I’ve always enjoyed games and wanted to make games however it never really seemed like a viable option until I was in sixth form. I changed which career I wanted to take a lot, from an early age you have to choose options at gcse, when I had no idea of what I wanted to do. Yet these gcse’s affect what you can do at sixth form or college and therefore what you can do at University.

Options have always narrowed down your path and closed and opened certain doors. I’d wanted to be a police officer(for moral reasons), an architect(which I carried up until I got my AS art results as I didn’t have a strong maths background), a musician, a rally car driver, and noticeably a game reviewer for ONM (official nintendo magazine) before they became online only, all before I wanted to be a games designer or programmer.

Despite this I always followed gaming news and events. My options generally took other interests particularly art and history. I am particularly interested in Modern History such as WW2. This weird mix of interests often created weird results, at gcse I told my history teacher that I would work on a Martin Luther King game, not entirely sure how that would work out…

Ultimately despite getting a computer and internet very late in my life I picked up on a lot of advanced features early on, though I didn’t even do ICT after gcse. This was because I hated it, I didn’t like doing databases and still don’t. It was only with the rise of indie games and films like Indie Game The Movie that I realised this was all possible. When I thought about what I would like to do for University I never thought of my hobby as something that could be done professionally.

Despite this I also wanted to apply to other areas for my UCAS but couldn’t tailor a personal statement to be used for them all so I settled on games. I wanted to apply for interior design and robotics as well. Therefore I applied to games courses in other places other than Lincoln University, such as Salford(which I didn’t want to go to my interview for), Bedfordshire, De Montfort, and Kingston University.

I always assumed most people knew what they wanted to do from an early age and only slightly altered that vision depending on results, for example one of my friends wanted to be a doctor but ended up doing biochemistry which is a similar field. This can’t be said for a police officer or rally driver to a game designer. However looking back on my hobbies I used to make levels at an early age in Sploder, I made powerpoint games called Internet Geek (before I even had the internet), I used RPG maker, I made weapon sheets for zelda games trying to come up with new ideas such as triple boomerangs, I used Game Maker, I made maps in Source SDK, I spent a long time in mapmaker tools in games such as TimeSplitters, and I made texture packs in Minecraft.

I can’t honestly say I’ve wanted to be in the Games Industry my entire life however looking back on it I can say there have been signs that I might have wanted to subconsciously.

So after not being able to find a work placement for next year it may put me at a disadvantage trying to find work. However multiple routes are still possible I could try and get experience after University, do Ubisoft’s graduate program, try to go independent through Steam Greenlight, do more reviews on the blog and try to become a full time games reviewer or do a masters in my course until I can find my next steps. Whatever the case I aim to continue making games for the rest of my life.

Thanks for reading,
– Tom


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