The Apprentice 2016 Week 9

apprentice-large_transqvzuuqpflyliwib6ntmjwfsvwez_ven7c6bhu2jjnt8Computer games and particularly virtual reality games were the main focus of this week’s apprentice episode where the two teams were tasked with creating and marketing a new virtual reality game which they would then show at an expo and present to industry experts to see if they liked the look of it.

This particularly excited Dillon who was pleased as punch at this task believing it to be tailor made for his skill sets as he is an illustrator and has created characters which is basically what this task was about and he put himself eagerly forward for the pm gig with the resume we mentioned before but Sofiane came with his bid which was basically that he had previously sold some VR headsets which, in his mind, made him an expert in the whole field.

For some reason the rest of the team decided to chose Sofiane over Dillon as pm. Sofiane then decided that he should be in charge of the branding and design of the characters and that Dillon should be the sub team manager and create the game itself. This did not go down well with Dillon as he felt that he should at least be given the task of creating the world and the characters and the branding which are things that he does every day but Sofiane wouldn’t have it and stuck to his guns.

He then chose to put Alana with Dillon even though she also is good at branding and took Grainne with him which seemed to be the opposite of a good idea. Jess put herself forward for pm as did Trishna and, not for the first time, Jess was forgotten about and the project managers job given to the other person. But she put a smile on it and went ahead with what she needed to do.

Both teams came up with a theme for their game with Sofiane’s team coming up with an underwater theme and Trishna’s with an outer space theme. One half of the team had to come up with the characters and the design and the other half actually make the game itself. Trishna put Jess with Courtney for the branding part of the task whilst she and Frances worked on the game itself.

For the most part Jess and Courtney were pissing about and having a great time coming up with ideas which eventually formulated in a character called Gordon searching for his beloved pet a space badger. I think that both of them must have either drank far too much coffee or been on some sort of drugs to come up with this idea. Having said that Sofiane and Grainne created a new character called Cosmic Kid who lived under the ocean but needed for some reason to wear a helmet. Perhaps the helmet was just part of him as there doesn’t appear to be a reason why an aquatic life form would need a helmet to assist them with breathing when they would have gills or some such thing.

Perhaps I am attempting to read too much into this but that did concern me a bit as it seemed that they weren’t taking it seriously and it was about as far away from what Dillon suggested as it was possible to be. With Dillon it would have been an Atlantean superhero, likely to be male, heavily muscled, probably blonde, with no top on, complete with six pack.

The game Dillon came up was a world where you had lots of different puzzles to complete that would grow exponentially more complex as you progressed through the different levels. Trishna’s game was more about trying to find a badger in outer-space. I hope that that is not a euphemism!

The name of the game for Sofiane’s team was Magic Shells a rather literal interpretation of one of the puzzles in the game. The name for Trishna’s game was Gordon’s Lost His Badger, which is a bit strange but certainly does stick in the mind for a lot longer than Magic Shells would.

When it came down to the logos for the game and the character creation Magic Shells was certainly aimed directly at children, and small children at that, with its bright colours and cheerful looking child character. Gordon’s Lost His Badger was a bit more quirky looking but the one thing they forgot to put on the logo was Gordon himself. Sure the space badger was there but there was no Gordon. Gordon was one of those characters that you know about but never actually see but in this case when you played the game you were Gordon.

When the teams got back together neither half of either of the teams were totally enamoured with what the other half the teams had done and it did seem like neither of them had done what the other team wanted them to have done and some of them were not shy in making that quite clear to the others which wasn’t that great for team morale for the second day when they had to band together over their great new product and show the world how great it was when they all thought it was a pile of horseshit.

Both teams rehearsed their pitches and both teams argued about who should and who shouldn’t pitch which is never a great idea in front of Karen and Claude who will neither forget to mention it in the boardroom as any given moment if they think that they are trying to crawl out of it. Jess seemed to falter a bit mid pitch but soon got herself under control.

Sofiane once again altered the course of the pitch because that is the kind of guy that he is. Not many of the experts were that keen on either game it has to be said so it was anyone’s guess that might have come out on top at the end of the day.

The bottom line was that Sofiane’s Magic Shells was the worst of a band bunch and did not interest anyone whereas Gordon Lost His Badger at least garnered some interest, and they would have considered taking it further.

Naturally none of this was Sofiane’s fault as nothing is ever his fault and he wasn’t going to take any of the blame for it, especially if he could lay the blame at someone else’s feet. He tried to get Dillon to take most of the blame on not being very creative forgetting that the character was his idea. He also took Grainne in the boardroom with him but didn’t really have much that he could lay at her door with Alana getting sent back to the house without a cross word.

Sofiane did succeed in Dillon getting the lion’s share of the blame for this creative task as he was summarily fired, but soon found himself receiving a firing himself for lacking control of the whole task and for also not listing to his other team members and doing his own thing.

Now I am not sure that Sofiane could really have argued that point and luckily Lord Sugar didn’t let him, as he would have had a good go and trying to wriggle out of that accusation. Thankfully we were not given the opportunity to see that, which was probably for the best.

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