From education to employment

Gaming students work with industry mentors to take skills to next level

Left to right: Students Lucas Grew, Lili Bacciochi and Tom Barry with tutor Rob Griffiths

Gaming students at Coleg Llandrillo worked with industry professionals to bring their ideas to life in real working conditions.

The college teamed up with Studio Live, a mentoring project run by non-profit organisation IntoGames which aims to give students an invaluable insight into the gaming industry.

Second-year students on the Extended Diploma in Creative Media (Games Development) were given a brief to create prototypes based on the fantasy action game Ravenbound.

They were split into groups and teamed up with mentors, who worked with them for over five days to help them develop their prototypes.

Rob Griffiths, Programme Leader for Games Development Year 2 at Coleg Llandrillo, said for the students it was a useful eye-opener to what it’s like working in the games industry on a day-to-day basis.

He said: “We get paired up with a studio and are given a brief, and for five days we work with that studio to produce whatever the brief asks.

“We do quite a technical brief, so we do the planning and making of the prototype, not just from the concept perspective, so the students have made different mechanics for the brief within a five-day period.

“They each get paired with a mentor from the games industry, and that mentor speaks to them on a daily basis.

“So in a studio first thing in the morning they’d have what’s called a stand-up, where they’ll talk about what they’re working on, any issues they’re having, and then the producer will work with them from there.”

A screenshot from one of the prototype games created by the students

Mentors Alrissa Sia from Ubisoft, Nicolas Porras from nDreams, Oliver Caddy from Gameplay Galaxy, and Chris Paye from Quantum Soup Studios visited Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos campus.

Rob said: “The students were working with them 9-4 every day, so it replicates real-life working conditions.

“There’s no paperwork, which the students love! There’s no documentation, no evaluating – it’s just doing the job so it’s a purely practical exercise.”

The students themselves said the scheme was great for networking as well as gaining practical experience.

Lucas Grew said: “The mentors definitely went above and beyond for us. I managed to get my mentor’s LinkedIn as well so it was good for networking opportunities.

“Being able to collaborate with industry professionals to be able to expand our horizons was a big positive.”

Lili Bacciochi said: “It was pretty fun. There were a few professionals that we got to talk with, and we were able to ask questions about getting into the industry. They said if we wanted to send over portfolios they’d have a look as well, so it was really helpful.”

Tom Barry said: “We had a week’s worth of hard work but it was very educational to the point where I learned a lot, gained a few new skills and managed to work on my confidence, working with a team and also with professionals in the industry.

“It was nice to experience what it’s like to work behind the scenes as an industry professional.”

Designs created by Coleg Llandrillo gaming students for the Studio Live project

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