Thursday, 10 May 2012

Creative Development: The Blitz Academy (Part 1)

The Blitz academy is a part of Blitz Game Studios down in Warwickshire. Found in the careers part of their website, the Blitz Academy aims to teach new comers to the industry about the ins and outs of working in a game studio and acts like a sort of support centre for anyone interested in creating game no matter what department they're in but it's not without it's catches,

"Blitz Games Studios actively works with many educational establishments at different levels to support and encourage best practice and provision. However, we only endorse those courses formally accredited by Skillset. You may be told directly, or it may be implied indirectly to you, that we endorse a non-accredited course or that we look favourably on applications from graduates of specific courses - this is not the case. Every application that we receive is judged entirely on its merits and nothing else. Our endorsement of the Skillset courses is because, in our and Skillset's view, these courses prepare their students particularly well for a potential career in the games industry but all applicants, regardless of their courses, need to prove their skills and suitability during the application/interview process."
After this is a list of the place of Skillset accredited courses currently run, which makes this seem like an exclusive club or sorts. That said their website (http://www.blitzgamesstudios.com/blitz_academy/) is full of useful knowledge about working in a game studio with descriptions of jobs roles, so in my case I would look at the concept artist and modeller roles which say;

(Concept Artist)
"When a new concept for a game asset or feature is required, it's the job of the Concept Artist to realise that concept in a visual form. Concept Artists usually draw a 2D image of the required asset, environment or character, which is then passed onto production and/or included in documentation. The Concept Artist is responsible for envisioning and presenting the visual style of the game under the direction of the art or creative director. Superlative skills in draughtsmanship coupled with a vivid imagination and a range of styles are the keys to success. The best Concept Artists live to draw! Being able to draw and render well in traditional as well as digital media is a prerequisite, as well as having the ability to constantly refine your work and accept constructive criticism. The Concept Artist has the freedom to define the look of a whole game, so accepts a great deal of the responsibility for the final look of the game. The Concept Artist role is a demanding, pressurised role that is offset by a great deal of creative freedom and reward."
(3D Modeller & Texture Artist)
"As the name suggests, the 3D artist's working day consists of creating objects, characters and scenery in three dimensions. Most of this work will usually be achieved in one of the major 3D software packages, such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, Softimage XSI or Lightwave among others. The artist usually works from a piece of concept art and creates the model (otherwise known as an art asset) from start to finish. This includes building the initial model, the creation and subsequent application of texture maps, the addition of project-specific blind data, and in some cases visual effects nodes, and even hardware graphics shaders. Though this all sounds rather daunting, the ability to model and texture well will get you through the door - after that the rest will come as you learn on the job.Some companies make a job role separation between 3D Artist and 2D Texture Artist; however, most expect the 3D artists to complete the texturing phase as well as the modelling."
Whilst this is some what illuminating it's not much more on top of what I already know from experience. So far Blitz academy is seeming like a good starting point if you didn't know much about the roles but their service seems a bit elitist which I guess can't be helped but still why offer exclusive help instead of none at all or non-exclusive? Let's look at what else the Blitz Academy has to other in the next blog post!

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