Lara Lema - BA (Hons) Game Design and Development
Which course did you choose to study?
I studied the Game Cultures course which then got renamed to Games Design and Development, from 2016 to 2019.
Did you have any cultural surprises?
What surprised me the most was meeting people who had the same passion as me, this includes not only other students but lecturers too. It was refreshing having figures of authority that shared the same interests and didn’t think that games are a total waste of time.
Putting my experience to good use
The thing I liked most about my course was learning about my interest in more depth, as well as discovering new interests. Lecturers would passionately dissect areas in games which would help us understand elements of design and art, and how to implement them in projects later. Learning about their industry experiences and the people in it helped me to see the wider picture too.
Your current role and what it’s like
I now work at Sony PlayStation London Studio, as Dev Support, on the tech side of the project. I work on the engine, but I still have high visibility on the game. Each person in dev support has an area of testing and focus, for example, mine is rendering, maya and adobe substance. My job is to make sure that our proprietary tools work correctly and that they communicate well with one another. I support and am in constant communication with the environment and prop art teams, as well as the tools programmers that work on the features being requested. This helps me understand their processes so I can tailor my testing to their needs.
The thing I’m enjoying the most from my job is not only the friendly and supportive environment, but also getting to learn about the huge effort it takes to develop a AAA game, and how people and teams coordinate and compromise to reach a desired outcome. Being able to share knowledge with our sister studios (which means we learn from their own learnings on their successful games) has also been eye-opening and interesting to see not only as a developer myself but also as a fan. It’s always exciting to peek behind the curtain.
More than just a degree?
My degree helped me learn key processes and knowledge of the software used in the industry. The experiences shared by lecturers were a huge help in understanding what the industry could be like and how to tackle it. Learning how to communicate (in a work and in a group project setting) as well as how to network has been imperative.
What advice would you give to people thinking about studying at LSBU?
The advice I would give is, first of all, to take in and enjoy the university experience! Each experience is unique and what worked for me might not for you, so make it work for you. I think getting to know your classmates as well as your lecturers is important, as these will be the people that you’re going to work with for the upcoming years and they might also be the people you end up working with in the future. It’s genuinely a small world. Be open to learning, bounce ideas off and collaborate, but most importantly be open to feedback! It will help you grow. Having said that, also be confident and feel empowered to defend your ideas.