Hunted Cow Studios
Originally from England, Liam McDonald studied computer arts and was looking for a break in the world of gaming when he saw an opportunity at Hunted Cow studios. Liam talks about his experiences in his first games job in Scotland.
What interested you in gaming as a career?
I'd been interested in sculpture, but thought I could have a more rewarding career if I used my artistic skills in the 3D environment of video games. I chose Abertay Uni as it has a great reputation for games development and had a course specifically on Computer Arts. That focused on environment art, which is all about designing the different levels and assets in a game.
How did you hear about the Graduate Placement Programme?
Once I qualified, I started to look for a job. One day I received a letter from Abertay asking me to fill out a form about how I had been doing in terms of seeking employment. In the letter was a leaflet advertising the Talent Scotland Graduate Placement Programme, which had the open position for a 3D environment artist at Hunted Cow Studios. One of my lecturers knew the people at Hunted Cow and suggested that would be good experience for me, so I applied, and was successful.
What are you working on at Hunted Cow?
I develop 3D artwork for the games environments, anything from landscapes and trees to objects that players have to find and use. I've been working on two games. The first is Battle Dungeon for the iPhone. I have also been given a specific development project as part of the placement to refresh the levels on Hunted Cow's big web-based multi-player game project Eldevin. It's very exciting to be able to work on these projects.
How has the Graduate Placement Programme helped your career?
It's been a fantastic opportunity. I've learned so much. I like the fact that we work across different teams and I can see how everyone is synchronised in different roles to bring the game together. I've learned a lot about the business, particularly on the commercial side. I'm currently a junior artist, but after this experience I definitely want to continue to develop in this industry now to become a senior art director.
Any advice for other graduates?
I'd say to anyone interested in ScotGrad to definitely do it. It's a great way to get real 'hands-on' experience. The training week organised by the team at ScotGrad is also very useful and a great way to network.