Hello Nottingham! I’m here to talk to you about the absolutely amazing GameCity festival that is happening right now all over the town centre. My name is Victoria Husted; I am 29 and a Games Technology student at Confetti Media. Like most other gaming enthusiasts in town; and let’s not forget the rest of the UK, I’m eager to see what GameCity has in store for us this year. I’m also keen to see if there is a little more female presence than I usually see at Game Festivals. Don’t get me wrong I’m no feminist and I won’t be waving my bra at anyone in protest, but a little more female company would never go amiss. As a game student I’m just as interested in the industry side of GameCity as well as playing the games themselves. I’ve got some wonderful plans this week and hope to get around as many workshops and events as possible whilst cheekily asking developers for snippets of their time. I’m going to try and get as much information as possible and share it with anyone who is interested in making games.
The week started today for me with the UK premiere showing of Lego: Lord of the Rings by TT Games. Hosted by Jonathan Smith, the Head of Production; TT Games showed us that even though the Lego Franchise has been going a while now with numerous games under its belt, they are still as cool and innovative as ever. It was nice to see kids mixing it up with the old timers to see what can be at times a dark and dramatic storyline made into giggly fun by the comedy aspects of Lego and some of that clever gameplay business. The public got to see some epic gameplay and cut-scenes as the brave group of adventurers descended through the Mines of Moria and later a play through of the Battle of Minas Tirith. Despite the epic storyline though, in true Lego comedy style a trick was never missed. Characters cocking up in the cut-scenes, Sauron running about The Shire on a clumsy goat and watching Sam repeatedly beat his ally Frodo with his frying pan were almost too much to contain. The kids there got a play through and some lovely freebies, enough to make any self-respecting 29 year old have a tantrum in jealousy, but I was later appeased by managing to sneak a few moments with Jonathan himself to ask him more about people wanting to break into the games industry.
What would you advice be to someone trying to break into the game industry?
Make amazing things, that’s it!
What key skills would you advise people need to get a career in say; Level Design?
Communication, organisation and the ability to get your ideas down.
What is TT Games graduate recruitment rate?
I don’t really have a figure to give you but we do have university graduates working for us right now. We don’t just take graduates on though; we will consider anyone with decent work to show us.
Are you seeing an increase in female designers & developers in the Game Industry?
Not specifically, but I like to see far more.
And finally; what next for TT Games?
Lego Lord of the Rings *Jonathan smirks* It’s out in autumn don’t you know.
(It was pretty clear Jonathan wasn’t going to divulge any company secrets to me, dang!)
I’ve actually had to privilege of meeting Jonathan before and he was more than happy to beat me with the “make good stuff” stick. I recall our last conversation he said: practice, practice, practice. Whether it is game engines you like playing with, drawing concept art or 3D modelling you really need to excel to make people notice you.
In my opinion Indie games can be a lot more forgiving though, you can make whatever you like and GameCity has plenty of it to quench your thirst for raw fun. Tomorrow I’m going to try out the Trampoline Wii Game, (yes, a real trampoline!) and providing no jumping related injuries are incurred I will be right here to tell you all about the people who thought it up.