Screen shot running of computer game project

Computing project exhibition 2023: Andrew Lucas, Digital Games Development BSc(Hons)

I genuinely believe that the placement year and the learnings I have been able to make through my university modules have all combined to create a step-change in my expertise, motivation, self-discipline and positive attitude towards the future.
This has already translated to the fact that I have been fortunate to secure a place on a graduate programme.

Please tell us a bit about your project

The final year project focuses on some of the frustrations with savepoints, checkpoints and death in a video game. I chose this topic because I believe many video games take a different approach to these three features, so much so that I often lost interest in the game. I decided to work on a research paper to look at possible solutions and hopefully find a better approach and ultimately improve the user experience.

I decided to focus on picking my supervisor very early in the schedule and looking back I think this was the best decision I could have made. Regular meetings and discussions with him have been instrumental in guiding me in the right direction, especially with planning, meeting deadlines and technical guidance.

The facilities at the university have also been very helpful, especially in supporting me with access to the extensive amount of research I needed to do. I was also able to access fellow students to support me in various stages of the testing – both were invaluable in helping me create the result.

How have you found your course and your time at Brighton?

The course I selected was exactly the right one for me and Brighton as a city was very comfortable, fresh sea air and low pollution, probably made easier in my situation since I attended a boarding school close to Brighton and was therefore already comfortable with the area.

Although I obviously cannot compare to other universities, but the lecturers I have been fortunate to work with have been superb, highly competent in their fields, very supportive and probably most importantly always available, even at short notice – I don’t think I could have asked for more in this regard.

The university does have excellent resources, especially research materials. To be honest, COVID had a major impact on my studies, especially in my second year, which was a struggle, and I probably missed out on even more access to the available resources, not just for studying but the excellent social programs that are normally available.

This course combines all possible elements of game development, but with the added value of other more wide-ranging applications – handling software, research, testing, design, creative thinking, planning, presentation skills, time management. With an interest in gaming coupled with an interest in wider applications, would make this an ideal course for that type of person.

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study a computing degree and why Brighton?

For as long as I can remember I have had a strong passion for technology and games. With a desire to learn as much as I could, I was determined to find a course more related to the technical aspects of game creation and development and Brighton had exactly the course I wanted.

Having spent a large part of my school life in Shanghai in China, I came to West Sussex to attend boarding school for my A-Levels – this was a major upheaval in my life, and it was quite a challenge to adjust.

I had hoped to attend the University of Brighton for several reasons, its good reputation, especially my particular School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering, it was an area of the UK that I had grown to feel comfortable with, the university campus was very convenient, as was local transportation, and the city had relatively easy access to London.

What have been the highlights of your course?

Unfortunately, COVID interrupted a major part of my early years at Brighton which I can only say was just bad luck. Despite that hiccup, there are two major highlights from my course, the year three placement that the university helped me to secure and every aspect of my final year.

The placement gave me amazing opportunities and was so highly motivating. The exposure and experience I gained thanks to the university’s introduction will stay with me forever I feel – memorable, valuable and I believe changed my character and personality for the better.

As for my final year, I have five projects to work on and every single one of them has been both interesting and rich in learning, in every case with truly engaged and supportive tutors and supervisors. The workload is high, that is true, but I feel I have been incredibly motivated and focused on doing my best.

How was your placement year?

The placement was a “game changer”. I worked at a local company called GBvi as a Student Software Engineer for just over one year. This was a position introduced to me by the university.

The exposure and highly valuable and practical experience they gave me will never be forgotten and has made a significant impact on my work ethic and my ambition in life, this is aside from the fact that everyone was so supportive and kind to me.  I had multiple opportunities to experience a variety of aspects of the company’s business with real added value tasks, so much more valuable than some other minor placement experiences some of my friends have shared with me.

I was also very fortunate to be part of the exhibitor team at an exhibition in Orlando, representing the company, developed a C#, WPF based application for the end user, and had many chances to improve my coding skills with real projects.

There are not enough words to express my gratitude and feeling towards GBvi.

What are your plans after graduation?

I genuinely believe that that the placement year and the learnings I have been able to make through my university modules – not just academic but about myself too – have all combined to create a step-change in my expertise, my motivation, my self-discipline and my positive attitude towards the future.

This has already translated to the fact that I have been fortunate to secure a place on a graduate programme with a very significant and large technology corporation. I am thrilled about this opportunity, and grateful that they seem to have seen value in me being part of their team.

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