Thursday, 9 February 2017

European Women in Games Conference 2016

Bev Bush, Senior Lecturer in Games Design at Uclan, was pleased to be invited to take part in the Animated Women UK - Panel: Careers in animation and visual effects / VFX at European Women in Games Conference 2016 last Autumn, 7th Sept in London. The event was hosted by the University of Greenwich. A wonderful venue where Queen Elizabeth the 1 was born 300 years ago this year.

In June 2016, Marie-Claire Isaaman was named as the new chief executive of non-profit WIG and is working on many initiatives to promote the group along with David Smith. Lindsay Watson, chair of AWUK said they were proud to partner with this successful event, which hosts hundreds of women annually. WIG secured Europe's leading speakers for the event including Anne Morrison (BAFTA Chair), Terry Reintke (German MEP) and Jessica Curry (The Chinese Room) along with many others.

Conference panels and workshops from the event were streamed on Twitch during the European Women in Games conference 2016 and the videos have now been published on YouTube  - 8 Feb 2017.

Bev took part in the Animated Women UK Conference Panel: Expanding horizons - Careers in animation and visual effects / VFX
alongside Angela Salt, Dr Maria Stukoff, Juliet Tzabar, Lindsay Watson and Una Marzorati.

Lindsay Watson, Founder of AWUK introduced herself and they then discussed various questions.

Angela Salt

Fun Crew - Co-Founder
Independent content creator based in Liverpool. Author of the graphic novel "Spooky Skaters", illustrator and educator. Recently wrote, co-produced and launched an adorable, new pre-school animated comedy show, 'Bear, Bud & Boo'.

Bev Bush
UCLAN - Senior Lecturer, Games Design
Bev Bush is a Senior lecturer in Games Design at Uclan. She has credits on many published games and BAFTA award-winning titles in games and ChildrensTV from Cosgrove Hall Films for Thames TV and Travellers Tales Ltd. Bev has worked with many large publishers, including BBC, ITV, Disney Interactive, Sony, Jim Henson Interactive, on games such as Mickey Mania, Crash Bandicoot and Lego Starwars.Prior to that she worked within the Animation Industry as a Background Artist and has credits on titles in animation for childrens TV such as DangerMouse, Duckula and Wind in the Willows and HRH Prince Charles film of his book, Legend of Lochnagar.

Dr Maria Stukoff

BBC Academy - Head of Digital
Strong strategic head with creative vision to make projects happen. Experienced programme curator able to schedule projects to fit business direction.

Juliet Tzabar
Plug-in Media
CEO & Owner
Oversees Plug-in’s growth and success since 2006, and most recently have been driving its strategy into original IP development, capitalising on the company’s experience within the kids content sector to originate, produce and publish original IP across multiple platforms from mobile to online, TV to physical products. Speaks internationally about Plug-in’s work and recent engagements have included. Serves on the advisory committee for the Children’s Media Conference and am on the board of Wired Sussex. Was a finalist in the Women in Technology Entrepreneur of the Year award 2011.

Lindsay Watson

Animated Women UK - Founder & Chair (animation)
The mission of Animated Women UK is to positively support, represent, celebrate and encourage women in the animation and visual effects (VFX) industries in the UK. We now consist of a volunteer board of women from a healthy mix of backgrounds; animation and VFX production, finance, legal, festival, educational and career development. Our 5 key aims are: Mentoring, Networking, Showcasing, Recruitment and Education. In November 2015 we had around 1000 women on our newsletter list; around 70% of women in Britain’s’ animation and VFX industries.

Una Marzorati

SEGA Europe - Video editor, Designer & Animator
Video suite assistant at Sega Europe. Designer, Storyboarder and Animator (TV series, documentaries, Internet). Lecturer in Computer Games Design. 3D Artist with a Degree in Computer Science.

Bev Bush also lead a Workshop during the conference with Animated Women UK.
Each of us have an important career path to take and whether in games, animation or VFX, we can use our passion for what we do to help each other.
In this interactive 40-minute session participants were asked to use 'Dixit' game cards and 'Rory's Story Cubes' to help share ideas when asked:
'How can we use visual story-telling techniques to help our career progression?' 
The focus was on moving forward with your own development whatever stage of work you are at. Participants were encouraged to work in groups, recording their own thoughts and discussing with others as part of a directed framework.

Also, during the conference, 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:
Congratulations must go to our recent graduate, Steph McStea MA Game Design, University of Central Lancashire – for being amongst the winners.

BA(Hons) Games Design at Uclan.


Our Games design course was established 12 years ago in response to a growing demand from the games industry for higher education to provide degree courses to equip graduates with the right skills to go into the games industry. 
This Blog,
is used to promote our course events, record our student achievements and contribute to the energy and dynamic of the course .

The student work found on these web pages will give prospective students a good idea of the sort of work produced on the course.

It is a good idea to keep a blog diary to record your work development as this is a very accessible way for people to view your work.

We also have a Facebook page:

You can see more info at the link below.

Application to the course is through UCAS.
BA (Hons) Games Design (UCAS Code – WG24):

In addition to the points requirements for the course an e-portfolio is required for successful admission to the course. The following portfolio information will be sent out to you by our Admissions Department on receipt of your application for the course, however I know from talking with you on Sunday that some of you would like the opportunity to be aware of this information beforehand so for that reason I am including it here.

The purpose of the portfolio is primarily for you demonstrate your creative ability and potential.

Portfolio content:

We suggest between ten to fifteen pieces of work – multiple images may relate to one body of work if you wish to showcase cohesion of the design process undertaken. Acceptable forms of work may include any of the following:

Traditional drawing, digital painting, graphic art, character design, animation, level design, design documentation, renders of 3D meshes, sculpts, texture work, block-maps, playable game, screen grabs of level ‘mods’ and/or prototypes. You may include GCSE projects, hobby work, craft skills.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Year 1 Games Design student completes timelapse concept art film.

"The Man in the Black Suit" Time-Lapse Painting by Peter Dimitrov. 

Published on 6 Feb 2017
Peter was inspired to create this piece from Stephen Kings story "The Man in the Black Suit" 
in the lovely short story collection called "Everything's Eventual".
The reader witnesses a fisher boy that meets the Devil while next to a river.
The Devil is described to be wearing 3 piece black suit.
He has a fiery eyes and a mouth that is a furnace.

The video comprises of 8:36 hours of painting compressed into 27 minutes.

YouTube video.

See the full Painting here:
Follow Peter on:
Prints of this piece at:

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Introduction to TiltBrush by Google.

My first experience of drawing with Tiltbrush with the Vive headset was exciting as it felt like a very new experience.


We also arranged for students to test out the kit and try it out for themselves.






It felt familiar and yet a totally new experience at the same time! Your drawing surrounds you and you are totally absorbed in that world, forgetting about any other.

Paint life-size three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Experience painting as you have never before.

See the LINK for more details.

Introduction to PanoPainter.

Uclan Games Design Tutor, Josh Taylor has been working with our Games Design second year students recently, introducing them to PanoPainter and helping develop their digital painting skills.
The whole class have enjoyed exploring its potential. and it's great FUN!

Here's Josh's example for the students.
Skull Door by Josh Taylor, Games Design Tutor at Uclan  
Click HERE for 360 degree view.

Here's just a few examples. Click on link to see 360 views.
PanoPainting group on Facebook.

Mathew Lai

Marco Carmo

Natalie Herrington

Beth Martindale

Friday, 6 January 2017

The Impact of Play in Society.

First post of the new year 2017 :)

We asked our first year students on the BA(Hons) Games Design course at Uclan to discuss the The Impact of Play in Society.

Sadly, I can only post a small selection here from over 45 fantastic responses that our students submitted.

The amount of discussion and debate that this project stimulated must be noted, as it demonstrates how passionately they feel about the value of games in our world.
Please note, all used images and quotes are referenced in separate bibliographies that were submitted alongside the posters.

As a starting point, the students were asked to consider the quotes below:

"Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species."  (Whitebread, D., 2015)

"Play nurtures creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. It gives us the freedom to take risks, test the consequences of different actions, and iterate until a goal is achieved." (Gehorsam, R., 2015)

“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.” (Jobs, S., 2011)

"Research examines relationship between autism and creativity: New research has found that people with high levels of autistic traits are more likely to produce unusually creative ideas." (University of East Anglia. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2015.)

“Somehow the importance of play has been lost in recent decades. It’s regarded as something trivial, or even as something negative that contrasts with ‘work’. Let’s not lose sight of its benefits, and the fundamental contributions it makes to human achievements in the arts, sciences and technology. Let’s make sure children have a rich diet of play experiences.” (, 2015) 

"Pyramids, cathedrals, and rockets exist not because of geometry, theories of structures, or thermodynamics, but because they were first a picture-- literally a vision--in the minds of those who built them. Society is where it is today because people had the perception; the images and the imagination; the creativity that the Arts provide, to make the world the place we live in today." (Eugene Ferguson, Historian, 2015)

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Uclan Games students working with 'Soccer Manager'.

Great opportunity for work experience for twenty of our Games Design students over the last 2 days testing on Soccer Manager Arena.
This was an enjoyable event and both days were reported as very successful for both the company and the students.

Soccer Manager Arena@ManagerArena

The NEW football strategy game. Collect your team and play against other players in real time.

Our students have had two productive days of testing and work experience. The game is looking good and closed Beta will start later today.
Soccer Manager Arena is a card collecting, PvP real time football game.

With this game you can:

Play the team you are dealt!

Collect player cards and create your unique team lineups and formations. Each card has its combination of attributes to help you succeed in the Arena. Create your very own decks by choosing your cards tactically to compete against other managers.

Join the world of “Arena Clubs.”

Create your own Arena Club with other managers from around the world. Work together to top the Arena Club leader-boards by winning games and earning points for your Club. Strengthen each other's decks by donating players before each game. By joining an Arena Club, you will be able to play friendly matches with other Arena Club members and exchange information by using team chat.

-Compete in real-time matches with managers from across the world.
-Develop your team by unlocking card packs.
-Learn from other Arena Managers on Arena TV!
-Compete in different types of Football Arenas.
-Create an Arena Club and help develop each other's team.
-Play against friends.

Sunday, 13 November 2016


Congratulations Sian Knight, Jake Taylor and Anthony Winbow who have been nominated for the Creative Achievement in Games Design Award as part of the Great Northern Creative Festival THE NORTHERN FESTIVAL AWARDS.
They were nominated by the Games Design Course Team because they've shown outstanding dedication to learning and demonstrated industry standard creative and technical ability – all in all we are very impressed and proud of their achievements!
 The Award Ceremony was on the evening of Saturday 12th November in MiST, Media Factory.

Well done from the Games Design Course Team.

Also, big congrats to Anthony Winbow for being selected for the award. Really well done!

More pics to follow.

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Great Northern Creative Festival Games Event.

As part of 'The Great Northern Creative Festival' Games Design at Uclan, industry professionals were invited to speak and present workshops for the students.

See the programme below showing the awesome speakers that were involved.

Students enjoyed a fascinating insight into the world of Games Design from our very talented Alumni, Peter Field of Media Molecule, who shared his experience of composition within level design with a unique personal take on how to lead the player effectively using best practise guidelines from architecture.

Alumni, Becky Michelak and Ben Bennett gave a presentation on 'How to learn from failing' where they shared some very useful online resources.
A truly valuable talk about how to survive and progress in the Indie games sector of the industry.
This was followed by a workshop where Ben and Becky challenged students to create games that involved movement, utilising limited resources.

Alumni, Peter Bottomley of White Paper Games also hosted an hour long chat on Skype with another of our Alumni, Senior Games Designer, Steven Thornton who is currently working at Sperasoft in Russia. Awesome to hear first hand how Steven progressed his career through his willingness to take on challenges, learn new skills and being open to all opportunities for development.