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Daniel Burrows

BA (Hons) Video Game Digital Art student 

What types of projects did you get involved with during first and second year of the course?

Daniel Burrows - NTI student

We focused on a solo learning project, and then applied those learned techniques to a real group-based project. Initially filling sketchbooks and learning drawing techniques, and then applying those techniques to a group project where we built the assets for a 2D game. We then did the same for 3D. After that, we applied all those techniques and learned communication skills to large scale projects where we built multiple games in modern engines.

What has been the most fun or interesting project or activity you have been involved with?

The most fun project so far has been the large scale development projects where we work with multiple teams and disciplines to build a fully working game. It's a lot of hard work and you're constantly learning new things, but at the end you can see all your ideas and creations come to life in a playable game. It's a great feeling when it all starts coming together.

What trips have you been on so far, and what did you do on them?

We went to the V&A in London to do still life drawing, and took regular trips to the BMag to do master studies and learn the fundamentals. We've also been to the botanical gardens to sketch organic life like trees and animals.

Have you had any opportunities to work with people from the gaming industry and if so, how?

All of our full time tutors have either come directly from industry or are currently in industry. We also have guest tutors regularly that are working within specialisations with the current industries. Over the last two years the number of industry guests has increased, and the majority of them work directly with us for extended periods of time.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

The part I enjoy the most is that I'm always excited for what's going to come next. We've studied everything from drawing to environment art to character rigging. The availability and knowledge of the tutors means that we're always learning new things, and there's always a feeling that if you want to suddenly switch to a different career within the industry, you have so much support to do that. It's also really fun being surrounded by people who love all this as much as you do.

Have you had any work experience/ placement opportunities? If so, what did they involve?

The course itself really feels like you're doing work experience in the larger projects. It's set up like a studio environment, you're working in groups and often inter discipline, with everyone given specific roles that mirror industry, and at the end you have a number of industry ready portfolio pieces. I've been offered jobs while at university down to my portfolio alone, and there are numerous networking opportunities that have been invaluable to me.

What is the community like?

The community is very friendly and open. As we often all work together, everyone gets to know each other well.

Are there many social events for students/ clubs/ societies to join and if so, are there any that you would recommend?

There's a big Game Jam event in Millennium Point, and a game development society that's been recently started. Some students also get together at the Eagle and Ball and get involved in game development meet ups outside of the Uni.

What one piece of advice would you give to a student about to start your course?

The one piece of advice I would give is to be really open to diving in to new things and to not be scared to fail. A big part of the course is getting out of your comfort zone and being challenged, so sometimes you'll be overwhelmed and banging your head against a wall. You'll find that thing that makes you excited to push through and you'll be creating things you never thought you were capable of. It's a great feeling.