UEL Games

Computer Games Design
Computer Games Development

Our graduates have gone on to a variety of different roles, inside and outside the games industry. All of them were propelled forwards in their careers by the skills they learnt while studying games at UEL. We asked graduates from across many years of study where they are now and how they got there - here is a selection of graduate profiles.

Ryan Wiltshire - 2007

Producer - Splash Damage

Previous Roles:

  • Associate Producer, Producer - Warchest
  • Associate Producer - Bethesda
  • QA technician, assistant Producer - THQ wireless
  • QA Technician - Lionhead

Ryan started his career in the industry as a QA Technician for Black and White. After graduating he took up a a position with THQ Wireless working his way up from QA Technician to Associate Producer. From there he took on a producer role at Bethesda working on Brink and providing additional support for Skyrim, Rage and Fallout New Vegas. He then made the move to Warchest as a Producer on RAD Soldiers and Dirty Bomb. Released RAD Soldiers for iOS to critical and public acclaim having received Apple Editors Choice over Christmas '12 in multiple regions, achieving #1 strategy / board game in 86 countries, and being award a 9/10 from Pocket Gamer. He is now working as a producer for sister company Splash Damage, continuing working as a producer for Dirty Bomb and Extraction.

In 2013 Ryan became our second graduate to be listed in the Develop 30-Under-30 line up for his work as a producer.

Aaron Smith

Lead Programmer, Predator Software

After graduating from BSc Computer Games Development, Aaron went straight into a job as the lead programmer for indie studio Predator Software, working on Android and iOS titles. They recently released his first title for Android, Save the Creatures, and is development for his next game, based on an idea he worked on as part of a graduate game jam he participated in this September.

Alex Perry - 2012

QA Technician - Media Molecule

Previous Roles:

  • Customer Support - Gamesys
  • Development Assistant - Rockstar Games
  • New Product Launch Coordinator - Electronic Arts

In my final year of study on the computer game design course at UEL I successfully earned an internship at EA as a new project launch coordinator, working with their publishing team on the successful release of major titles in Europe. I then moved to Rockstar London on a short term contract as a development assistant working on Grand Theft Auto V throughout the "crunch" period. When this contract came to an end I worked at Gamesys as community/customer support as well as regularly taking on production and QA tasks. Taking this experience in QA I increased my breadth of knowledge by moving into web QA for Square Enix Europe - which finally led me to my current job at my dream studio of Media Molecule where I am a QA technician surrounded by sackboys and papercraft every day. The staff on my course at UEL were instrumental in helping me land my first role and setting me up with the skills to succeed so without the course and support of lecturers at an early stage I don't think I would have got so far in my career today.

Alice Bowman - 2016

Photo of Alice Bowman

Games Designer - Outplay Entertainment

Previous Roles:

  • Game Design Intern - King
  • Game Design Intern - Failbetter Games
During her degree Alice crowdfunded a point and click game, interned at Failbetter games, got to the finals of Nordic Game Jam with a UELGames team and helped run game events at the Wellcome Trust and Somerset House. After graduating with a First Class degree she interned at King’s Monarch studio, working on designs for new games and prototypes. She now works as a Designer for the UK’s largest independent mobile games studio, Outplay Entertainment. “I loved my time at UEL, and would massively recommend the Games Design course to anyone looking to get started in design. The lecturers are fantastic and go above and beyond to help students succeed, and on top of that London is a great location for networking and getting involved in the games scene. The practical skills I learnt through my degree helped me create my portfolio and get hired, and I’ve been amazed by how much the theory taught on the course applies to day to day design practice.”

Anthony Massey - 2014

massey portrait

Level Designer - Splash Damage

Current Project - Dirty Bomb (2015)

Anthony studied the Computer Games Development course, and established himself as a technically-minded student.

After graduating with a 1st class honours degree, he had multiple interviews with small games studios, and started his career at Dlala Studios as a Graduate Game Programmer, working on their platforming brawler, Overruled!

After his time at Dlala he re-evaluated his career choice as a programmer, and while working on Neolithic (A Worms-esque strategy game) with other UEL graduates, eventually joined Splash Damage as a Level Design Intern.

After 3 months as an intern, Massey was given a 12 month contract to continue developing maps, and other content for Dirty Bomb, a free-to-play shooter on Steam.

Massey is still at Splash Damage now, and is a popular member of the development team among the community, often participating in community events, livestreams and other community run contests.

Ashraf Mohammad - 2007

Designer - Rocksteady Studios

Previous Role:

  • QA Lead, Rocksteady Studios

After graduating with a degree in computer games Ashraf started working with Rocksteady as a games tester. He then moved onto Level Design. He has worked on the Batman series of games, winning two Baftas for 'Best Gameplay' and 'Best Game' for Batman: Arkam Asylum.

Ben Nizan - 2011

Games Designer: Gamesys

Previous Roles:

  • Games Designer - Independant
  • Games Designer - Gamesys
  • Games Designer & Writer - Gamesys

After graduating, Ben worked as an intern both at Gamesys and Playlab London. Eventually he landed a full time contract with Gamesys - writing and designing quests for their social game Here Be Monsters. After working at the company for two and a half years, Ben’s taken the dive head first into independent development with his first mobile game Hexderity.

You can follow his progress at : www.facebook.com/NizanGames

Bryn Richards - 2007

Lead Test Engineer – SCC

Previous Roles:

  • Tester/Senior Tester, SEGA
  • Senior Games Tester, Microsoft
  • Deployment Engineer, Pheonix

After graduating Bryn took a job as a games tester for SEGA, eventually being seconded to the role of Senior Tester. He left SEGA to take a position as a senior tester. After Microsoft he changed direction using his skills to take up a position as a deployment engineer with Phoenix.

He is now working as the lead test engineer at SCC responsible for managing a team of three engineers.

Chris Turner - 2015

QA Manager – Good Catch Games

Previous Roles:

  • QA Tester – Endemol Shine UK
  • QA Intern – Endemol Shine UK

I began working as a QA intern for Endemol Shine UK three months before graduating from the program with a 2:1 degree. After 6 months of learning with them, I was taken on in a permanent role as a QA Tester. Another 6 months passed, and Endemol Shine UK Games and Apps Team formed into Good Catch Games, where I was promoted to QA Manager, and I have been there ever since! I am fortunate that I am not locked down into full QA duties, however, as in my role I participate in design decisions on all our projects, from the initial idea phases, right through to product release.

Daryl Hornsby - 2011

Lead Designer – Lohika

Previous Studies:

  • IT University of Copenhagen, MSc Game Design

After graduating from UEL, Daryl spent a year teaching Flash and Unity game development both at UEL and other schools. He then moved to Denmark to take up post graduate study at the IT University of Copenhagen studying an MSc Games Design. He liked it so much there he decided to stay - although he does make it back to visit occasionally!

With the goal of getting a design role, Daryl built up his portfolio through game jams and spare time projects. After taking a Junior Designer position at MovieStarPlanet, Daryl dropped his studies to focus on leading his team, eventually releasing a number of new game features as well as their dedicated tablet app.

Now at Lohika as Lead Designer, Daryl is working on Machineers, a premium mobile puzzle adventure that encourages players to develop logical thinking and programming skills.

Daryl says of his experience of studying at UEL, “My degree allows me to develop intriguing story and characters integrated into innovative and fun games. I've also worked with sounds, designed interfaces, crafted 3D models, textures and marketing. My degree gave me a good grounding in many areas, and allowed me to specialise and focus on my interests.”

David Chaves - 2009

Community Manager & QA - Shareagift

Previous Roles:

  • Online Community Manager/Moderator, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Senior Functionality Tester, SEGA
  • Functionality & Portuguese Language Tester, SEGA

David started working at SEGA as a functionality and Portuguese language tester before he graduated from the programme. After graduation he took on a role as Senior Functionality tester with them. After SEGA he took on the role of Online community manager/moderator for SCEE.

Most recently David has taken on the role as community manager and head of QA for online company ShareAGift.

David Dunn - 2014

Front-end Survey Developer - YouGov

Using the skills I have acquired from my three years at university from studying Computer Game Development allowed me to get a job within the field of something to do with programming. The skills I was thought, ranging from programming techniques to learning about visual styles has allowed me to succeed in my role, with most if not all things thought has been transferable. For example my day to day tasks involve scripting in a python based environment with some use of html, css and javascript, my degree did not involve the use of these programming and markup languages but almost all things thought in C# and the Unity game engine has gave me the baseline to understand how softwares are structured which allowed me to adapt with ease.

Apart from my work life, I do many programming oriented hobbies in my spare time which mainly involves developing android games. One of the games I have released for the market is entitled RGB Frenzy. Please feel free to check it out.

Howard Ife - 2014

Portrait of Howard Ife

Producer - Goodcatch Games

Previous Role:

  • Junior Developer - Endemol Shine

After Graduating from Computer Games Development in 2014, I went on to secure a job at EndemolUK as a Junior Developer within the Creative Unit which involved prototyping and designing mobile/console games. The most notable game that I prototyped in this time is ‘Black & White Bushido’ which has gone on to release for Steam/Xbox One and PS4. In 2016 I became a Producer under Endemol Shine’s new games company Good Catch Games, where I produce games based on New Game IP and existing Endemol IP.

My job involves leading development teams sprints as well as making sure the Game’s vision is maintained throughout development, while ensuring the project is within time and budget. Going to UEL has been instrumental to getting into the Games Industry as I built up a solid foundation of Game Design and Game Development, but also working on projects from concepting to finished product.

Jack Fuller - 2014

 Junior Level Designer - Stick Sports (Previously:Project Assistant - Stick Sports)

After graduating from Computer Game Design, I quick ly went on to a job as Project Assistant at Stick Sports, a company known for mobile sport games such as Stick Cricket and Stick Tennis. After six months in that role, which predominantly involved t esting and prototyping games I moved on to take on the role as Junior Level Designer. As a Level Designer in the mobile games space, my m ain tasks involve creating and fleshing out the core structure of the game in design documents and pitching it to the team. Once the initial design has been defined I then work closely with the devel opment team to make sure that we’re constantly building, and if necessary iterating and improving, the original design vision. The degree, and more importantly the skills, that I acquired during my time at UEL have been invaluable. The experience I gained throughout the course has helped me adapt quickly to whatever task or challenge that I am given or take on.

Jack Massey

Portrait of Jack Massey

Junior Unity Programmer - Firefly studios

Previous Role:

  • Intern Games and Apps Mobile Developer - Endemol Shine / Goodcatch Games

Following my studies in BSc Computer Games Development in 2016, I quickly acquried a position at Endemol Shine (now known as Good Catch Games) working on multiple prototypes a week and it was a thoroughly rewarding experience, made possible by the strong links between UEL and Endemol. Following my time at this position, I used the experience and skills I gained to join Firefly Studios as a Juniour Unity Programmer  where I am currently working on Metamorph: Dungeon Creatures as the main Unity programmer.

 

I feel the skills and experiences I gained at UEL have thoroughly equipped me to take on the industry with as much enthusiasm and glee as possible.

Jerome Joseph - 2006

Home Coordinator (PlayStation Home) - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Previous roles:

  • Gaming Analyst, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • English Community Moderator, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

After graduating Jerome took up a position as a community manager at SCEE for the PlayStation online community channels. He then moved to a position as a gaming analyst and is now working as the coordinator for PlayStation Home.

Kayode Shonibare - Lewis - 2011

Lecturer - University of East London

Previous Role:

  • Games Designer - KnapNok Games

Previous Studies:

  • MSc Games Design, IT University of Copenhagen

After graduation, Kayode packed his bags and headed to Denmark to take up the MSc Games Design at the IT University of Copenhagen, where he was involved in the development of a number of innovative games design and development projects with fellow students. After finishing his MSc, Kayode took up games designer position at KnapNok games in Denmark.

Mark Gilbert

Games Designer at Stainless Games Ltd

I graduated from UEL in 2009 and went to start work in London for a social network. Since then I have worked for 4 companies on multiple platforms including PC, 3DS, PSP, PS3 and social media. First major company was Abstraction Games as a Games Designer working on multiple cross platform titles. After Abstraction Games I worked for Stainless Games in Newport Isle of Wight on Magic the Gathering Duels of the Plainswalkers 2013 and 2014 for Steam, Ipad and Xbox/Xbox One for the first 3 months, after that I worked as Games Designer on Carmageddon Reincarnation and Micro-Transaction Designer on 2 unnamed projects. I have since moved on and now work as the Monetisation and Games Designer for Jagex Games Studio in Cambridge.

Martin Fasterholdt - 2011

Games Designer - Playdead

Previous Role:

  • Flash Programmer, Hoej a/s

Previous Studies:

  • MSc Games Design, IT University of Copenhagen

After graduating from BA Computer Games Design (Story Development), Martin returned back to his native country of Denmark to take up a postgraduated degree in games design, eventually moving to a part-time student to accomodate the professional development work he was doing for Hoej a/s. He is now working as a designer for Playdead, creators of the highly acclaimed, Limbo.

Matt Glanville - 2010

Games Designer - Just Add Water

Previous Roles:

  • Games Designer, Climax
  • Level Desinger/Integrator, EA Bright Light

Side Project:

  • Developer -  Luminesca

I graduated from UEL in 2010 with a First in Computer Games Design (Story Development). My portfolio of university work and personal projects gained me a job a week later as a level designer / integrator at Bright Light, EA in Guildford, where I worked on Create (multi-platform physics puzzle game).

My responsibilities here have included design and implementation of challenges and level layouts, creation of collision meshes for the game objects and testing of early builds of the game. Much of my work involves practices I learned at UEL, including the use of industry-standard software such as 3D Studio Max, Photoshop and Unity.

I also had the opportunity to pitch one of my own game ideas to the senior staff at Bright Light, which was helped immensely by the skills I acquired during my degree."

After leaving Bright Light EA, Matt took up a games designer postion at at Climax working on the Playstation Vita title Smart As, and then began work on his own indie underwater puzzle/exploration game Luminesca, which has just been Greenlit on Steam. Most recently Matt has made the move to Leeds to work as a Games designer for Just Add Water.

Matthew Davis - 2017

QA Technician - Rockstar North

 

 

Mo Shawwa

QA Technician – Gamesys

Mo is currently working as a QA Technician for Gamesys working on their social media games.

Peter Ingham

English Language Creative Copywriter – Wargaming

After graduating with a 1st in Computer Games Design: Story Development, Peter went to work in several production studios in London. Peter currently works for Wargaming, an international MMO developer, as their English Language Creative Copywriter. The company’s critical and commercial success came after launching the MMO World of Tanks. They now have 16 offices around the world and are one of the biggest games companies in the industry.

He deals with press releases, news, interviews, speeches, articles for the company blog—anything creative both on the company and gaming side. He may write a press release in the morning, then be thinking up cool names for games, maps or vehicles in the afternoon. Every day is always different.

Previously, he worked as a freelance developmental editor for scripts and books, a games tester at SEGA, games journalist, narrative designer for mobile games, and as a creative copywriter for an IT firm. He says he has been fortunate enough to work in pretty much every digital/new media industry.

He works across all of Wargaming’s titles, from PC to mobile to console. Listing them all would take a while, so why not check out the website? Wargaming.net and Wargaming.com

Richard Hamer - 2006

 Lecturer, University of East London

Previous Roles:

  • Games Designer: New Concepts - SCEE
  • Junior Games Designer, SCEE
  • QA Tester - Electronic Arts

"After graduating from the UEL computer games course, I quickly went on to a job as a QA Tester for Electronic Arts. After a year of that I moved on to become a Designer for Sony's London Studio, working on their 'SingStar' franchise.

As a designer, my main responsibility is to take new feature concepts and flesh them out in to full design documents.

Once those designs come around to implementation I need to be there to work closely with the artists and programmers to make sure my vision for the feature comes together.

The degree I earned at UEL has been a tremendous help in my career. Trying to break in to Junior design roles in the industry, where competition is stiff and everyone is equally lacking in experience, my degree helped me to stand out from the crowd and show how commited I was to breaking in to the industry."

In 2010 Richard was included in Develop Magazine's "30 Under 30" line-up of most promising young game development talents. After leaving the SingStar team Richard took up the dream job at Sony working as a designer in New Concepts for a year and a half.

With the launch of the PS4 Richard has now joined a development team again as a designer on a new project that is being kept tightly under wraps!

Ross Townsend - 2009

Software Developer - Websure

Previous Role:

  • Junior Software Engineer, Tribeka

Previous Studies:

  • MSc, Intelligent Systems and Robotics, University of Essex

“My journey through university was a thoroughly enjoyable one; making good friends, meeting great people and most importantly learning key skills which have proved vital in my working life. David, Penda and Stacey have influenced my creativity greatly and if you have a passion for games there is no one better to help drive and direct you in the right direction. The games industry is the best and the hardest industry to work in. It is the most difficult to break into because most people want to work in games and the level of developers has to be at the highest to ensure top quality, bug free games. This coupled with the fact that once you’re in you probably don’t want to leave, makes it a worthy challenge for anyone. But if you’re willing to put in the effort and work to be the best then you’re half way there! What you lack in experience can definitely be made up with in passion and dedication. Hopefully in a few years time I’ll have enough professional experience and side projects in my portfolio to make any games company consider hiring me. I hope all reading this aspire to work in the games industry and will let their creativity flow.”

After finishing his MSc, Ross is now working as a software developer at Websure, while continuing to work on independent games development projects.

Ryan Laley - 2009

Games Lecturer - South Essex College

"After graduating from UEL, I myself went into teaching games development at various levels and ages. With it being a fresh and young course, I have overseen many changes for the better to bring a relevant and current programme of delivery as a course team leader. In what time I have to myself outside of teaching, I continue to improve my range of skills working on several personal projects and prototypes. The most recent being the development of a mod for the popular PC game Minecraft. My mod received excellent reviews from the community and I have been approached by other programmers from said community to work a larger project for the game.”

Alongside Ryan has been hard at work on an indie title he developing all by himself called Blobb; a small puzzle game for release to the mobile /tablet market. You can visit his website to view his portfolio of work and blogs at www.ryanlaley.com or follow him on twitter @ryanlaley for future developments with Blobb and other projects.

Sam Hardcastle - 2014

Level Designer - Dlala studios

After secondary school, I came to the University of East London to study game design, living at the student accommodation as I studied. Over a period of three years I was taught basic skills in using Unity 3D and 3DS max, creating design documents and learning how to pitch game ideas effectively. Most of my time was spent with my peers doing our coursework in the Ludology lab, a room made especially for students on the games course. In my final year, I created a 2D puzzle platforming game with a group of my peers known as Mana Cannon, with my role being to construct the puzzles. This game was shown to the CEO of Dlala when he visited the university. After graduating, David Dorrington helped me and two of my peers to create and produce a 2D puzzle platformer game known as Chip Shift to the mobile app store (my role being the level designer). This game was made on campus over a period of 6 weeks. I am now working as a level designer at Dlala studios and have relocated to Witham, Essex. My day to day tasks involve a variety of different things, from working on powerpoint presentations for pitches, to designing levels on paper, to crafting them in unity.

Sean Joesbury

Junior Games Designer, Gamesys Social

Previous Role:

  • QA Tester, Gamesys Social

I joined the UEL Games Design (Story Development) course as a last minute decision, abandoning the IT course I had planned to do in Scotland to move back to London and get onto this course through clearing.

I really knew this was the course for me when I was asked if I played boards games in my telephone interview.

The first year of course rapidly increased my confidence in myself and his work, something I had lost after having disappointing Scottish Higher Grades. I worked hard, gaining good fundamentals in game design, technical and creative writing and more; and enjoying myself all the while. But it was the second year when everything really came together, being surrounded by other hardworking friends on the same course and buckling down I ended up receiving a 1st for one of my modules. This was a confidence boost that I really needed, and along with other factors drove me to work even harder throughout the last two years of the course, even taking on the role of Story Co-ordinator in my years final year project, and ended up causing me to achieve a 1st Class Honours overall at the end of the course.

Also as I learned, make good friends on your course, it really helped me work harder and achieve better than I ever would have by myself, and who knows, like me it may be one of them that give your break into the industry.

I started working as a QA tester for the Social Department of Gamesys, and was promoted to Junior designer. In both positions I have found my design and documentation skills invaluable.

Sean Perkins - 2010 & Alex Drew - 2011

App and Game Designers, Hearst International Magazines

We are Sean Perkins and Alex Drew, and we studied Computer Game Design at UEL. We are currently working in-house for Hearst International Magazines as mobile game designers. At time of writing, Hearst is in the process of building a presence in the mobile gaming market based on their existing IP and their weekly magazines' puzzles; they've hired us to design a range of smartphone apps and develop an overarching mobile strategy for future development in this sector.

We come up with concepts for apps, based on existing puzzles or on new concepts of our own creation. When working with an existing puzzle, we design game modes, user interface elements and decide how players will experience our games. We use our knowledge of game design, GUI design and our understanding of coding to communicate our designs to the freelance programmers that Hearst will employ to build these apps. 

We also use our knowledge of games marketing and the way in which games are played to develop strategies for how to make apps profitable, as well as ensuring that they are played and enjoyed by as many people as possible.

The presentation skills we developed at UEL were important in getting this opportunity and continue to be important as the job continues; 
we regularly present our concepts, designs and strategies to senior members of a range of departments across the company.

Shahid Hussain - 2010

Global Incident Management - Senior Analyst - Deutche Bank

After graduating with a Games Design Degree, Shahid was recruited by Deutche Bank as s system analyst. The transferable skills developed on the programme along with the programming experience and understanding the systematic approach to develop games helped secure his position.

William Nicholls - 2010

Level Designer/3D Environment Art Director - Gears for Breakfast

Previous Role:

  • Level Designer - Beatnik Games

When Will started studying with us he had already been making games by modding the original Half Life engine and then moving on to the Source engine. At UEL he extended and polished these skills studying BA Computer Games Design (Story Development). After graduation his portfolio of work landed him a job at Beatnik Games and worked on two projects, “Plain Sight” for the PC and an unannounced iOS game.

William has recently left the company to work as a level designer for Gear for Breakfast working on its highly successfully Kickstarter funded game “A Hat in Time”, which has recently earned Greenlight status on Steam.