We founded Grads in Games to help to bridge the gap between games industry education and employment. Search for a Star and Sumo Digital Rising Star are a series of game dev challenges. Students take part in creating a game or game-ready asset to an industry written brief. They are then judged by industry professionals, which culminates in a memorable Finals Day event. Get in The Game is our university advice and careers talk. We partner with UK games studios, who assist us with presenting actionable advice, mentorship and guidance for those looking to make their career in games. The Grads in Games Awards celebrate those working hard within video games education, from studios and universities, to lecturers and students. Grads in Games provide a comprehensive package of hard-won industry insight. Find the site here.
As a founding partner of Game Dev Heroes, we look forward to annually celebrating the achievements of individuals throughout the industry. The video games sector is fantastic at bringing attention and accolades to studios and games. Game Dev Heroes extends the benefits to the creators, having their own skills and achievements celebrated more widely. We want these unsung heroes of the games industry to be able to have their contributions recognised, from brilliant developers and resourceful support staff, to inspiring management and positive role models. Nominations are reviewed by a panel of developers and games industry professionals, with shortlists released ahead of a presentation event which coincides with Develop:Brighton conference. Find the site here.
Local Area Support
A prosperous community can only be achieved when we're all working together to provide opportunities and guidance. We constantly give back to the local area through a number of methods. We participate in frequent career fairs throughout the year with the RNN Group and Thomas Rotherham College. We also participate in the annual LEAF events at Magna. We constantly welcome work experience students from local schools and colleges such as Ecclesfield School, Wales High School, Saint Puis and Saint Bernards Catholic High School. All of the students that come to us are actively mentored and work on live projects. We're active members of the BGB and Skills sub-group within Rotherham Council and both Ian Goodall and Kelly Jones are enterprise advisors within the Rotherham Area.
We always want to leverage our position and platform to do good, and we never shy away from getting involved in charity work. We sponsor several events throughout the year, including The Light Fund's quiz and golf day, which raises money for worthwhile charitable causes. We also raise awareness for conditions which our close to the heart of our team, such as Moebius Syndrome. We also get involved with charities within the industry. We have sponsored several GamesAid golf days over the last 15 years and our staff have actively engaged in charity streams independently over the years.
British Games Institute, and held at Sheffield Hallam University, GamesEd brings together leaders across the games industry and academia, tackling challenges from employability, diversity, skill diversification, apprenticeships and work placements. The conversations surrounding strategic issues of importance drive the industry forward, pushing it on the path of continued improvement. We’ve got a lot of crossover in our objectives and it’s a pleasure to support efforts to improve industry employability that recognises student talent. Aardvark Swift are a key sponsor for the event and a driving force behind the scenes as part of the steering committee. Sign up to GamesEd20 here.
UK Interactive Entertainment is the only trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry. They are a not-for-profit and represent businesses of all sizes from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers and service companies. As a proud industry partner and member of Ukie, we actively engage in their initiatives to help promote the UK game dev scene. From their Ukie Hotline, offering actionable advice to studios and developers during times of crisis, to the Video Game Ambassador program, which helps coach the next generation of the industry, we couldn't be happier to work alongside our industry peers to better the sector we all love. Find the site here.
Women in Games
Women in Games helps to promote a positive future for the video game industry, one free of gender discrimination and where equality for all ensures that opportunity is not blocked off to the few. We have a number of WIGJ Ambassadors within the business who we're incredibly proud of for their work ethic and leadership. They're valuable members of our little team. Kirsten White and Jasmin Ali are incredibly talented recruiters, who are uniquely placed to help shape the future of the games industry workforce, with events and meet-ups planned for 2020 and beyond. Find the site here.
Launched by Into Games, Side Quest is a series of lessons and game making challenges aimed at students between the ages of 13-19. These bi-weekly 'game jams' have themes set by real UK games studios. Into Games are offering free software, paper-based prototyping tools, and a community of engaged learners to get everyone involved with game making. There’s no coding knowledge required; you don't even need a super-powered, water-cooled, PC! From practical challenges set by top UK developers, to weekly livestreamed masterclasses, it’s the perfect time to learn. Find the site here.