From education to employment

Arts University Plymouth graduate Megan Shepherd on working with one of the world’s biggest video game publishers

Arts University Plymouth alumna Megan Shepherd has landed a coveted industry role as an Art Technician at Ubisoft Leamington.

Ubisoft Leamington is part of French video game publisher Ubisoft Entertainment SA, one of the biggest and best known games developers across the world. Ubisoft employs more than 21,000 people at over 45 international development studios. Its video game franchises include Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Prince of Persia, Rabbids, Rayman, Tom Clancy’s, and Watch Dogs.

In her new role at Ubisoft, Megan is working on the recently announced Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, due to be released on 7 December 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Amazon Luna. Based on the world of the Avatar films, including the highest-grossing film of all time, this first-person action-adventure is one of 2023’s most highly-anticipated games.


Originally from Reading, Megan Shepherd graduated from Arts University Plymouth in 2018 with a First Class degree in BA (Hons) Game Arts (now BA (Hons) Animation & Games). During her studies she specialised by working as a level artist for 3D game worlds, initially focused on creating real-time 3D environments for Unreal Engine.

As part of her degree, Megan participated in the Euranim video-mapping project, taking part in collaborative video-mapping workshops at Howest University College in Kortrijk, Belgium. Working alongside other students from Arts University Plymouth, Megan worked to project animations across the city of Lille, France, in the Video Mapping Festival #1, which attracted around 80-thousand visitors to the city. Following on from this, Megan was also part of the team from the arts university who projected work onto the buildings of Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard as part of the Illuminate festival.

For her final major project at Arts University Plymouth, Megan created ‘The Hollow’, a fully-immersive 3D level environment utilising assets created in ZBrush, Autodesk 3ds Max, and SpeedTree, then textured using Photoshop, Substance Painter and Substance Designer. Before joining Arts University Plymouth, Megan completed a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at The Henley College.

Prior to joining Ubisoft Leamington, Megan held roles working as a Games Tester helping games to achieve Xbox certification, and as Lead Game Artist (2D/3D) at Black Cat Entertainment. She also completed a placement at Industrial Light & Magic, learning about the pipeline for the VFX industry at the world’s leading visual effects company.

Megan said: “The best advice that I can give to any students hoping to prepare for a role in the games industry is to study a relevant degree like I did and take advantage of every opportunity you can whilst you’re studying. I basically pestered my course leader at Arts University Plymouth to let me go on all the trips around Europe and it was 100% worth it. I got to visit Stuttgart, Germany for FMX, an international conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media; Kortrijk and Lille for Euranim, an international video mapping festival; and Illuminate, a light and projection mapping festival in Plymouth.

“I was very shy and quite anxious when I first started, but Arts University Plymouth built my confidence up to talk to people and gave me the courage to try new things. It can be tough to succeed in the games industry, so you need continue to collaborate, meet other people, learn about their journeys and ask them to look at your portfolio, and keep trying and never give up.”

BA (Hons) Animation & Games at Arts University Plymouth is a future-facing degree that equips students with the  knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in industry roles across the fields of film, television, video games, online content, VFX, motion graphics and VR. In Arts University Plymouth’s state-of-the-art multimedia studio environment, students can explore a full range of drawing, modelling, editing, rendering, and scripting techniques, gaining access to unrivalled opportunities to take a multi-faceted view of the animation and games world.

With estimates that there will be over three billion active gamers worldwide in 2023 and that the world market for gaming will be worth over £438 billion by 2030 and the world market for animation worth over £422 billion by the same year, there’s never been a better time to study BA (Hons) Animation & Games. To find out more, visit the next Undergraduate and Postgraduate Open Day at Arts University Plymouth on Saturday 24 June.

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