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Why I chose to study BSc Games Development

Student Sarah Crafton is in her final year of studying BSc (Hons) Games Development. Here she shares what interested her in the subject and what she’s learnt about the games industry. 

Sarah Crafton

What subjects did you study before joining NUA? 

At GCSE I had the opportunity to study Computer Science, so when I decided to study Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science at A-Level I already had some background in the subject. That way when I decided to study BSc (Hons) Games Development I had a baseline knowledge of key concepts.

I wouldn’t encourage others to study as much maths as I did before going into Games Development – while it was helpful at times, I mostly drew from what I learnt in A-Level Maths and Computer Science. 

What interested you in Games Development?

Growing up I always loved games, and early on in secondary school we had the chance to use Scratch to create some really simple games. While studying Computer Science at GSCE, I realised that I wasn’t interested in general software development and wanted to focus on something more creative – which is what games development offers.

The study of general computer science concepts is really important to understanding software engineering and helps a lot with games development. I felt confident choosing BSc (Hons) Games Development at NUA and specialising in this exciting field. 

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How has your course taught you about the games industry?

Studying games at NUA has given me more specific knowledge about the processes that are used to make games. We work with game engines, other people with different skill sets and examine key programming ideas that are common within the industry. 

We’ve also had some great guest lecturers who have offered insights into the current state of the industry, and the pathways they took to get to where they are now. 

Do you get the chance to collaborate with Games Art and Design students?

During my studies I’ve had several opportunities to engage in cross-discipline projects with students on the BA (Hons) Games Art and Design course.

In Year 2, NUA organises a game jam and a collaborative project across the courses. Furthermore, you can work with other students in external game jams and final year gives a lot of freedom in your practice. 

Do you have a dream game or project you’d like to work on?

Dream projects are really important to a lot of game developers, but I don’t have one at the moment which I’ve found very liberating. It has allowed me to make a lot of small games and investigate interesting mechanics.

What skills or qualities do you think are important to nurture for a career in games development?

The most important skills for a career in games is arguably communication. In a studio you’ll be working with people with different technical knowledge, skill sets and tasks, so it’s crucial you are able to clearly communicate your needs and feel confident in doing so. Even if you want to be a solo developer, you will still need to pitch your game, market it, work with freelancers and more.

The games industry is always moving forward and iterating fast – it’s a field where you will always be learning something new. You can never know everything about even a small specialism which is what makes it so exciting. Being someone who enjoys learning, research, growing and improving will help you keep up in the industry.

Find out more about Sarah on her Twitter

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