Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Uclan Games Design degree show 2014


Our Games Design degree show was officially opened on Friday 13th June and the Games Design Course show was overflowing with visitors, friends, family and game enthusiasts.

The evening started with the Creative Focus award ceremony.
Very special congratulations go to Hannah Spikings for representing games design as our Nominee this year.
There's a wide variety of games design and artwork work to see and you can also play the video and board games and enjoy the atmosphere.
The Uclan games course, is like a great big family, where students share ideas and skills and enjoy playing and working together in a dynamic community.
There is definitely work out there for those who have passion and work hard to reach their potential.
Alongside a portfolio which should include examples of visual awareness of how to express an idea, applicants should also demonstrate a passion to relate to all things ‘gaming’ 
Also see:

Below are pictures from the private view of the Games Design Show 2014.


Uclan’s Games design course is unusual in that it covers both games design practise and theory as well as game art and technical skills for industry. Students have a broad experience of these elements in year one and specialize more as their skills develop, so that by third year they have a chance to focus on certain areas of choice.

We aim to incorporate industry critique within our feedback systems and to instil an understanding that visual communication is just as important as verbal communication within the discipline of Design. We continue to develop student skills in line with industry requirements and secure live briefs and resources, maintaining the use of creative thinking throughout all modules. The Games design course has run three live briefs with major companies this year.

We have a very creative and friendly environment where students are encouraged to share and develop ideas even across year groups. We make a dynamic games community, like a big family, all sharing common interests within a large open plan space. At one end are banks of machines and screens, but at the other the area is left open for group discussions and design work. We have a diverse library of board and video games which students frequently play outside of class hours. The students see this space as their own, a relaxed and creative place where they can bring ideas forward.

Two different Indie companies have been formed from groups of our graduate students in the last few years. Both companies, WhitePaperGames and Lunar Software are making very impressive inroads into successful careers and have had their games green lit on steam. They have repeatedly gained extremely impressive reviews in the press for their games, ‘Ether 1’ and ‘Routine’. This is not only putting the games design course on the map, it’s actually part of a ground breaking development in the design of games for immersive headsets. These combine a mixture of academic research with powerful gaming. It’s highly feasible that our Alumni activity could be documented in the gaming history books of the future!

By supporting and integrating the activity of our Alumni into our course by inviting them in to give presentations and master classes, they continue to be a part of this innovative and dynamic team.

Our Alumni success emphasises the effectiveness and high profile of the course and encourages other students to form companies for the future.

We like to utilize the skills and industry experience of those Alumni who are very passionate about their careers and also have a great loyalty to Uclan, by inviting them to present classes and workshops.

This gives a very positive message to students, not only in that they can see immediate success of those who have been through our curriculum, but also they are great role models because they are young, skilled, driven, and successfully working in industry. They speak the language of the students and combined with the academic and seasoned experience of the senior academics, this makes for a very dynamic learning experience.

We have many fantastic alumni across a broad range of disciplines within games but our most well-known alumni is Peter Field who started as a games designer at Ninja Theory, he then moved to California to work on ‘Uncharted 3’ and ‘The Last of Us’ for Naughty Dog and has recently returned to the UK to work at the amazing ‘Media Molecule’.  Peter is a great inspiration for our students when he visits the course to give presentations and workshops.

Several graduates of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) who also teach on an hourly basis on the games design course saw their debut game released on Steam this spring. Peter Bottomley, co-founder, alongside Ben Hill, OJ Farrell, James Burton and NJ Apostel are all involved in the creation of this game from their studio at Media City.

White paper games have been overwhelmed by the great reviews they have had of their game, ‘Ether 1’ which is praised for not only being entertaining but for its value in raising awareness of issues surrounding dementia, having an emotional impact on many players. This is a wonderful example of how an academic background can be brought to bear to create a powerful gaming experience when combined with creative skills.

In addition, Aaron Foster’s survival horror, ‘Routine,’ which is set on the Moon, was greenlit by Valve’s community in October 2013 and has received over 610,000+ hits so far on YouTube.

Aaron set up Lunar Software to develop the game after gaining a BA (Hons) in Game Design from UCLan.  After working for a few years at Eurocom in Derby, Aaron Foster returned for a couple of years as a part-time lecturer in 3D modeling and creative thinking. During this time, he also developed the initial designs for ‘Routine’ before leaving to work full time with his indie team, Lunar Software to focus fully on the game development. Aaron remains a strong influence for our students who share his great passion for game creation.