Helen Andrzejowska and Ellie Brown are former Games Animation students studying at Rotherham College, who have since leaving their Games Design degree at university grown their young business Ocean Spark Studios, video game development studio based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
Both Helen and Ellie chose to study Games Animation at Rotherham College after finding out more about the course in the prospectus, and attending one of the Open Events.
Helen said, “When I was flicking through the Rotherham College prospectus, it was then when I saw that the Games Animation course was actually a thing, and I never actually thought that any of the skills that I had could go into making games. It was not until reading about the course and coming in to meet the tutors that I thought this is actually for me.
“We were given a little tour of the facilities so we could have a look at where we would be studying and we just really liked it, really liked the environment and the way the learning was structured – we just felt it would be a great environment for us to study in.”
Helen Andrzejowska and Ellie Brown, Level 3 Games Animation
“During our time at Rotherham College, with the support of our tutors we were able to develop an amazing amount of advanced skills that gave us the step ahead when we went to university.”
During their time at College, Helen and Ellie had the opportunity to develop a range of skills from character development, 3D modelling and trailer cutting. Helen explained, “During my time at Rotherham College I’d say I really loved the 3D Modelling – we learned such an amazing amount of skills that we now use daily, but I have to say that 3D modelling was the most valuable to me.
“We learned things like Autodesk Maya and how to texture in Maya, and those skills I found made both myself and Ellie so much more advanced than any of the students studying Games Design at university.
“The course gave us a really detailed understanding in 3D modelling but it also gave us skills that I think people wouldn’t think would go into games design. For example we learned things like how to cut video, use Premiere Pro and how to put together games trailers, which has enabled us to cut our own trailers right here in the studio and do all of our own video editing.”
Ellie added, “At Rotherham College you get a real insight into what goes into making a game and you have access to one-to-one support if you need it. Myself being someone who was really interested in learning more about character development, the tutors will go above and beyond to find content that will help you progress.”
As Directors of their own company, they have recently expanded their team to seven, offering work experience and internships to students and graduates, as well as giving regular talks and workshops to students studying Computing and Digital courses at the College and University Centre Rotherham (UCR).
The talks are often themed on Helen and Ellie’s career journeys, as well as how to break into the gaming industry establishing a career in an industry worth £86 billion. Ellie said, “The gaming industry at the moment especially in the UK is huge, with Yorkshire region being one of the main location for smaller games studios and offers plenty of opportunities for a large variety of roles within the gaming industry.”
Both Helen and Ellie are big advocates for studying at Rotherham College, as well as encouraging females to pursue a career in digital. Ellie added, “I would recommend Rotherham College, because the software and facilities provided, as well as the knowledge that the tutors have and the experiences and trips you get to go on such as gaming events and networking events, they’re second to none.
“I also had the opportunity to build my confidence, encouraging me to stand up in front of people and talk about the things you’ve learned through presentation, has made me a more all-rounded and confident person.”