Ashley Thundercliffe, BA (Hons) Computer Games Modelling and Animation, 2014

What are you doing now?

After University I was approached by someone at Rockstar Games advising me to apply for a position and I’ve now been at Rockstar Leeds for almost two years. I started out as an Art Development Assistant supporting other artists with optimisation and small structure and terrain creation tasks.

I then got promoted to a Technical Content Artist position which involved more responsibilities not only doing the work I had done previously but also managing members of the outsource team and moving onto larger tasks within the project.

What were the main reasons you took that course?

After visiting various other universities, the University of Derby stood out to me for a number of reasons. The main reason being the facilities. The computer labs were set out like a studio which was different to other universities. It felt more like an actual game development studio than a classroom. They had character stands placed around the room showcasing previous work and how the students develop over the three years, from having no experience at all to being successful environment artists.

I was also really impressed by the sports facilities and friendliness of everyone which was brilliant. Derby had a nice atmosphere and I knew I would fit in well.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

Choosing this course has given me great contacts which have helped shape my future. The course was tailored to support our career ambitions and we had the freedom to specialise in what we wanted to, both in a team and individually.

What are your future plans?

In the future I hope to move higher up the ladder in the games industry. Moving on from the technical content artist position I hope to be moved up to a full environment artist by the end of the year and then continuously progressing my skills to eventually achieve a lead artist or art director role.

"The University of Derby stood out to me for a number of reasons. The main reason being the facilities."

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

This course will help set you up and develop you for the career you want.

Each year the course is changing and improving dramatically. I have visited twice since leaving and each year the course has been tailored and improved more and more (I am quite envious!).

Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?

I am still in touch the old course leader, Jon Pledger. He’s now moved on to Falmouth University in which I visited as a guest lecturer. I still regually keep in touch with the current course leader, Rob. As well as ex-students, one who now lives in Iceland which I am going to visit soon.

"I was really impressed by the sports facilities and friendliness of everyone which was brilliant. Derby had a nice atmosphere and I knew I would fit in well." Ashley Thundercliffe