Gaming students impress with their skills

Paul Watkinson (left) and Matt Huskisson now work at Ladbrokes/Coral in Oldham as games programmers

The University of Bolton’s fresh crop of games development talent displayed their work to industry professionals.

Graduating students presented their portfolios (three distinct subject areas: games art, design and programming) at the end-of-year show in the purpose-built Centre for Games Development.

Jo Daly, Associate Professor in the Centre for Games Development at the university, said: “The games courses at the University of Bolton are extremely industry focused.

“Even the layout of the studios that the students learn in are as close as possible to what it will be like in a professional games studio, so they get a good idea of what it will be like when they gain employment.

“We maintain strong industry connections and align our courses to employers’ requirements ensuring our students are learning cutting-edge industry techniques.”

Former students who have gone on to work in the industry also attended.

Paul Watkinson and Matt Huskisson, who both graduated as games programmers from the University of Bolton in 2015, said a key element that the course had taught them was the importance of building up a strong portfolio to show to a future employer. They both work in games development for the Ladbrokes Coral Group in Chadderton, near Oldham.

Jo, who worked in the gaming industry for 17 years before joining the university eight years ago, added: “The games industry worldwide is bigger than the movie and music industries combined and there is huge potential for growth.

“Obviously people play on consoles and PCs, but the market has really opened up as people have started to play games on their tablets and mobile phones.

“This has attracted the kind of people you wouldn’t usually have expected to play computer games, all ages are getting into games on their handheld devices.”

The University of Bolton was one of the first UK universities to offer dedicated Games courses.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Richard Thomas, who attended the show, said: “I have been really impressed with the creativity and technical skills of our students. This is a tribute to our excellent staff and I am delighted to see our students are making a real impact in the industry.”

Images: students getting to grips with technology at the show