Sheffield Hallam Senior Lecturer in Games Design Tom Battey Visits Dearne Valley College
Back in December, Computing students at Dearne Valley College welcomed guest speaker Tom Battey from Sheffield Hallam University. Tom works for Sheffield Hallam as a Senior Lecturer in Games Design. Tom has kindly volunteered his time to talk to the Computing students about their future career plans, some of the wider employability aspects of the modern games industry, and what a job in the games industry looks like today.
Tom said: “A career in the games industry is much more than playing games like League of Legends or Fortnite, and whilst it is possible to have a career in competitive gaming, a career in the games industry is much more than that.
“If you are coming to Sheffield Hallam to study games, we expect that students have an interest and play a lot of games, otherwise you’re probably applying for the wrong course.
“The courses we run at Sheffield Hallam focus more on the wider aspects of the games industry, developing your portfolio, developing quality, professional work and seeing how students apply themselves practically to games. Whether that’s on the art side, design or coding, there’s so much more to the industry than just the games themselves.”
Tom spoke to the students about the careers available to students following their education.
He said: “There’s a whole industry surrounding games, everything from event management to level design, artwork and everything in between. The things I spoke to the students about today was less about the games themselves, and more games adjacent than it is what you would consider the traditional games industry.”
He continued: “Things like Virtual Reality (VR) development in Archi and product design fields, that’s a massive industry that’s hiring people with a games skillset because they’re using the Unreal Engine or Unity to power their VR tech demos so the only people applicable for those roles are people who have experience or training with those platforms. There can be a tendency for the industry to focus on big games studios roles.”
When referring to “big games studios” Tom was talking about big game developers such as Electronic Arts (EA) and Activision Blizzard who are responsible for some of the modest successful games in history such as Call of Duty, Starcraft, FIFA, and Battlefield to name a few.
He went on to say: “Of course, those types of roles are absolutely out there, as it’s a constantly expanding sector, but there are also a lot of opportunities in that games industry that are more than just Games Design.”
Tom finished by talking about Sheffield Hallam’s relationship with well-known Sheffield based games developer Sumo Digital.
Tom said “We have a great relationship with Sumo, it’s a real convenience having them on our doorstep. They often run outreach and internship programmes, which a lot of our students apply and obviously they are a great place for student jobs as well.
“A lot of our graduates apply there because it’s round the corner from the university. Sumo are always expanding so naturally having a constant stream of students on your doorstep is beneficial to
them as well.”
A career in Computing or Esports can take you on some amazing quests, be sure to level up your opportunities by looking at our wide range of courses in both Computing and Esports or consider progressing further to Foundation Degree in Games Design at University Centre Rotherham.
Sheffield Hallam University also offers some amazing courses in Digital Media such as Game Art, Games Design and Animation.