Platform Expos Debate


Lindsay West counts off the good stuff, while the panel prepare for the debate.

Three good reasons to live in Hull.

  1. The University of Hull (of course)
  2. Chip spice.
  3. Platform Expos.

The first two are pretty much self evident. (Although the second one only really makes sense once you’ve had some fast food locally). If you’ve not heard of Platform Expos, they are the folks that run digital events to promote Hull. The last Three Thing Game competition took place during Platform Expo 2012 on the University campus. Recently there was also Platform Doha, a very successful event at Qatar University.

And today there was the first Platform Debate, themed on how to break into the games industry. We had a roster of speakers including Jon Purdy, ex Hull and now University of Bradford, Simon Iwaniszak ex RockStar and now of Red Kite Games and Paul Rayment, the PR Manager at Dubit who put together interactive games for BBC Enterprises among other customers. The discussion was led by Jamie Sefton of Game Republic, with Lindsay West doing the introductions. There was some very interesting discussion of how to get into the games industry. Some topics that emerged.

  • A good portfolio (collection of things you’ve done) is crucial. And it should be content that goes beyond your coursework.
  • If you send your portfolio anywhere, pay attention to presentation and delivery. Make sure it is properly addressed to the person in the company you are pitching to and make sure it is a well presented disk, in a case, with a properly printed label. It all helps to build your brand.
  • An on-line presence is useful, but make sure you keep it up to date. Nothing looks worse than stuff that has obviously not been touched for years.
  • Networking is hard but crucial. Going up to someone you’ve never met before and giving them your business card is really difficult (especially for a computer scientist). But you must do this. You will feel very stupid the first few times you do it, but it gets easier. And it gets you work.
  • Conferences are useful, but you don’t have pay the huge entry fees to meet up with those in the business. You can often meet up with the movers and shakers just by dropping into the right hotel bar when the conference is in full swing.
  • The business is going places. Things are in a state of flux, studios come and go, but there is still a need for people who can do this stuff. And it is still fun.

And so, after a couple of hours of high quality discussion we reached the end and I had to whizz off to the dentist….