Hutch Mentors at Abertay University
Here at Hutch we love making games, but we also love inspiring and helping the next generation of games industry professionals. This year we've become mentors for a student project that forms a major part of Abertay University’s ‘MProf’ Games development degree programme.
We provide the student team with a brief and they then have 12 weeks to prototype it. The aim is for them to run it as a professional project and then our Chief Creative Chief Creative Officer, Jonny and Art Director, Hamish meet with the students every week to see their progress and provide feedback. It's the second year that we've been a part of the programme and it's been a great way to help prep graduates for the industry. There are nine students in the team we’re working with and four teams in total. We see huge value in bringing young talent into our company, from the energy they bring to the potential for fresh thinking.
Working with Abertay University has been a great way to help foster young game professionals whether that’s for a role at Hutch or another company. We're a naturally curious company and we love prototyping so this is a fun way to watch an idea take shape. It's been really interesting to see how the academic staff run and structure their courses and work with the students to prepare them for the industry. It seems there is an important role for us to play, alongside the academic staff, in educating the next generation of game developers. Not just for an individual studio's benefit but for the industry as a whole, keeping it inspired and progressive as it grows.
Check out the screenshots below to get a glimpse of some of the games that our mentees have been working on...
Interested in working in the games industry, or know a student who might be? We asked Jonny and Hamish for their top tips.
In terms of portfolios or personal projects, I’d say be ruthless with yourself when it comes to scope. I just can’t stress this enough - quality over quantity. Really focus in on the essence/USP of any piece of demo work and make that exceptional.
In addition to this, candidates really stand out for me when they have an obvious interest in the market. The F2P mobile space is, I think, unique in its openness. Everyone has a phone, can download a company’s game (and rival games) for free and can use free market data websites to gain an understanding of what’s doing well and what isn’t.
The games industry can be seen as a relaxed place to work but it's still important to conduct your self professionally. Communicate well, be polite and make sure you turn up on time to any interviews!
As an Art Director I want to see a small well-presented portfolio of just your best work. I second what Jonny said above about quality over quantity, be ruthless! Keep your portfolio projects small and manageable and try to vary the subject matter, and research the studio you are applying to.
Keep an eye on our Linkedin page and here on the blog for upcoming opportunities for work experience or junior roles here at Hutch.
Thanks for reading!