Please state your name, major, and year of graduation.
Nitesh Sridhar, 1st Year IMGD MFA, Graduating Class of 2024.
Why did you want to study your major?
I have always been interested in design! My background is in architecture, but I grew up playing games and trying to take them apart to see what makes them tick. At some point I realized that I was getting more joy from learning about how games work and talking to people about that than playing new games themselves. As for architecture, I'm interested in taking some of the skills I learned from my experience in that field and implementing them into game design. I want to be able to craft digital spaces that can convey strong emotions and guide players through that space in the same way that a well designed piece of architecture can.
How do you think SCA will prepare you for the career you want to have?
I think SCA provides many outreach and networking opportunities, as well as the chance to learn and explore narrative as a design tool. I would love to learn more about how to express a narrative through spaces and player decisions rather than strictly through dialog or text. Additionally the IMGD program specifically is allowing me to explore the underlying facets of game design, such as navigating game systems, or walking through the pipeline of game design from ideation to release.
What have been your greatest successes and challenges at school so far?
My greatest success so far has been being able to work on and develop my skills as a producer and team manager. It has been rewarding to learn about how to have productive conversations and meetings, and draw up checklists and meeting notes to help out the team. My greatest challenge over this semester has been getting to know everyone in my cohort. We are the largest graduate class that the IMGD has ever had, and due to that, it has been hard to meet up with people who I do not have class with. That said, we have been doing our best to overcome this by getting together to celebrate each others’ games and project debuts, and also by organizing Taco Tuesdays where we can all meet up after class and hang out!
What projects have you worked on that you’re proud of?
The project that I am most proud of would have to be a group Final Project I worked on during this semester. This project is a text based game with multiple endings so we had to make sure there would be time to add all the dialog and scenarios. I was able to help set goals for our team in a way that allowed us to grow the game in stages, so it would be playable from beginning to end no matter what we were focusing on at the time. This allowed us to present a fully playable build and get feedback on it as a whole, meaning we could always see how small changes impacted the players’ decisions within the context of the whole game.
What organizations are you involved with, if any, and why did you choose to join?
I love being involved with my cohort and helping to create resources for other IMGD students. I was lucky enough to be elected as the 1st Year Graduate Student Representative for the IMGD program and I have been working with the other Student Representatives to create resources for current and incoming students. One of our largest scale projects has been the Student Directory for the Games program with information to help with introductions and to connect various students across different years or degree programs.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying to SCA?
My greatest piece of advice to anyone applying to an SCA program is to attend the prospective student events and reach out to current students or faculty if you have any questions. I have been both an attendee and a panelist at the SCA Virtual Graduate Open House and I can confirm that talking to current students really helps to clarify any questions you may have about SCA and about what your next few years will look like. Additionally, I was able to meet the other prospective students who would become my current 1st year cohort and meeting them for the first time really gave me confidence in my decision to study here!