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Saint John Walker of Games Skills Council, Skillset talks to Game Careers

Saint John Walker talks to David Smith of Game Careers and Interactive Selection at the Develop Conference in Brighton. Saint is the Computer Games, Animation and Facilities Manager at Skillset, a government agency that wants to improve skills in the creative media sector. He has been brokering new animation and computer games talent at the interface of education and industry for over ten years, and joined Skillset from FDMX, the Film and Digital Media Exchange, where he was a founding member of ‘Games Eden’ (www.gameseden.org) the East of England’s games business networking organisation.

Prior to Skillset Saint finished terms as an external examiner for MA courses at the University of Wales (MA Animation) and University of Hertfordshire (MA Film and Media)and wrote numerous degree courses. Current work as of late 2010 includes a VFX skills programme for British Universities, a new Games Design postgraduate accreditation scheme, and work on the Livingstone Hope skills review with NESTA for the UK government.

His advice for those wanting to get into the games industry: “Have something made and be prepared to defend it. Its really important that you don’t go to an interview as a new entrant and say “Well, I’m planning to do this but it all went wrong.” Show prototypes, show stuff that actually works. Be your worst critic by all means, but show the interviewer that you can think in a logical way. If you are going for tech stuff, programming stuff (e.g. C++), be aware that these days the industry is looking for programmers that are creative in some way. I know that programming is creative, which is a message we have to get across as well, but also be aware of other influences. Don’t just quote the games that you love think about why they are art forms, think about why they are media, what you see at the cinema what do you read. Be more rounded in your approach. I think that’s what industry wants now a days, they don’t want people who can just play Devil May Cry or whatever, they want people who can understand other media to use them.” See the full clip here with apologies for some dodgy audio:

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