinkedIn. Each specialization had their own excel sheets with multiple qualifications and the artists that showed the best work of resembling the art direction of the project that we are planning to produce. Each artist and designers were evaluated.
Week 3 – Programming (September 17th – 21)
I was wrapping up researching Freelance Artists and Designers from the previous week and started to continue on my next tasks. After updating the allocation schedule and moved the external folder, I was assigned to test out the animation and gameplay of one of our projects (Due of NDA, I can’t be specific with the name of these projects or what genres they are). Throughout the Quality Insurance testing of the projects, I used both Unreal and Unity engine. Additionally, I had to import all of the packets by using source control programs. During the testing, I would be assigning bugs to various of the developers who worked on a specific pack and have a conversation with other external production managers if specific packages were being updated or not. These bugs would include misalignment of views, command responding, animation glitches, audio input, projectile accuracy, able to switch various of skins, pick up items, abnormal of polygon alignment, and the player’s view.
I learned a lot at my time at Ironbelly Studio, even though this is my second internship at an outsourcing company, I have gained a different insight of this form of development. At my previous internship I worked at the giving end of the project, but now I am working now the giving end of the project. The biggest wall that I have faced was trying to import the packet to test out on both Unreal and Unity engine. I was extremely foreign of importing, exporting, and create a “scene.” Luckily, I had a level designer helped me with coding problems and how to adjust them if needed. I happy thrilled that my knowledge of both Unreal and Unity engine has been expended, now I am excited to use the programming skills I have in good use for next semester. In the spring semester in 2019, I would be taking a game developments course; Production two. I am excited to use these skills to have a stronger communication of programming and how-to team will grow from it.