It’s been another busy week for team Codies! Not just because of all the exciting work going on behind closed doors, but because some of the crew have been out and about at Staffordshire University’s GradEX final year show as guest judges. Covering several disciplines including art, design, level design, production and programming, the volunteers from Codemasters really had their work cut out to score and select some of the best examples of what Staffs Uni games students had to offer – no easy feat considering the amazing talent on display.
The students were scored in various different categories for their work, such as innovation, presentation, commercial viability, construction and execution. Alongside scoring and judging, the Codemasters team were able to impart some wisdom to the graduates showcasing their creations, sharing some top tips and constructive feedback along the way.
Several of the Codemasters team attending were Staffs Uni graduates themselves, and one of them, Ryan Judge (Senior Artist at Codemasters) was happy to be back at Staffs checking out the next wave of games industry talent. “I’m looking for students able to show a critical eye and to improve on their work, learning and implementing as they go,” he said of the experience. “It’s great to see the progress that can be made and some of these portfolios today showed great examples of this, already achieving game-readiness in some cases”.
Codemasters’ Simon Barlow, Principal Games Designer, also shared what he looks for in selecting top talent: “I like to understand how [students] have prioritised design features to balance engagement with challenge in order to create an intuitive journey for the player, and that they’ve followed through on those ideas to implementation”. Lead Level Designer Matthew Battison was impressed with the standard of work on display too, commenting “I’m looking for detailed considerations from the grads’ level design work, and I’ve seen some stars of the future today for sure”.
Alex Whyte, one of our programming judges said of the event: “a programming project for GradEX is a great opportunity for students to showcase their working skills in addition to code quality; a clear working goal, personal time management, and creative problem solving are all very valuable. These students will become the next generation of games programmers – I’m sure they have a bright future ahead of them.” Experienced Programmer at Codemasters, Harry Semple could only agree with the sentiment shared by the rest of the judging team too: “we’re looking for students who are pushing boundaries, looking into new devices, and exploring areas off the beaten track. It’s been really interesting to see students working with new technologies, particularly VR for mobile devices, and being able to showcase their passion for games. We’ve had a great day talking with them and look forward to seeing more of their work in the future!”
Today’s trip is part of an ongoing series of initiatives from Codemasters to strengthen connections between universities and the games industry, helping to support early careers in games as well as inform course content for future graduates. So far this year it’s already taken us to Breda University in the Netherlands, the University of Huddersfield and Staffordshire University – and it doesn’t stop there! We have more trips planned to Abertay and the famous Brain Eden Games Jam at Anglia Ruskin, which this year we’re proudly sponsoring. If you’d like to be involved with any of the above, please feel free to get in touch with our Recruitment Manager Meg Daintith.
In the meantime, you can stay tuned right here for more updates about Codies Grads! But before we sign off, we’d love to give hearty congratulations to the very talented, very worthy winners of GradEX 2018 at Staffordshire Uni. Huge thanks must go to Staffs Uni course leaders Stuart Butler and Paul Roberts for looking after us too; we loved being part of the GradEX, and we look forward to being involved in more and more events as the year unfolds!