Game Art students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are celebrating after landing a series of jobs before they have graduated.
The roles range from working with some of the biggest companies in the industry to working on simulators to train the US military.
Many were head-hunted by industry professionals who had seen their work while visiting the Game Art degree course, which is renowned as one of the best in the business.
Representatives from games giants such as Ubisoft and Creative Assembly were among those at the launch of the 2016 Technology degree show to look at some of the incredible work produced by the students at DMU's state of the art Bede Island studios.
Kieran Burke is set to be an environment artist with Foundry 42, the company behind the hotly-anticipated space sim Star Citizen – which was funded by a £100million kickstarter fund.
He said: “It’s amazing. It’s so exciting to be starting a job straight from university. In the first year of the course you do a bit of everything and find out what you enjoy and for me, it was creating the environments. You design the whole world that the game is set in.”
Kieran will be working alongside another student, Joel Phelps, who has just started as a prop artist with the company. Josh Swarbrick starts work in two weeks for Creative Assembly, the team behind the Total War series and Halo Wars 2.
Josh will be a trainee character artist, working alongside a concept artist who will come up with the character, and he models it in 3D, using software as a sculptor uses modelling clay.
He said: “I was approached by an ex-DMU graduate who asked me to send my work to their director.
“That’s one of the scariest things you face in your final year - the idea of having to go out and get a job. It’s having that security. A lot of people will get employed through connections that the Game Art course has.”
Jonah Holden-Maillard will be working in the private sector for Bohemia Interactive, which make the flagship military simulator used to train British, American and French troops.
“I’m a vehicle specialist so I will be making vehicles and weapons to go into the simulator,” he said. “It was just a perfect opportunity for me. It wasn’t my intention to get a job straight away, but I couldn’t say no to this.”
Anya Elvidge will be working with Josh at Creative Assembly as an environmental artist, specifically producing campaign maps for the fantasy role play Total War: Warhammer.
“It’s a real-time fantasy strategy game,” she said. “I love games, I love art and I enjoy the stylised stuff and this appeals because you get to be creative within restraints which I enjoy. Game Art is hard work, but it’s the right kind of hard work!”
Anya said the blog which students keep throughout the course, detailing their projects and problems, and how they overcome them, stood her in good stead when it came to landing the job. Her new bosses had read her describing her work and were impressed with her approach to problems.
“It’s lovely. It’s surreal – it’s not really hit me yet that I’m leaving DMU, let alone have a job,” she said.
John Carney is working with the Small Impact Group in Leicester’s Phoenix Arts Centre on a simulation called The Black Death, set in medieval Britain. In just three weeks he has already designed a monastery which has gone into the game.
The SIG team spotted John when they visited DMU. “I like that fact it’s local because Leicester’s been my home for three years, and because it’s a smaller team I have more to do so I got more experience in different areas than I would if I specialised.”
Posted on Wednesday 22nd June 2016