Introduction Week at ITU

Foam Dice
Foam Dice

This week was the introduction week at the IT University of Copenhagen. I was a little nervous, since not only was it a new experience and a new setting in a completely different country, but also because I knew absolutely no-one.

Tuesday was an introductory day dedicated to all international students. Although I didn’t know anybody, I felt that it was easy to just sit down and talk to people. After an introduction to studying in Denmark and the way the system is organized, we were taken by boat to Nyhavn, and then walked to a restaurant in the Kongens Nytorv area, where we had dinner generously paid for by the university. Here, I spent the rest of the evening talking to 3 Italians, a Spaniard, several Romanians, and an Icelandic girl. I also met a German guy who I had been speaking to, since we had been trying to look for an apartment together, and I met a Belgian guy whose blog I had also been following.

Wednesday was the official start to Introduction Days, as it also included the Danish students who were starting their studies at the university. After a talk by the Study Advisory, and an interesting talk by the vice-chancellor, the Games students were officially welcomed to their course. We were introduced to the facilities that the university had to offer (and I was particularly impressed with the fact that it was open 24/7 if you had a student card, unlike the University of Malta, where campus life died after 6), and we were also introduced to the different student organizations that were available.

We also had our first ice-breaker, where we were divided into groups and after talking a bit about ourselves, each person had to present another person in the group to the rest of the class.

We were then introduced to our introductory project. Basically, we were divided into fresh groups and each group given a random object, and the aim was to create an analog game with the object given as a core concept in the game.

Our group (consisting of 3 Danes, a German, a Pole and myself) were given 6 large foam dice, where each die had a different colour. We didn’t want to use the dice in a standard way by rolling them, and in fact cycled through various different game ideas, from a memory game, to a elemental battle system, to a strange 3D snake game, until on Friday, we finally settled on a “race-to-the-finish” idea using the dice as player representations. We named our game Dice Dash.

Dice Dash - Work in progress
Dice Dash - Work in progress

On Thursday, we were formally introduced to the Games programming by Miguel Sicart, the head of the games programme. He explained each tracks in detail and what we were meant to expect out of them, as well as the possible jobs we could expect to obtain in the future. I found his talk very motivational and inspiring, and I can’t wait to officially start lectures with him, since he teaches Game Design.

Finally, on Friday, we had to present our completed introduction project, along with the rest of the groups. Below, you can see 11 of the 12 groups who presented their games, and the names of their games.

The other groups
The other groups

The results were voted on by having the groups decide on their favourite, second favourite and third favourite games, with 3, 2 and 1 point given for each respective choice. Groups could not vote for themselves (obviously). Below, you can see the results.

Group Points
Group Points

We won! It was great working with you all, Carsten, Casper, Ulrik, Alex and Joanna, and I hope I get the opportunity to work with you again in future projects! 🙂

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