March, 2013


4
Mar 13

Making an app: young BAFTA-winning design talent Sophia George tells her story

You’ve probably been there: Trying to get your iPhone back off the kids, who tell you “ten more minutes” or “just one more level”. When can all appreciate the peace and quiet that comes from a really good app, but how many of us stop to think about what goes into making one? Sophia George has just launched her first game at the grand old age of 22. Here, she tells HELLO! Online about the process.

“I am the Chair and Creative Director of a new start-up studio called Swallowtail Games and my first game Tick Tock Toys has just been released on the App Store!

“I’ve been gaming and using computers since I was very little. My first computer was an Amiga 500, which I still have great memories of. As I got older, I started thinking about seriously pursuing games as a career. I was always told that you needed to be excellent at maths to work in games, but there so many different skills involved with making a game.

Swallowtail team photo - web

“I ended up studying Games Art and Design at Norwich University of the Arts, learning a wide range of skills from 3D modelling, animation, drawing and design. I also began to study games from a more academic perspective.

“I started to see how women characters are poorly represented, often sexualised and most of the time appearing as supporting characters, or even as prizes for the main hero. I found myself always dissatisfied with the female characters, so it just made we want to get into the industry even more. For my final year dissertation, I studied why there are so few women in the games industry, looking into individual games, feminist theory, developer interviews, evolutionary psychology and art history.

“I also found problems with the games industry outside of the actual games! During university, I attended the Eurogamer Expo, a huge event that showcases up and coming game titles to the public. While queuing to get inside, a few security guards told me that I must be in the wrong queue, assuming I was trying to find the Earl’s Court Wedding Show!

tick.tock1

“In 2011 I entered a 10-week competition run by Abertay University in Dundee called Dare to be Digital with friends and other students I met online from Abertay. Together we developed my game idea Tick Tock Toys, which went on the win the competition, as well as the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award in March 2012. It was an exciting night, and I met so many great people – and even saw a few celebrities!

“Now Tick Tock Toys is available on the App Store, and I am so happy that it has gone from a small idea I came up with to a published game! I am very happy with the game and proud of my team. I am so keen to make more family friendly games that people can enjoy together.

“For too long has gaming been seen as a hobby for boys, but now it’s all starting to change. Currently, 47% of gamers are women, and if we get more women into the development side of games, I’m sure we’ll see some even more amazing and innovative games being created.”

Download the game from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tick-tock-toys/id581681651?mt=8

@TeamSwallowtail
http://www.swallowtailgames.com/

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