Fu­ture­works School of Me­dia

A state-of-the-art me­dia school that cov­ers all as­pects of the in­dus­try

EDGE - - GET INTO GAMES - KEN LAU Head of Games Depart­ment, Fu­ture­works www.fu­ture­works.co.uk

“ALL OF OUR COURSE TU­TORS HAVE BEEN IN­DUS­TRY AC­TIVE, AND HAVE WORKED IN MANY OF THE UK’S MA­JOR STU­DIOS”

Manch­ester’s Fu­ture­works School of Me­dia is housed in a be­spoke build­ing fit­ted with in­dus­try-stan­dard, state-of-the-art stu­dios and equip­ment across a range of me­dia spe­cial­i­ties. Its game tu­tors have all worked in the in­dus­try, and many are still ac­tive – Ben Hill, for ex­am­ple, co-founded Ether

One stu­dio White Paper Games. We speak to Ken Lau, head of Fu­ture­works’ games depart­ment, about its close in­volve­ment with the videogame in­dus­try. You have a wide range of game-re­lated cour­ses – what’s on of­fer? We of­fer game cour­ses from foun­da­tion level up to un­der­grad­u­ate de­grees and be­yond, and we cover the full spec­trum of game dis­ci­plines in­clud­ing de­sign, art, au­dio, pro­gram­ming, pro­duc­tion and an­i­ma­tion. Our six cour­ses range from flex­i­ble part-time train­ing cour­ses to tra­di­tional three-year de­grees, and in­clude a Foun­da­tion in Game Art, Di­ploma in Game De­vel­op­ment, Di­ploma in Game Au­dio, BA (Hons) Games De­sign, BA (Hons) Game Art and BA (Hons) Dig­i­tal An­i­ma­tion with Il­lus­tra­tion. At 83 per cent, your em­ploy­ment rate is high – what do you think is re­spon­si­ble for that per­for­mance? In 2008 we launched our first game course, seek­ing ad­vice from the in­dus­try to find out what they needed from grad­u­ates, and since then, all of our tu­tors have been in­dus­try ac­tive, and have worked in many of the UK’s ma­jor games stu­dios in var­i­ous roles. A year af­ter we launched, we in­cu­bated a small in-house in­die startup, which was great be­cause it gave our stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve pro­fes­sion­als in ac­tion on cam­pus. And we’re very ac­tive in in­dus­try events, of­ten as guest speak­ers, and you’ll find us net­work­ing and show­cas­ing staff and stu­dent work all over the UK – some of our tu­tors even have their own de­vel­op­ment stu­dios. Fu­ture­works also teaches other me­dia cour­ses, such as film and TV. Do game stu­dents ben­e­fit from this? Ev­ery Fu­ture­works course is de­liv­ered by in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, and our team has been in­volved in a huge amount of commercial re­leases in­clud­ing fea­ture films, videogames and al­bums, with sales in the mil­lions. This has built strong links with the in­dus­try, which has led to some great guest lec­tures – and our stu­dent no­tice­boards are over­flow­ing with op­por­tu­ni­ties for work ex­pe­ri­ence. Fu­ture­works has some of the best equip­ment in me­dia ed­u­ca­tion in the UK. Some tu­tors have their own stu­dios – how does that af­fect stu­dents’ am­bi­tions? Many of our stu­dents have formed their own in­die star­tups while oth­ers have gone on to work for ma­jor play­ers such as Sony, Warner Bros, Chillingo, Hello Games and Matmi. Stu­dents to­day have dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tions and are typ­i­cally bet­ter in­formed about the game in­dus­try when they ar­rive at Fu­ture­works – in large part due to the great work done by de­vel­op­ers such as Mo­jang and Rovio.

Fu­ture­works is housed in a pur­pose-built build­ing, de­signed and fit­ted from scratch, and boasts state-ofthe-art stu­dios and high-spec pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, with cour­ses de­liv­ered by ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als

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