Thursday, 20 April 2017

Uclan Games Grad Steph McStea is now...

Steph McStea of @TeaAndMonsters is busy with new ventures.

Not only has Steph recently been named as European student Ambassador for Women in Games 

But she's also just founded -
a place for game students to network, collaborate and grow together.

Last week saw the completion of Steph's Internship at Digital First, part of UCLan's Innovation Lab where she had a great work experience following her MA in Games Design.

Steph said, "It's the last day of my internship at the i-Lab today ): I've learned and grown a tonne since I've been there, so I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity. <3 The i-Lab team are a lovely bunch and I'll definitely miss them a lot. Nervous but excited to see where my journey takes me from here!

Digital first said, "Today we say a sad and very fond farewell to our lovely design intern Stephanie. Steph is a talented artist and games designer. She recently produced some fantastic artwork for UCLan's Innovation Lab office where she has been based, so we will always have a little piece of her with us. We wish Steph all the very best with her future career."

There's no question that Steph is totally dedicated to games design and she has made so many great contacts in the industry. 

Women in Games have also been super encouraging to Steph . In Sept 2016 Steph was among the women selected in a jam packed ceremony featuring 30 minutes of awards and presentations to honour and recognise some special people and the winners of their Student Competition.
Winners of the Student Competition were awarded by Debbie Bestwick MBE along with Helen Kennedy, Head of the School of Media, at the University of Brighton:

Read Steph's post about the event here.

And if you'd like to contact Steph or see more of her work you can access her website here.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Athletic achievements by Uclan Games Design student, Adam Mattis.

Our warmest congratulations must go to BA Hons Game Design student, Adam Mattis who has been training in the martial art of Taekwondo for over 10 years and is now seeing awesome results of his efforts. (A dedicated 4-5 days a week. With most sessions nearing 2 hours.) In 2009 Adam had his first competitive match and won. Since first falling in love with the competitive aspects of Taekwondo, he has come a long way since then.

In the past 2 years whilst at university he has travelled all around the UK as well as fighting abroad in International Level Opens. Fighting in many different tournaments. Including his very first international title in Barcelona, Spain becoming a Champion there in 2015.

He has many gold medals from all over the UK from the numerous Scottish Opens to the London Open 2013 and even in his home city Manchester, he took the gold twice at the Manchester Open 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Achievements mean a lot to Adam and he feels that it is something that has taught him so much respect and discipline over the years.

Quote - "Through my training I keep myself fit and healthy. My overall physical strength and positive mental attitude have increased vastly since starting so long ago. It gives me a drive and a focus that assists me in getting important tasks done. I believe my coach’s rigorous training regime has instilled in me the determination to achieve whatever I set my mind to, not only in TKD."

He received a Trafford Sports Council Lifetime Award in September 2013 for his efforts as a young Taekwondo athlete. This was a true milestone for him and he was extremely happy and proud to have his name on an awards list with so many other great sportsmen and women from the borough of Trafford, even Olympians.

He brought this focus along with him to UCLAN and looks forward to competing at the European Universities Championships, an international student event that brings together student athletes from all over Europe. Representing UCLAN and being a good ambassador for the university is something that Adam strives for and hopes to continue to be even after his graduation this year.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Sarah Akers and Will Butterworth visit Uclan Games Design

It was great to have a visit this week from our Alumni, Sarah Akers and Will Butterworth who have been working since they graduated last year at Paw Print Games Studios in Chester.

Paw Print Games are an independent studio located in the North West of England developing unique games for iOS, Android, BlackBerry PlayBook, BB10, Windows Phone 8.

Sarah and Will are both 3D Prop | Environment Artists and have learned a lot about working with Unity and VR since joining Paw Print studios last year.
They are about to launch a brand new game so we'll be keeping our eyes out for news about that.

Sarah and Will discussed their time at Uclan on the games design course and gave helpful advice to students about how to make the best of their study time and also encouraged students to join games jams and connect with others who are involved in Games design.

They also checked out the VR games that are currently being made by our students as part of UCLan's Games Jam 2017.

Arthur Parsons visit to Uclan Games Design Course 2017

Fantastic as always to have Arthur Parsons visit Uclan Games Design Course this month to share his expertise with our students.
Not only did Arthur deliver an awesome presentation about the world of Lego games design but also shared lots of good information and advice about working in the industry and designing games.
The students were set a live brief to concept characters and games level ideas for a fictitious Lego game based around either Fairy Tales or the Greek Gods.
They came up with as many humorous scenarios as they could, featuring quirky co-operative game play and got some really valuable feedback from Arthur during their final presentations.

White Paper Games launch 'The Occupation' at EGX Rezzed 2017.

White Paper Games are showing their new game 'The Occupation' at EGX Rezzed this week, March 2017.

See the trailer here:

Check out this write up.

The Occupation, is the next game from White Paper Games where you take the role of a journalist,
a whistle-blower in a 1980s Manchester.
Official Website:

Click this link for an Interview  about 'The Occupation' launch with Pete Bottomley, Co Founder
of White Paper Games.

Most of the team are Alumni from UCLan's games design course including Pete Bottomley, James Burton, OJ Farrell and Scott Wells Foster, so very proud to see their success.
Pete, James and OJ are also Associate Lecturers on the Uclan games design course.

NJ Apostel is a graduate from Uclan Music and he's responsible for White Paper Games Music and Sound. We're glad to say that he comes in to introduce the students in both Games Design and Music Production to the implementation of sound into games using Epic's UE4 game engine.

White paper Games first game was Ether 1 which was the start of the team's success and they've now gone from strength to strength and they're branching out to create and build a portfolio of games.

Friday, 17 March 2017

The third annual UCLan Game Jam 2017 is upon us!

This is a dynamic and organic learning experience for our students where they gain experience in working in teams and face the challenge of completing a playable game to a deadline.

Students have 4 weeks to create any game of their choice. 1st year and 2nd year Game Design students work together on this project along with Music Production students and Screen Writing students.
Students are free to pick their game platform of choice – whether it be a 3D engine such as Unreal Engine 4, Construct 2 or a table top or paper game – it is up to them to decide what your strongest platform will be to present a game idea.
We have visiting speakers from industry joining us for presentations and offering advice during the event.

Our Alumni Sarah Akers and William Butterworth will be visiting on March 30th to share their experience of working at PawPrint Games in Chester and are just about to launch their new VR game.

We also have Pete Bottomley and James Burton, our Associate lecturers from White Paper Games working on the staff team along with Josh Wright , Josh Taylor, Marcus Izaquias ,Will Hunter and Bev Bush.

Industry professional and Alumni, Peter Field of Media Molecule has agreed to judge the games and give out prizes to be won at the Finale where each group must submit a complete, playable game. 

The games will be judged on play-ability, accessibility, design, visuals and team collaboration.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Top Down Shooter Games Design Plans

Our first year BA (Hons) Games Design students were tasked by Tutor, Josh Wright, to create a top down level design document that contains at least one level, with supporting level flow instructions.


• It is important that the document is clear, easy to follow and understand.

• Illustrated in 2D.

• Includes a level flow in the document.

• The level should be planned to take the players 10-20 mins to complete.

In this brief, students learn about creating a top down level design on paper. They are given a set of mechanics to structure their level design around. The level design has to have a start and a finish, with all key game-play clearly numbered. Students also provide a document explaining any key game-play that they include.

The aim of the brief is to help students understand the process of creating paper level design plans. Students are encouraged to try multiple designs before settling on the one design to present as their final piece.

Here are a selection of their final designs in answer to the brief.