Gaming students find their perfect placement

Four Computing students have achieved their dreams of running their own business whilst on placement year, gaining valuable and unique experience of the industry.

Being the boss

Martyna Tomaszewska, David Phoenix, Will Brown and Will Kitchen founded Not A Goose Games after working together on the Applied Game Art Production (AGAP) module in their second year of studying BA (Hons) Computer Games Modelling and Animation. They successfully completed a polished, playable game - which their lecturers and classmates enjoyed. Now they plan to release a full game, Cheftastic!: Buffet Blast, in early 2022.

David says: “After just two years on the course, I am currently attending meetings with game publishers and business advisers while working three days a week to develop a project that we as a group are greatly passionate about. Every week is overwhelmingly rewarding with new experiences and interesting new challenges that are pushing me to new heights, academically and personally.”

The quartet were helped in setting up their games studio by the University of Derby's award-winning Be the Boss programme. We offer enterprise support to students and graduates of the University who have ambitions to become self-employed.

Will Kitchen explains: “The Be The Boss programme was offered to us through our lecturers after our success in the AGAP module. Although I had a dream goal of starting a company, I never thought I would get to this point so early on in my career path. But, through the University, they pushed me to achieve these goals.”

Three male and one female student stood together in a computer room
Will Brown, Will Kitchen, David Phoenix, Martyna Tomaszewska

Skills and confidence

All the students credit the course and the University for giving them the skills and confidence to be able to start their business during their placement year.

“Computer Games Modelling and Animation at the University of Derby is a fantastic course that is welcoming for anyone whether you are just starting off working with game art or if you have been practising it for many years.” says David.

“The course has fantastic introductory modules that are easy to grasp but also have plenty of room to push yourself and find new challenges if you are looking for something a little more. The module content is thorough and exactly what you need to take your art to an industry-standard level and the lecturers are incredibly friendly and easy to talk to. I wouldn’t have chosen anywhere else.”

A camp site in a computer game
A carrot and a tomato in a computer game
A swamp in a computer game

Expert teaching

Will Brown adds that the experience, skill and talent of the lecturers were fundamental to his development as a computer games artist. He says: “Ant Gregory, Roisin Hunt and Ben Thomas are all fantastic people and extremely talented artists who are more than happy to help students of all skill levels progress beyond their current ability. I would highly recommend choosing the University of Derby for CGMA.”

And Martyna is delighted with her personal development both inside and outside the University. She says: “My biggest success study-wise is obtaining a Dean’s Award for academic achievements. My biggest success career-wise is launching an independent computer games company alongside my classmates and creating an actual game ready for shipping.”