The Games Hub, based at the Knowledge Gateway at the University of Essex, offers free studio space and access to the latest computer technology, as well as expert advice and tuition to those interested in learning more about the computer games industry.
A new year-long programme starts in October and there are 30 places available – no previous experience is necessary, just plenty of ideas and enthusiasm.
Steven Huckle, who founded and runs the programme, has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry and continues to run his own games development company, Shark Infested Custard. He uses his extensive network of contacts to bring in outside speakers to contribute both technical and business expertise to the programme.
The programme is open to anyone, from students building their first games to professionals wanting to branch out on their own – Steven Huckle, founder of Shark Infested Custard
As he explains: “The programme is open to anyone, from students building their first games to professionals wanting to branch out on their own. We provide free studio space, which they can use whenever they like, and our speakers usually come in midweek, so participants can fit the programme round their studies or day jobs.
“Last year we had a good mix of University students and people from outside, working either in teams or as individuals. Some merely wanted to learn more about building a game or app, while others see it as a future career option.”
Previous participants have enjoyed considerable success and some continue to benefit from the support of the Games Hub. Teaboy Games, who participated in the first round of the programme, are going from strength to strength. Their first game made it onto the Apple Best New Games list and they have several new games in production. Two of this year’s teams have picked up awards at recent gaming festivals.
In July, Steven will be in Uganda, preparing to set up a mini Games Hub based on the highly successful Essex model. Studio space will be provided at the Makerere University in Kampala and participants will have access to recorded footage of the expert talks being given at Essex.
The Essex programme is supported by the University of Essex, AppBox Media and numerous business sponsors. The deadline for applications for the next programme is 29th September 2017 for anyone outside the University. If you’re interested, you can apply here.