We’re all hugely looking forward to this upcoming year and Grads In Games is already absolutely stacked with exciting new things! As part of our recent relaunch as an independent not-for-profit company, we’ve taken a good look at all that we do and created a set of new goals plus a definitive core project list for the 2021/22 academic year.
So, what are our objectives for the year? How are we going to achieve them? Are we really doing all those things!?
Yep! Here’s what we’ve got lined up!
Our Goals for the 2021/22 Academic Year
Educate 6000 young people on how to improve their employability for a games industry role.
This has always been at the core of what we do at Grads In Games – providing students and young people the knowledge and information they need to help them get a job in the games industry. This will be achieved largely through our Get In the Game careers events, our Grads In Games Student Conference, and through attendees at live events including the Search For A Star finals day.
Provide and promote opportunities for 2000 students at both higher and further education to directly link with professionals in the games industry.
We always want to create more direct links between students and studios, helping people to get professional feedback, get their work seen by those in industry, and ultimately make more connections that will help them to get a job in games. Through our Search For A Star and Rising Star gamedev challenges we can achieve this for many people, and with our new Career Connector and careers fair events we can help even more people get feedback and build contacts directly with games studios.
Enable 500 industry professionals & games academics to collaborate through our projects.
Grads In Games don’t just focus on helping students. The entire infrastructure around games and education is also of huge importance to us, and so our third goal is about building the connections and collaborations between academia and industry. We have always created opportunities for academics and developers to learn from each other to help improve games education and we will continue to drive this forward with new projects including our Games Academic Network.
In addition to these three core goals for the next academic year, we’ll also be focusing on data research into the short- and long-term impact of the Grads In Games initiative as a whole.
Since the beginning it has been our aim to help more people get jobs in the games industry, though with our new direction we don’t currently have enough data to put a figure on a formal goal for 21/22. We can show that over 33% of Search For A Star entrants over the years have got jobs in the games industry, which is a massive achievement already. We’re looking forward to showing just how much the impact of Grads In Games is.
We’ve mentioned a few of them above, so now we’ll take a look at the projects and activities that we’ll be running in 2021/22 to achieve these goals.
GiG Projects for 2021/22
Search For A Star + Rising Star
November – April
Our flagship project and something that most people who know GiG will already be very familiar with. The Search For A Star and Rising Star game development challenges provide students with a studio brief and a production framework to create a portfolio-ready solo project over a six week period.
Games programmers are given a basic prototype and must develop it into a fully-featured playable game, artists must create either a character or set of environment assets, and animators and VFX artists must create a game-ready sequence.
The Search For A Star challenge tier provides opportunities for final-year students to not only create these projects for their portfolio, but to get their work seen and assessed by industry professionals. The Rising Star tier provides the same, but for FE and undergraduate students not yet in their final year. Both tiers culminate in our annual SFAS Finals Day event, where the most promising students are invited to interview with a panel of industry professionals from leading games studios.
Registrations for Search For A Star and Rising Star 2022 will be opening on 1st October 2021. Sign up to our mailing list to stay informed of all upcoming GiG events!
Get In The Game Careers Events
October – December
The other thing you probably already know us for! Every year we run a series of careers talks with Q&A sessions for universities across the UK and Europe. These talks are attended by thousands of students in total and cover the practical skills you need to get your first role in games, along with valuable advice on building a great CV and portfolio for the industry.
All of our advice is direct from our own conversations and research with games studios, and all the talks feature a guest speaker from the games industry to give their own perspective on starting a career in games.
We’ll be announcing this year’s events listing shortly! Sign up to our mailing list to stay informed of all upcoming GiG events!
Get In The Game Video Resource Library
Complementing our Get In the Game Careers Events, we also have an ever-growing library of advice and content both from the Grads In Games team and from games professionals across the industry.
Covering a wide range of information and topics across different game development disciplines, browsing through the library is a great way of learning a lot about how to get a job in games!
This is an ongoing project that was initially trialed last year, and will see a lot of revisions and updating over the coming year as we bring the content more in line with the new Grads In Games.
Grads In Games Student Conference
Our online student conference will be returning again next summer! After the huge success of the first event held during Games Careers Week, we look forward to bringing it back better than ever, packed with expert speakers giving students insight into games industry careers!
Sign up to our mailing list to stay informed of all upcoming GiG events!
University Open Days
After piloting our first Open Day back in March, we’re bringing them back as a regular fixture on the Grads In Games calendar. This is an opportunity for FE and high-school students to learn more about their options for games education and hear from leading universities, and also for undergraduates to help decide on postgraduate courses – all in one place and without having to travel across the country!
Our next University Open Day is taking place on the 2nd October and you can sign up here
Also piloted back during Games Careers Week, our online Career Connector will be returning as a regular event at multiple points during the academic year. Career Connector goes a step further than regular careers fairs, with a dedicated meet & match system that allows students and studios to connect and have meetings based on what each is looking for.
If you’re a game designer looking for an internship then Career Connector will match you up with a studio looking for design interns! You’re a C++ programmer looking for your first role? We’ll match you up with studios currently hiring C++ programmers! This dedicated service helps people to make more meaningful connections & actually talk directly to the people they should be talking to.
Career Connector also includes all the regular careers fair features, including open rooms for you to chat with developers and hiring teams about their studios and career options, plus talks and presentations from the studios themselves.
Our next Career Connector event will take place in December. Sign up to our mailing list to stay informed of all upcoming GiG events!
Our next online Careers Fair will take place on 14th September as part of the Women In Games Festival and you can sign up here
Games Academic Network
Our recently launched Games Academic Network is a new way of enabling academics, tutors and lecturers from across games education at both FE and HE levels to interact and share knowledge.
Each month, GiG arrange for a guest speaker from industry to join GAN for a Q&A session, where they can introduce their studio and speak to GAN about graduate and entry-level hiring. These sessions include discussions on just what exactly the games industry is looking for from hires and the difficulties faced in finding the right people. It’s an excellent way to link up industry and academia, a chance for educators to get a better perspective on what studios need, and allows studios to learn more about current games education.
If you work in games education and would like to join the Games Academic Network, sign up information can be found here
New ways to get involved
As introduced with our relaunch, we’ve also introduced some new ways for people to get involved with our Grads In Games activities!
Current students can now sign up as Student Ambassadors to help promote GiG activities on campus in exchange for dedicated one-to-one careers support from us.
Games industry professionals can sign up as Industry Advocates, supporting GiG as our go-to team of gamedev experts to support and guide the next generation of the industry.
Universities and colleges can now become a Grads In Games Pledge Partner, showing their dedication to improving games education and supporting the employability of their students, with support and guidance from the GiG team
In addition to all of the above key projects, we’ll also be taking part in other activities, events and conferences throughout the year, so keep an eye on our Twitter and LinkedIn for info or sign up to our mailing list.