“I prototyped six games in my first year and my portfolio is constantly growing.”
Annie Canty enjoys her course’s collaborative approach to designing games and is building an impressive network of contacts and portfolio of work to help her enter the industry upon graduation.
I’ve always been interested in games.
I did a college course in games design, loved it, and decided to take the next step. I found the LSBU website by chance and it was in the perfect location for me: not too far from my family in Watford, and right in the middle of London. I also saw that the course had an award from a major trade association (TIGA) in the games industry, so I knew the standard would be high. I came for an interview, saw the facilities, met the lecturers and student ambassadors—and that was it for me!
People come to game design with different skillsets and preferences.
You might be great at coding or at creating storylines or at design. Through the course you develop these areas plus many other aspects of game design. You learn a lot of skills through collaborating with other students, trading areas of expertise and sharpening up new skills. Working in this way also forges great friendships from the moment you arrive.
One of my favourite things about the course is that it isn’t just theoretical—we make games all the time. I prototyped six games in my first year and my portfolio is constantly growing. Twice a year we do a games jam: students from all three years gather in groups of around ten and create a game in a week. We swap skills and make mistakes and learn a huge amount from each other.
The facilities here are great. We’ve all got double monitors and there are games consoles for our free time, plus all the Adobe and industry-standard software at our disposal.
The course prepares us for a career in the gaming industry.
The lecturers are very connected with the world outside university. One of mine works part-time in the gaming industry and lectures at games conferences around the world. As part of the course we look at jobs, develop a career plan and identify which skills we need to strengthen. I’m good at storytelling but need to work on my coding, so I’ll be spending a summer concentrating on that. We also learn how to pitch projects and how to apply for jobs.
Through my course I’ve learned about an industry mentoring scheme, and have been paired with a professional who is helping me develop my skills and get one of my games published. A student colleague of mine had a paid internship with EA, a huge gaming company. Although I’m still studying, I feel very connected to the industry.
Some of the major studios have graduate openings and I’m aiming for one of those. Thanks to my course, I know which areas I have to improve to get there. And I’ll have a great portfolio by the time I leave.