A bridge to a career in the real world of the games industry

By: September 4, 2013
Pictured are (from left): John Phelan, Dublin Business Innovation Centre; Ballyfermot College graduate  Rachael Wilson; Chris Dicker, Jam Media and Maureen Conway, Principal, Ballyfermot College Pictured are (from left): John Phelan, Dublin Business Innovation Centre; Ballyfermot College graduate Rachael Wilson; Chris Dicker, Jam Media and Maureen Conway, Principal, Ballyfermot College

A new programme, called ‘The Bridge’ has been launched to help graduates “take the step from education to developing careers in Ireland’s growing animation and games industries”.

Based in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Dublin, ‘The Bridge’ will take in 13 thirteen students from Ballyfermot College who will work with Havok, JAM Media, Brown Bag Films and Riot Games.

There is a skills shortage in the animation and games industries, with 44% of companies in these sectors saying recruitment and staffing are their main business concerns.

The graduates will work on four projects. The first was to create conceptual artwork for a JAM Media production called “Ivor’s Island”, including developing characters and sets, with a view to creating a two minute trailer. The second project involved developing a demo game and content to showcase Havok’s new Anarchy Platform, on mobile and tablet platforms. All the projects will have input from senior creative and commercial directors from each of the partner studios. Projects from BrownBag and Riot are kicking off in September.

The gaming industry in Ireland is growing. Employment in the Irish-based video games industry increased 91% since 2009 to a current estimated total of 3,344 workers and has generated revenues of €2bn since 2001.

“There is clearly a disconnect between the needs of the commercial world and the experiences of the graduates. The aim of the Bridge is to create a professional environment where animation and games graduates can demonstrate the skills they have and develop their ability to meet deadlines and work under time pressure in a real world setting,” says David O’Meara, former CEO, Havok and board member of Dublin BIC.