Focus on First Year of NFTS Games Design: “All The Students Work Hard, They All Have A Passion For What They Do”

The NFTS Games Design and Development MA is a two year course that aims to give students everything they need to make high-quality games across a range of styles, formats and platforms. Students graduate with a fully-funded developed game but before they complete that final project, students are put through their paces on a range of tasks to train them on the key elements of game design and development while encouraging creativity and innovation.

In this blog we focus on what the first year at NFTS has been like for Games Design MA student Poppy Parr and what her experience has been like so far on this exciting course.

What were you doing before applying and starting the NFTS Games Design MA?

Before starting the NFTS Games Design MA I was studying at Cardiff Atrium on a Game Art Degree, however it’s not necessary to have a game background for the NFTS course as they teach all aspects of Games Design. This makes it quite diverse because everyone comes from a variety of backgrounds.

“It’s not necessary to have a game background on the for the NFTS course as they teach all aspects of Games Design”

How did you hear about the course?

I heard about the NFTS from a friend at my University who wanted to do the Digital Effects MA. They told me there was also a Games Design and Development MA that I might be interested in.

I spoke to my tutors about it and what my aspirations were for the future and we decided it would be a good fit for me as it covers everything you need to know to create games yourself. Also, because I want to run my own company, I believe having a knowledge of each discipline in the Games design pipeline will be beneficial.

What has been your favourite project on the course so far?

That’s a tough decision! So far, I thoroughly enjoyed Code Camp. It was a solo project and thus I had the creative freedom to do what I wanted. Through research I noticed a lot of reviews for games online were complaints that those with physical disabilities struggle to play games that use many buttons.

Therefore, I wanted to make sure that whatever I made could be enjoyed by everyone. I decided to make an endless runner game, RunTales, with the theme of female empowerment. You play as a female warrior who has to hone her skills with just two buttons. I got a lot of positive feedback online!

Code Camp helped me to figure out where my strengths and weaknesses were as I wrote the code myself, did the artwork, the music composition and the animation. This was really helpful because it enabled me to manage my time more effectively for future projects.

Watch a playthrough of RunTales below!

How was working on the course while studying from home in lockdown?

Studying while in lockdown was not the easiest at first but our tutors were always available when needed and we would use Microsoft Teams and Zoom for tutorials. We could book in time slots with tutors to make sure we were all staying on track with our work which made it so much easier. The School also allowed us to take home the PC’s and tablets from the classroom which was a huge help to us all!

How have you found studying at the NFTS in general?

From my experience the School is incredible and I am so pleased I study here. The modules are always fun to work on, the tutors are amazing and so helpful, all the students work hard so you know whoever you are in a group with or collaborating with from a different course, they all have a passion for what they do. It shows in their work and in the attitude they bring to a project which is amazing for team morale and the overall results.

The NFTS Games course welcomes students from a range of backgrounds – all you need is a passion for games, a creative spark and a willingness to learn new skills. There is also the opportunity to receive funding to help you take this course.

If you’re interested in creating your own games or running your own games company like Poppy visit to apply and #StandOutwithNFTS.

Check out NFTS Head of Games at EGX Digital 2020 
discussing the benefits of getting a degree in Games Design to support your career!