Produced by Guest blogger
Pratiksha is a BSc (Hons) Games Design graduate and was named by TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, as Graduate of the Year. In her guest blog she tells us how she’s found studying at BU, what it’s like to be a woman in the video games industry and what it was like to receive the award from TIGA.
What attracted you to study in BU?
I got to know about BU from a local education fair in Dubai. Studying games as a degree and pursuing it as a career has been a long-time passion for me since I was a child. Knowing that studying abroad would provide me with better opportunities, I felt that the UK would be the perfect choice for me for its high-quality education and multiculturalism. Bournemouth as a town in particular attracted me for being touristic and having an international community, factors that I am already familiar with being born and raised in the U.A.E.
What stood out to you during your time on the course?
Studying in BU gave me opportunities to develop all-round skills; from learning game design principles, to programming, animation, 3D modelling, and even learning business management. It allowed me to explore what I’d like to do, and get involved with ideas I was keen to work on while learning a professional workflow. Prior to university, I felt uncertain of certain modules such as programming, fearing that I wouldn’t be good at them, or dislike them, but now I’ve come to become more comfortable with them.
Examples of projects
One example is a voice activated rhythm game prototype I developed called ‘Sync-Beat’ during my final year, where you use the pitch of your voice to match the falling notes, while pressing the spacebar to the beat.
Another project I worked on in my first year, is a retro-style action game called ‘Death Upon You’. I was inspired by the boss levels in Super Mario Bros. against Bowser. I thought it would be different to have the player control a villain instead and fight against the heroes.
My dissertation and TIGA award
My dissertation project was a passion project of mine. I created a hand-drawn 2D narrative platformer titled ‘Loop’, which was about finding hope when going through struggles in life. This was inspired by the events of the pandemic as many people around the world were going through various hardships. It’s the most ambitious and challenging project I have worked on so far, but with the help of my supervisors and game testers, I was able to get the game developed as I planned. This project got me nominated and awarded in the ‘Graduate of the Year: Designer’ category by TIGA, which I’m very grateful to receive.
What I learned for the future
University has allowed me to feel more confident in taking opportunities, and meet people from different backgrounds and skillsets which has given me some versatility. Studying in a different country was definitely a life-changing experience! If you’re considering or pursuing games as a degree, take a shot at learning everything that comes to you, you may end up liking it like I did! As a woman coming from a more traditional background, I have faced challenges around me for wanting to pursue a degree that was/is considered to be male-oriented. The industry is ever-changing and is slowly becoming more welcoming to everyone. If you have the drive for it, don’t give up and go for it!