In the current job climate, having concrete practical experience is almost a necessity when it comes to finding first time employment within the games industry, especially amongst graduate students. By helping me get my first game credit the Octopus 8 project has drastically boosted my chance of getting into my dream job and, through the applications I have already completed, I have already seen that it’s made me more desirable to employers. Aside from this the project was a rewarding experience which taught me new skills, polished old ones and solidified my desire to work in the games industry - reminding me of the whole reason I went to university in the first place. Not only is the Octopus 8 project a huge selling point for the Games Design course specifically but it also greatly reflects Brunel University’s drive to keep close links within industry, helping the university as a whole.
The Octopus 8 Summer Project let me grow and develop as both a student of Games Design and as a young professional, rapidly approaching graduation and the world of work beyond. In the time since the project ended I have begun completing a small number of tentative job applications for game companies around London and there have been times while doing this that I have felt intimidated, out of my depth, too young and generally not good enough for the jobs that I desire. It is during these moments of fear and apprehension that I think back to the project and what I achieved within a setting which was safe but also real: am I qualified to apply for designer jobs within real, actual games design companies? am I qualified to work on games which people will actually be able to buy and play? am I a good, talented or competent enough designer to compete within professional environments? These are the sorts of questions which worry students applying for their first jobs and, within an industry which values hard experience so highly, the Octopus 8 Summer Project shows me that the answer to the above questions is yes, providing me with the confidence I need to pursue the future that I want from my degree and which I entered the university experience to pursue.
The Octopus 8 summer project is one of the greatest opportunities I have ever taken part in. Every aspect, from the application stages to the pitches, roles and time restraints, offered invaluable lessons and allowed me to experience working in a small group within the games industry. It provided a bridge between university education and being part of a company. It required me to work consistently on a project for a set period of time, communicate with group members and come to compromises, think critically and evaluate regularly, but most importantly, to work on something I wanted to work on. Octopus 8 encouraged us to think creatively but realistically about a game design and gave us the chance to bring an idea we chose, after pitching various times, to life. Although it only lasted 3 months, the experience truly gave me an insight to industry expectations, standards, difficulties and excitement in the whole process of game design from concept to release.
Katijah Wellings Thomas
The Octopus 8 project has been invaluable to anyone who participated in it. it has helped me learn how to work in a team and be part of a company. It has helped me develop a work ethic that not many other internships or placements could achieve. While I've applying to jobs in the industry, they are always particularly interested in this project and it gives me a huge advantage compared to other undergraduate students. This was such an important and helpful opportunity for me that has increased my chances of getting into the industry immensely.
The O8 project was extremely valuable to everyone who was involved, it has provided us with rare work experience that we needed to progress in our careers and studies. At the end of the project students will get to release a game, a finished product will only help students enhance their chances of getting a job. Throughout our studies we have learned different skills and it was a chance to use it in a work setting, and that helped us improve what we were good at, discover what we want to do in the industry, as well as work on our weaknesses. I feel lucky that I have been given this opportunity, there are no other universities that would have provided a similar feat; it should be added as a primary feature to the course as it will attract more students. Every time I talk about the course with the new students, I recommend the O8 project and highly advise them to not miss out! And nor should the university.