Guest post: Toby Leheup – Student at Kent

Toby Leheup is a 1st year student at the University of Kent. Toby attended an open day at Criterion Games, and has kindly sent us a write-up of his day.

“The idea of the open day was to get a feel for the Video Games industry, find out how the games are made, the different jobs that are available in the studio and what kind of tasks each of those roles entail. There were 30 attendees and the vast majority were first year Undergraduates. Firstly, we had to deal with the privacy forms as we could have seen or talked about new Intellectual Property that Criterion may not want to be available to competitors.

A representative from Criterion spoke about the company history and some of the games they had produced. We then went on a tour of the studio and spoke to some of the artists, designers, operators, testers and developers at Criterion. We could then spend a bit more time with 2 out of 3 departments; design, art and development. These talks were generally Q&A sessions and were really interesting and informative.

After lunch, we were told that we had to get into groups and produce a Low-Fi game on paper and present this to senior staff, including 2 directors, of Criterion. The winner of the presentations would get a prize. In the groups, we produced a game by talking about concept, art, gameplay, mechanics, audio, business model and design. The presentations all went very well. The winners of the competition were given 2 EA games of their choice from a small range. All attendees were given gifts at the end including Need for Speed: Most Wanted – a game which Criterion published at the end of last year.

The open day has got me hugely excited about the games industry and I feel has given me a competitive edge on my CV. I also feel like I know exactly what I want to do and how I am going to do it. The careers advice from the programmers and senior staff was totally invaluable. In the next 2 weeks, Criterion will select 5 or 6 people from the Open Day who will get to do one week of Work Experience in August 2013 on their latest, unreleased title.”

Thanks Toby, that sounds like a fantastic experience! Do you have a story you’d like to feature on our blog? Get in touch!

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