A huge well done to Mike Bithell (BA Computer Games Design Graduate) for making the Games Industry Biz Top 100 Most Influential People in the British Games Industry List.
Taking inspiration from filmmakers such as Kevin Smith, Bithell focused on making impressive titles with a tight budget. Now he is an aspirational figure for many a hopeful one-man indie, but when asked for advice on how to make it in games, he reminds fellow developers that “they are not on the same journey.”
“The business changes weekly, so I try not to give too much advice,” he says.
Following huge commercial success came the chance to meet his heroes, such as Hideo Kojima, which Bithell describes as a “massive privilege.” But according to the Volume creator, it’s the audience that drives him.
“It sounds corny, but the best part of this job is meeting the people who play our stuff,” he says. “Fan art, cosplay, videos – everything that folks do with the games we make.”
Extract from http://www.gamesindustry.biz/top100/indie-leaders
Tomos Hywel graduated with a first class honors degree from BA (Hons) Game Art with a dream to become a character artist.
We recently spoke with Tomos about his time on the BA (Hons) Game Art course here at the University of South Wales, here is what he had to say…
“I knew for a long time that I wanted to be a games artist but it wasn’t until my 2nd year that I discovered I had a great interest in anatomy and creature designs and developed a keen interest in sculpting through Zbrush. I therefore decided to focus on making character and creature artwork for games.
“The Game Art course not only helped me to discover the artistic field I wanted to pursue but gave me the tools I needed to develop my skills that would one day lead me to a job in the industry.
“I now work for Airship Images, a game art outsourcing studio as a junior character artist.
“I’ve had the pleasure of creating character artwork for AAA titles and short films. With the help of my lecturers, Simon Reed and Pierre Laffoux, I was able to graduate from the course with a first class honours degree and won the award for Best Game/ Game artist at the end of the year student showcase. I later won the award at the ‘Ffresh student festival’ for the same category. I started the course without any knowledge of 3d modelling and later graduated with the skills I needed to get noticed by the game industry.”
For more information on how to apply or to book a place at one of our open days please visit http://www.southwales.ac.uk/games
Some of our fantastic third year Games Enterprise and Game Art student’s showcased their (still in progress) final year project Jeff’s Tower VR at last weekend’s PC Gamer Weekender in London.
They spent the weekend showing off their game and getting great feedback in the SEGA sponsored student area.
The University of South Wales (USW) has been named as one of three pioneering organisations that have been recognised for their contribution to the UK Games Talent’s Tranzfuser competition after grants from the UK Games Fund were awarded in their names.
USW, Digital Creativity Labs (DCL) in York, Eastern Enterprise Hub in the South East of England, each selected an industry start-up in their area to receive a share of £50,000 after each facility excelled in providing local hub support to competitors in the Tranzfuser 2016 competition process.
DCL chose Cooperative Innovations Ltd to receive a grant, while USW picked a start-up games develop company from Caerphilly called Runwild Entertainment Ltd to benefit from the money. Eastern Enterprise Hub decided to have the money in its name awarded to Miracle Tea, the company it has hosted during the Tranzfuser competition and beyond.
Head of Outreach and Talent at the UK Games Fund, Deborah Farley, explained the role of Local Hubs: ‘Tranzfuser offers entrepreneurial organisations across the UK the opportunity to support graduate teams who aspire to make their mark on the UK games industry.
‘With the help and support of Local Hubs we can provide competitors with an invaluable connection into a national competition. We know that our Local Hubs see great value in their role in Tranzfuser.
‘By providing support and physically hosting teams, it gives these organisations the chance to invest into the UK games industry at a grass root level.’
Production Director at Runwild Entertainment Ltd, Martin Onions, said: ‘Runwild Entertainment Ltd is made up of experienced games industry veterans with combined experience of 65 years. We’re currently developing our first game – a unique multiplayer experience that allows players to connect across different devices and interfaces.
‘This nomination shows how committed USW is to supporting its alumni and local games companies and as a graduate of USW and on a personal level I feel very grateful. The money means a lot to the company and will allows us to develop our first IP to the point where we can take it out to demonstrate to publishers and the public.’
Deborah added: ‘By awarding this money in recognition of the work of our Local Hubs we’ve had the opportunity not only to highlight the inauguration of Tranzfuser but also the hard work of hundreds of people across the country.
‘In actual fact, when it came to choosing the three winners the selection panel had an extremely difficult task to perform due to the high standard of professionalism and the level of support provided by our Local Hubs throughout the UK’
‘Tranzfuser is only a success because of every single one of our supporters and the commitment they give to helping our competitors. We cannot wait to work with an extended network of local hubs as part of Tranzfuser 2017.’
Find out more about Runwild Entertainment’s debut title Almighty… http://www.runwildent.com/almighty
The University of South Wales (USW) is to be the South Wales regional hub again in 2017 for the innovative talent development programme. Organised by UK Games Talent and Finance CIC, and funded by the UK Government.
Designed to provide a platform for creative leaders of the future, Tranzfuser is aimed at graduates looking to break into the games development industry, with a strong focus on getting their game to market.
Last year Tranzfuser 2016, the first iteration of the annual competition, saw 18 teams from across the UK work with a £5,000 prize to develop their game.
The competition ended with the teams showcasing their projects at the EGX video games festival in Birmingham, attended by more than 75,000 gamers. During the show, a team of industry judges shortlisted the best games to compete for grants from £10,000 to £25,000 from the UK Games Fund to develop commercial prototypes.
Lead applicants to Tranzfuser 2017 have an opportunity to project manage the teams that they form for the Tranzfuser journey and win funds from the UK Games Fund.
Successful applicants will be invited to develop their ideas into working prototypes over the summer in a competition that culminates in a nationally recognized showcase event.
Participants will have access to Local Hubs and leading industry support where possible, providing the best knowledge-base and resources available across the UK.
Graduates are invited to apply as individuals looking to build their own team or individuals on behalf of their team.
Successful applicants will be awarded a £5,000 budget to allocate as they choose throughout the competition. At the showcase event in September, selected teams will be invited to pitch for follow-on funding of up to £25k from the UK Games Fund to commercialise their game and launch a company.
Richard Hurford, Course Leader for Computer Games Enterprise at USW, said: “We are delighted that USW has again been chosen as the regional hub for Tranzfuser, and we’re excited to be mentoring and supporting the teams through the process.
“USW is all about giving students the skills to go out into the world and make a success of their ideas, and this is a great competition to gain further experience and potentially have access to vital funding.
“Those involved will be exposed to a range of industry specialists who can provide priceless advice and guidance. It is a fantastic opportunity for recent graduates from a range of disciplines to get involved in the games industry. We are looking forward to welcoming the 2017 teams and seeing a new set of great idea being turning into a reality.”
Deborah Farley, Head of Talent and Outreach at UK Games Talent and Finance CIC says, “Tranzfuser 2016 exceeded everyone’s expectations; from the calibre of the teams participating, contribution and involvement from the Local Hubs to the showcase event at EGX.
“We were delighted to go on a see six of the teams receive UK Games Fund grant funding and to continue our support of them. This year we will be building on this success with more opportunities for teams to get involved, continued support during the competition and a showcase event to remember. This is a fabulous opportunity for any graduates looking to break into the UK Games Industry, don’t miss out!”
Applications for 2017 close on Monday 27th February at noon. http://tranzfuser.com/apply-now/
Over the 10 weeks of the summer programme the teams worked intensively on their game ideas and prototypes.
Topkek – Boden Project
Ringworld management simulator.
Duel Fuel – Infinite Void
An infinite running with a twist.
We invited many mentors in over the duration of the project to talk with the teams about their games and advise on best practice for development, with
A huge thank you to all of the mentors for taking part, Ian Thomas (Frictional Games & Talespinners), Ted Everett (Kerbal Space Programme), Russ Morris (Freelance Unity Specialist), Anton Faulconbridge (Rant Media), Ella Romanos (Strike Game Labs & Rocket Lolly Games), Ben Cawthorne (Thud Media), Shame Skuse (Thud Media) and Karl Jones (Unity).
We also gave the teams chance to showcase their early work at the Wales Games Development Show in June.
“When I first heard of Tranzfuser I knew how big it would be for everyone who took part. I wasn’t wrong. Tranzfuser had so much more to offer than just a £25k prize to further develop our game, with industry mentors coming in every week, to attending/showcasing at events. I felt taking part in Tranzfuser was one of the best start to my career that I could ask for. Although we didn’t get through to the last 6 to go on and win further funding, my team feel like winners with all we have learnt and experienced. ”
Jack Bevan Davies (Duel Fuel – Team Lead)
“Tranzfuser was a great experience to gain as a practitioner in the industry. It provides a powerful experience for any student looking to launch themselves into the Games Industry by bridging the gap between university driven production and the “real world”. Allowing for unfiltered interaction with the industry ranging from working with contractors to attending events and dealing with competing for funding in a very real way. Regardless of its outcome, its true worth lies in the lessons it teaches and those lessons are worth learning. In short, do it.”
Lloyd Jones (Topkek – Team Lead)
The teams were also given the opportunity to showcase their work at EGX, meeting loads of industry people and members of the public.
We’ve had great fun hosting the teams and we are now looking forward to next year and excited to see what project ideas it brings!
A few weeks ago the Games Gradshow was in full swing, showing off final year undergraduate work from students on the BA (Hons) Computer Games Design and BA (Hons) Game Art courses.
It was pretty busy from the get go, with lots of people coming to visit from local games, animation and media companies. If you missed the show, you will be able to see a selection of the work at the Wales Games Development Show on the 19th June… http://walesgamesdevshow.org/ or you can take a look at this year’s showreel.