After graduating from BSc Video Game Development, Joshua now works as a Programmer at Pixel Toys - a games studio that makes mobile Warhammer games and VR titles such as Warhammer: Freeblade and Drop Dead.
Why did you choose to study BSc (Hons) Video Game Development?
I have always been very passionate about video games and got hooked on programming very early on, so I knew for a long time that if I could do something that I enjoy, whilst getting paid, it would be a comfortable and fulfilling career for me.
How did the course help you prepare for your career?
The course helped me personally in two ways; firstly with connections - the ability to meet people from the industry at various times through the year and the knowledge of being able to network. Secondly, with the ability to work in a team. Prior to university I was always a 'one man band' with programming, art and design, so the course was my first exposure to working in small and large teams in an inter-disciplinary way. It was a valuable opportunity to improve social skills and learn to work well as part of a group.
What does a typical day at work involve?
My current role is more focused around DevOps and Tools, so I facilitate engine features, upgrades, tooling for QA and updates/implementations of software development kits, along with ensuring our servers and build machines are functional etc. My role has vastly changed over my time here. I'm always the go-to for a new thing, problem, or for a spot that needs to be filled, so I have done everything from Dynamic Content Delivery to Server Programming and Gameplay Programming to Analytics back-end work in the past year.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
My favourite parts of the job would be the team I work with - we are very social and friendly - and the fact that my job and what I do day to day changes a lot. It helps keep it interesting and allows me to stretch those code legs.
What advice would you give to a student thinking about joining the Video Game Development course?
If you feel like you want to know what it's like to work in a real game studio, the good and the bad, then this course is a good environment and provides a safety net to learn that in. It will help you realise whether this is something you really enjoy doing.
What advice would you give to a student looking to get into the Video Games industry?
- Get a LinkedIn account early. Get it set up correctly, get a portfolio up and running and start filling it out during your time at University.
- Dummy interviews provided by the University are good. Get comfortable with them and the questions that are asked. There are some good websites for interview questions related to coding also. Get to a point you can be confident with interviews.
- Invest the time into your discipline. For code this could be all sorts of projects in whatever languages you prefer (if you don't have a favourite yet, C++/C# are most used in industry). For Art you could do smaller projects around the speciality you want to go into (if you're not sure, explore, try lots out and see what you enjoy doing most, what gives the best results, and then find a balance between them). Even if the projects are small they'll still show you're passionate and like to do this stuff outside of University/ formal work.
- Projects and portfolio pieces do not need to be solo. Group up and communicate with people from other disciplines early (prior to the actual group projects), and get working on some small projects together. You don't need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to what your project is - it doesn't matter really how innovative it is, it's about showing the core skills required: communication, the ability to finish something and showing that you're invested in and passionate about it.