Thursday, 10 May 2012

Creative Development: The Blitz Academy (Part 3)

Finally, when looking over the Blitz Academy I found that they offer an open day where in you get to meet people who are working on various projects (most likely the Blitz Studio staff) and get a one to one with a person who fits the role you want to enter. There are also showcases and presentations on how a game studio works so it all seems pretty much like a day of what their academy service provides but they do require you to complete a brief to get a slot on their open day which again seems really odd perhaps if you were on a game design course that would be good but again they seem to want to be really specific about who they choose to go to this thing. It could be a good chance to gain some contacts though...

Below is an outline of what a open day at the Blitz Academy is like;

"The day starts at 09.30 and finishes (formally) at about 17.00. The introductory session is always given by Philip and Andrew Oliver, who wrote the Dizzy games back in the 1980s and founded this company in 1990. Following that are overview presentations from the main games disciplines – 2D Art, 3D Art, Animation, Audio, Game Design, Programming, Project Management and Quality Assurance – all given by members of our game teams, from industry veterans with a couple of decades’ experience to people who have only just started their first job this year.
We also take attendees on a studio tour, to show the range of games that we’re currently working on. During the afternoon attendees get a chance to sit down for at least an hour with someone who is doing the job they want to do and ask them questions about what it’s like to work in the industry, what they do day-to-day and so on. These are small groups, one to one with the relevant development discipline, and attendees are encouraged to bring their portfolios / showreels / demos to get direct, constructive and helpful feedback. At the end of the day, there is usually a trip to a local pub with some of our developers to continue talking and drinking ;) Please note that anyone wanting to attend one of our Open Days has to complete a work sample and send it to us – this is because we get a lot of applications and need some way to make sure the places go to the most deserving people.
The briefs are sent out automatically when registration is completed, based on the discipline chosen during registration; please see the briefs here: Briefs page Please don’t think you’re not good enough to gain a place – we always try to pick a really good mix of people with potential and talent, so do apply! It is also worth noting that project management is not generally an entry level position in the games industry and the role is dependent on having a broad range of development experience. We do cover project management as part of the day's presentations, but we don't accept applications from students citing project management as their primary discipline. All the days are free to attend and lunch and refreshments are provided."
Unfortunately entry to this years Open day is closed and the sample brief isn't really all that tasking but it still seems weird to have that as a requirement. With Registration for the next open day being in September perhaps it may be something to pursue but in my current position I feel I'm a little beyond this open day outside of the chance to make contacts. The information on the website did offer some fresh insights to things but the Blitz Academy definitely seems like something I should have looked at before entering a University course. If I ever meet anyone looking for a games course to go to I would recommend The Blitz Academy as it seems to be a spider-web of information on all things related to games design but as a soon to be leaver I need to start looking at getting internships or fully fledged jobs.

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