Game Not Over: The Future of Games Design

Gaming is one of the largest grossing industries in the world, totalling an incredible £2.4 billion in the UK alone in 2021. Over the last decade, it would appear that gaming has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives, with now over 3 billion people professing to be ‘Gamers’ worldwide.

At the Hugh Baird University Centre, we like to think we have our finger on the pulse of emerging trends and are at the forefront of creating interesting and exciting career paths for our students. This is no truer than when speaking about our courses in Games Design.

Our courses are perfect for anyone trying to break in to the gaming industry. The course will cover the conceptual, visual and digital development of games and will be given an industry perspective that will equip you to seek employment in the sector.

As part of the course, you will be actively encouraged to 'play', to question the nature of games/computer games and express the ideas you formulate through your personal project work. The course provides a strong visual and creative base, supported by digital modelling, set within a professional framework for the development of games concepts.

As your skills develop, you will work on individual and collaborative projects, which may include live briefs from the games industry. These projects will allow you to explore every aspect of games design and develop your own personal practice. Lectures, demonstrations, portfolio building and independent study will help to develop the necessary skills to become a successful games designer, whilst guest speakers will enhance your insight and industry knowledge. You will develop key employability skills such as communication, time management, team work, working to deadlines and meeting demand. Key industry led standards will underpin best practice and draw out portfolio skills to showcase your work.

Walking into the Games Design classroom is initially fairly daunting; lots of computers, lots of headphones and lots of technical equipment. However, the course lead, Dora Alexandrova, meets everyone with a smile and an infectiously positive nature and suddenly you can’t help but feel at ease.

Dora has been the driving force behind the course and its popularity over the last few years. Coming from a fine art background, she has been able to put her own spin on the digital art aspect of the course.

My favourite part of the course is being able to teach in small groups, which allows for the one-to-one experience with the students to enhance their abilities and strengthen their skills. I get to know my learners quickly and that bond is key to helping them be their best.

When speaking to Dora, she inferenced the amazing array of job roles that could come after the course.

The career paths are great. If students don’t go on to do a Master’s degree, they are equipped enough to become a games designer, texture artist, digital painter, character designer, 3D modeller or games tester.

This year, Dora worked hard to create a partnership with Skyhook Games, a creative production house based in Liverpool who deliver game art to companies worldwide. The partnership comes at great time for the current students, giving them real-life insight into the type of company they might work for in the future. Skyhook gave the students a live brief, which encouraged the students to think about time management when creating product for a client.

Students on the FdA and BA courses are currently preparing for the upcoming degree show taking place from the 19th-25th May in the Hugh Baird University Centre. They will be showcasing their very own game, which they have designed and built, and allowing guests and the public to come and give it a go.

Everyone is really excited for the show.

Dora added:

It’s going to be a real chance to show everyone the fantastic work the students have done and what can be achieved as part of this course.

When asked what her top tips were from prospective Games Design students, Dora said:

Enjoy what you are creating, don’t be afraid to work hard and put real effort into the work you are producing. Applying yourself properly to the course will set you up for the future.

Whichever you look at it, Gaming and therefore Game Design really does appear to be the future; and from the look of the work that is being produced by our students, its game, set and match to the Hugh Baird University Centre.

Interested in studying Games Design?

There is still time to apply for a September start. Tap here to find out more.

Student work

Tap on the links below to view footage of work by Hugh Baird University Centre Games Design students:

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