Liam Pickford may well be graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) this week, but he has already been working in the games industry for six months.
Developing impressive 3D design skills while studying Game Art landed him a role as Junior Environment Artist at Deep Silver Dambuster Studios in Nottingham back in January.
The 20-year-old from Dorking in Surrey said: “I feel incredibly lucky and relieved to have secured a job at a AAA games developer before graduation.
“Finishing my degree while working as part of a team of more than 100 people has been very exciting.
“It’s incredible to be able to enjoy work and feel creatively fulfilled every day. I can’t wait for the day I get to hold a copy of a game that I worked on and see my name pop up in the credits.”
Before starting his degree, Liam had no experience of 3D work and was apprehensive about it.
“I was a little scared of the 3D module at the start, but it’s structured to help beginners and I quickly learnt so many new skills and workflows,” he said.
“Three years later and 3D work is my specialty. I love being able to go that extra step and create work that can be rotated, rendered and explored in real time.”
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Liam flexed his skills during his final-year project, creating a game-ready 3D environment based on the architecture in Moltrasio and the Villa Del Balbianello in Lake Como.
He said: “It was initially intended as a small diorama piece, but as the project progressed I created so many modular assets and tiling textures, that it allowed me to gradually expand the scene and make it larger.
“This eventually resulted in it being a complete and playable environment, instead of just a scene from one key angle. Adding design details like wonky tiles and buckled gutters went a long way to give the scene a bit more character.”
DMU’s Game Art course appealed to Liam because it was “well-established and widely respected”.
“I chose DMU because I felt that it could help me to go from a beginner to industry-ready in three short years, which it has done,” he said.
“The course has a serious amount of commitment and support from the university, with large facilities and labs with the latest technology and software.
“Our course leaders are well-connected, organising countless expert talks and feedback sessions from professional game developers and recruiters, which resulted in many of us getting interviews and job offers before graduation.”
Liam’s other DMU highlights include competing in Game Jams, annual competitions organised by the Games Development society, which challenge participants to create a game from scratch over the course of a weekend.
He said: “Day-to-day university life has also been fun because of the friends I’ve made and what we’ve done together.
“We’ve had experiences such as going to Games Week Berlin and visiting New York thanks to #DMUglobal, as well as abseiling down Gateway House to raise money for DMU Square Mile India.
“It’s great because we’ve all got making and playing games in common, but we’re all from different backgrounds, so by coming to DMU I’ve met a real mix of awesome people.”
Posted on Monday 16th July 2018