July 6, 2022
Games Internship: Insights into Hamburg's Games Studios
We accompanied the 20 students participating in this year's 3-week school internship and saw what they had already learned and worked on during the past weeks. This time we stopped by at their first day at Deep Silver FISHLABS and got a great lesson on game design.
“How can I start out in the games industry?” is a much-asked question - with no final answer, as there’s a host of ways to break into the many different career paths it offers. But at least 20 school students from Hamburg might have just taken the first step: They participated in the three-week long Games Internship program in Hamburg, jointly organized by the Initiative Creative Gaming, the studios InnoGames, Deep Silver FISHLABS, and Tivola Games, as well as the HAW University of Applied Sciences and the local chapter of the game association and Gamecity Hamburg.
From June 13 to July 1, 2022, students of the 9th grade had the opportunity to learn about game companies in Hamburg, what it means to work in games and what different professions there are. The students spent almost two weeks at InnoGames, visited the HAW Hamburg and Tivola Games. There, they already had the opportunity to create a small portfolio and build their own board games. The entire internship the students are accompanied and instructed by the media education experts from the Initiative Creative Gaming. We joined them at Deep Silver FISHLABS’ offices in Hamburg’s city centre, where the interns spent the next three days and saw firsthand what the studio had to offer the young games enthusiasts.
A quick tour around the studio’s office space showed how much the pandemic changed the office culture: the server room was quickly dubbed “the sauna” by the students, due to the rows of dev kits and PCs for remote access heating up the room. The group was also quite impressed by the in-house recording and motion capturing studio (“60,000 euros, that’s nuts”). Stephan Beier, Studio Operations Director at Deep Silver FISHLABS was available for questions from the students after the tour, and to his delight was gladly taken up on the offer. He stressed that an interest in certain school subjects would really help if you wanted to work in game development, such as English, physics and maths, which they took in stride.
After a quick lunch break, the Creative Lead of Deep Silver FISHLABS, Phillip Chan aka PChan, gave a workshop on Game Design. After a short intro on the fundamentals and rules of Game Design, the students could stretch their creative muscles. They were given a variety of objects: dice, cards, figurines and chips, with which they should create their own games in a small group, following the principles they had just learned, such as comparing interactions or writing a win condition. The students were very much up for the challenge, inventing little tower building or dexterity games on the spot. The day was wrapped up with some time to test out these games.
In the following days the participants also looked into the work of the Q&A department and the art of audio design.
At the end of the internship the students presented their projects and learnings in front of the representatives from InnoGames, Tivola Games, Deep Silver FISHLABS, Gamecity Hamburg and the Initiative Creative Gaming. Some students impressed the audience with their demonstration of sound design, utilising plastic bottles and foil. Others showed their concept for a game idea, including character design, art and a moodboard. It was very impressive to see what the participants took away from the internship and how much knowledge and clever ideas they could already implement after those three weeks.
The internship offers a great variety and interesting insights into the industry, which is rarely given so comprehensively. The students found out about it through their schools or their own research. “I visited InnoGames on the Girl’s and Boy’s Day in 2020 and knew that I wanted to return for an internship right away! So I looked up the possibility for an internship when it was time for me to get one and found this offer.”
The students very much appreciated the hands-on approach, the different perspectives, and the challenges they were offered. There were even some tentative questions about career opportunities and apprenticeships already. So, we are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces at universities or apprenticeships in the next couple of years!
The School Internship Games will return in 2023. Keep your eyes on our channels to find out when the applications will open.