Posted: Sun 29th May 2022

Wrexham students gain insight into gaming industry from leading companies for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Sunday, May 29th, 2022

A top gaming industry insider event hosted by Wrexham Glyndwr saw former students return to share their success stories and top tips. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Celebrating its ninth year, the annual Level Up conference is one of the most popular gaming conference’s in Wales, and was held at the University’s Nick Whitehead Lecture Theatre and Creative Industries Building. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This year’s event welcomed the visit of a number of keynote speakers from big names in the industry, all of whom had graduated from Glyndwr. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Richard Hebblewhite, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Game Development, Game Design & Enterprise and Game Art, said this year’s Level Up was particularly special for current students who were able to gain advice from previous graduates and learn about their successes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Level Up is a speaker led event where we have guests from the industry providing insights into what they do, how they do it and inspire
students to go into the industry”, he said. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We always end the day with a panel led FAQ where students get a chance to ask about portfolio’s, CV’s, interviews, do’s and don’ts. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Over the years it has built up into a major event with big guest speakers from leading companies every single year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This year was an alumni special where all our guest speakers were graduates from our course – now working for SEGA, TT Games, CubeCraft, and a couple of regional games studios founded by students from the university – every single speaker was a graduate. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our games course has been running for a long time now so our pool of graduates is really big and it’s good to see so many returning and giving something back. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The keynote speaker was Karl Spurgin, a Gameplay Programmer at TT Games, and he talked about his work on the recent LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, about the production process of that game, how the programming was done behind it and some other insights.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We also heard from another graduate about his journey to SEGA. He talked about how he got his place on the course as when he came to us he didn’t have any qualifications at all, but he did our Games degree and now he’s UI Technical Artist at SEGA.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Richard added: “There were other small companies involved spawned by students while they were on our course such as Evil Owl Studios, taking about how we helped them to launch their company and the business they are now doing in San Francisco. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We then had an after party in the Creative Industries Building with retro games consoles, and the chance to chat and ask more questions.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Preparations are already underway for the next conference which will mark the 10th anniversary of the event, and see Level Up return to its traditional October slot. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Richard says he is working towards securing some big name guests and plans to make sure the event bigger than ever. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He added: “It’s only a few months away but we’re already building up towards it and looking to get some big-hitters involved so watch this space.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

More information about the BSc (Hons) Computer Game Design & Enterprise course, can be found here ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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