What Happens When A Reporter Tries Our Latest Games Design Technology?

You may have seen our Games and Visual Effects department in the news a lot recently, with courses like BSc Games Design hitting the headlines.

The Tamworth Herald recently visited Staffordshire University to try out our £110,000 motion capture studio. You can read what reporter Sam Jones thought about his visit here.

Speaking to the Tamworth Herald, Dr. Bobbie Fletcher, Head of Department for Games and Visual Effects, said that the studio “has eight cameras on a purpose-built rig, and we’ve also invested in a Cara facial motioncapture system too.

“This means that we now have the capability of motion capturing more than one individual, like fight scenes for example, and also capture the person/people’s faces.”

As reporter Sam Jones said of the studio facilities in his own words, he was “rather jealous of current and soon-to-be students who use this for their university projects”.

Staff And Students Rock Out At Annual Staffs Journalism Party

You might already know that our journalism courses at Staffordshire University are guided by staff who work closely with students in the Multi-Platform Newsroom and in front of the cameras on the TV News Set. You might also know that many of our journalism staff are still active practitioners who you can see reporting on TV, writing for newspapers and using their real-world experience to support students.

But, did you know that we are also home to a band of rock music machines?

If you were one of the hordes of Staffordshire University journalism students, past and present, who found themselves at The Underground in Hanley, you’d have been able to catch the Journalism staff and student band in a rare public appearance.

Playing a selection of favourite songs from across the decades, the band were joined by vocalists including Professor Mick Temple, Pete Leydon, Jo Goodall, Peter Brookes and (as the student football chants attested) “there’s only one” Mitch Pryce.

A fantastic (and loud!) night was had by performers and audience alike, but I wonder if the band are regretting teaching students modern journalistic techniques like how to broadcast live onto platforms such as Facebook Live now?

Search for a Star!

Staffordshire University was recently host to games design competitions Search for a Star and Rising Star, with games design students from up and down the country attending the event which included informal mentoring sessions, round table discussions, a networking lunch and talks by established industry professionals.

uinque networking oppurtunites for students with many big names in the games industry

This years speakers included Philip & Andrew Oliver, creators of the ‘Dizzy’ series of games and current founders of independent developer Radiant Worlds giving a history of games and their own personal experiences in the industry, as well as Tim Furnish of Sumo Digital Nottingham, and Liz Mercuri of popular game-engine Unity.

The event was not to be missed by those with a passion for games, giving a unique networking oppurtunity and first hand insight from games developers.

Find out more about Search for a Star by clicking here

TableTopTapOut Student Board Game Expo

In a change from what might usually be expected from a Computer Games Design portfolio of courses a strong strand of analog games design stems through the courses that focus on understanding games ‘BSc (Hons) Computer Gameplay Design and Production’ and ‘BA (Hons) Games Studies’. In the level 5 Module ‘Gameplay Applications’ students have been working on a solo board game design task – cumulating in a Board Game Expo hosted in the Henrion Gallery on April 24th.

The Board Games have been designed with the theme of ‘making something mundane fun’ and all the elements of the design and the production were left up the students, including in some cases commissioning illustration and comic design students to work on the art aspects of the games.

Themes for the games varied greatly but included cleaning kitchens, washing clothes, stocking pound shops, packing for mini breaks, selling ice creams, commuting, commuting in space and infiltrating the food chain with questionable ingredients.

Nia Wearn, the module leader said “it was fantastic event and an excellent showcase of the student’s hard work. Many of the games have been produced to a high level and it was great being in a central place in the university surrounded by people enjoying new games”.

The event was open to the public and number of local board game players came to play and feedback to the students. We were also lucky to have a representative from PlayTest UK (http://www.playtest.co.uk/) attend, giving valuable advice to the students about the validity of the students game in the current marketplace.

“We’ll be running the module again next year so anyone who wants to get involved, or suggest a theme for the students to work on please don’t hesitate to get in touch” – Nia Wearn n.h.wearn@staffs.ac.uk


Student Trip: Media City Manchester

Nearly one hundred film production students from Staffordshire University travelled to Media City in Manchester to get a special behind-the-scenes look at the amazing TV facilities at the BBC & ITV, as well as Dock 10, the biggest TV studio complex in the country, and to speak to those in positions to recruit our graduates.

Film & Media students infront of Media City UK, Manchester

This trip allowed for great experience and insight; already encouraging students to consider their careers and the value of Film/TV work experience, which will help them get that first foot in the door of a highly competitive industry.

Here’s what the students had to say about it:

“a fantastic insight into the industry…”

“lots of valuable informtion to carry into the future”

“great day!”

Victoria Lucas Recording Session

Members of Keele Women’s Choir came to our Cadman Recording Studios recently to record abstract sounds and music for a new installation piece by Sheffield-based artist Victoria Lucas, which will feature in her exhibit ‘Lay of the Land (and other such myths)’.

Keele Womens Choir, directed by Victoria Lucas

Undergraduate students were given the chance to put into practice skills aquired on our music technology courses in a real world situation, with the help of our skilled technicians.

music students helping record the session

Lucas’s piece which will include this audio will be part of a collection of the artists work being displayed at the Air Space Gallery in Hanley, with the exhibition opening on May 6th and running until June 3rd 2017.

A preview event for the exhibit is scheduled to take place from 6pm to 8pm on May 5th, and you can find out more information by clicking here.