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Computer Games Modeller

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Mark B

00:00:03 Hello, my name’s Mark B, I’m a 3D Modeller. What that basically incorporates is creating 3D assets for a game that I work on. So that’s characters, environments, areas, that sort of thing. Previously was trained in stuff that’s used without the games industry, but yeah, we use our own software here. It’s usually a case of working off concept art or briefs. So we get a brief for a quest or a mission and – like the concept artist works up some concepts for us to create our 3D assets from. Or we just use our – heads. (LAUGHS)

00:00:44 One of the major turning points, especially when I was growing up, was definitely a choice that I made when I was studying my A levels, to change subjects. Because initially I chose to do Business Studies – yeah, not – not exactly Art-based. Main reason for that was I’d sort of lost a bit of passion for the Art because of the – the lack of support that I was having from school, in terms of Art teaching and stuff like that. But yeah I decided that, you know, I really – I found that passion again for Art, so I decided to completely scrap Business Studies, go back, study Art again, and I think if I hadn’t have done that then I wouldn’t have – I wouldn’t be here now certainly.

00:01:30 I remember the first game I watched, seeing as my father was into games as well, so it was more of a case of me taking a step back and watching it, I think. Yeah it was – it was Ghostbusters on the Commodore 64. So yeah, quite a long time ago, so early eighties. So yeah, that was probably the first memory I have of computer games. From an early age I’ve always loved games, but I didn’t actually think it would be possible to sort of, like I said earlier, it’s a dream job some people dream about being pop stars, some people dream about being a, you know, movie star, that sort of thing. But games was my sort of, my dream, but I didn’t actually think it would be possible until I actually found there was a course at like University, that did this sort of thing. So I applied for a course to do 3D – no it was Computer Game Design. And from there it was like sort of – wow, this is actually going to be possible.

00:02:28 Coming towards the end of my University time it was dawning on me that, you know, am I going to get a job or not in the industry. Because you hear things, it’s really hard to get work, that sort of thing. It’s really competitive. Fortunately I saw an advert – well it wasn’t an advert, it was actually an email that had been sent to my University account, and it was an email that had been sent round the whole University, all the Final Year students, and it was an advertisement for a job in QA, which is Quality Assurance for games. And that was a company up in Newcastle. So I thought – I’ve got nothing to lose, I’ve not got a job set up, my portfolio wasn’t a hundred percent complete, so I thought I’ll just apply for it, get my foot in the door. So I applied for that, and just got the job.

00:03:16 Currently – I started at Jagex in a junior role, and I’ve been here now for over a year. So I’ve moved up to just standard artist. And I’ve managed to work on different projects while I’ve been here, loads of different projects. I’ve also been part of like a really important project that was released this year, and I also mentored like placement students, who were over here, in the Art Department. So that was great experience, and it also helped getting experience for stuff that I want to do in the future, you know, if I wanted to go into lecturing, that sort of thing. So I’ve had a lot of opportunity while I’ve been here already.

00:03:53 ENDS

Mark B is a 3D modeller at Jagex, a computer games design company. He loved computer games ever since he watched his Dad play Ghostbusters on his Commodore 64. He didn’t realise it was possible to make a career out of game design until he was deciding what course to do at university. “Some people dream about being pop stars, some people dream about being a movie star, that sort of thing… Games was my dream, but I didn’t actually think it would be possible.” He changed the A levels he was doing from business studies to art so that he could apply to university to study computer games design.

More information about Programmers and software development professionals

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

85%  male 
15%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Programmers and software development professionals design, develop, test, implement and maintain software systems in order to meet the specifications and business objectives of the information system; they also design and develop specialist software e.g. for computer games.
Entrants usually possess a degree or equivalent qualification, although entry with other academic qualifications and/or significant relevant experience is possible. There is a variety of vocational, professional and postgraduate qualifications available.
  • Examines existing software and determines requirements for new/modified systems in the light of business needs;
  • Undertakes feasibility study to design software solutions;
  • Writes and codes individual programs according to specifications;
  • Develops user interfaces;
  • Tests and corrects software programs;
  • Writes code for specialist programming for computer games, (for example, artificial intelligence, 3D engine development);
  • Implements and evaluates the software;
  • Plans and maintains database structures;
  • Writes operational documentation and provides subsequent support and training for users.
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