Ocean Spark Studios, a video game development studio based in Huddersfield, was invited to University Centre Rotherham (UCR) to be guest speakers on their journey from studying Games Animation at Rotherham College, to setting up a young business.
Alumni students Helen Andzrejowska and Ellie Brown are directors of the company and have recently expanded to a team of seven. Through presentation, it was a talk to both Rotherham College and degree-level digital students that went into detail of establishing a career in an industry worth £86 billion, as well as their journey to studying at university and setting up a fledging business despite receiving a number of job offers.
Helen said, “If you’re thinking about setting up your own games studio, it’s important to know what your art style will be, what type of games you’re going to make and who your target audience is.
“Both myself and Ellie were really lucky where we’ve had the opportunity to work with like-minded people who are just as passionate about making games as we are, and with having no ties or commitments we were okay with not making much money in the first year.
“Through setting up a games studio we have definitely learned a lot and have had a few challenges, including receiving a few job offers. However, through sitting down together and making sure that we’re still dedicated to growing the business, we all know we’re committed to making this work.”
The talk also gave tips and useful advice to students on how to develop relationships with games design and digital companies through work experience and networking. Ellie added, “To break into the games industry, it’s important to create a great portfolio of a variety of work to show off your style and thinking behind a project.
“You can then send this portfolio with your CV to companies that you have an interest in, but make sure that you research the company first to make your first approach knowledgeable and personal; it will help you stand out.”
Declan Garner is currently a Level 3 Games Animation student studying at Rotherham College, and plans to continue his studies in Games Design at UCR. He said, “It was a really informative chat, being realistic about the games industry without casting a dark shadow over our ambitions.
“Ellie and Helen have both been in our position so they know how it feels, but they have gone on to achieve amazing things and I feel inspired that we can do the same.”
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