Inside the games community at Ravensbourne

BSc Games Programming
Publication date:

Second year BA (Hons) Games Development student, Bradley shares what it is like to be part of the gaming community at Ravensbourne. From collaborating with peers to building your own confidence and expertise, he paints a colourful picture of university life on the course.

Welcome to Ravensbourne's BA (Hons) Games Development course. You’ve just made one of the biggest decisions of your life. I can understand that your nerves are probably running wild right now, but I hope that this blog post can alleviate some of the worries you may have about joining the BA (Hons) Games Development course at Ravensbourne.

Just to give you some context... who am I? I’m Bradley, a first year BA (Hons) Game Development Student who is now heading into year two. I’ve been through all the highs and lows of going through the first year at Ravensbourne. I’ve also experienced what you are probably going through right now.

In the few months before you start the course, while I'm sure you feel excited, it is normal to feel nervous at the same time. I’ve written this blog post to give you a taste of what the course offers and to give you more of an idea of how the Game Lab works at Ravensbourne.

What to expect?

So, what can you expect from 'Rave Games', (as we affectionately call it) when you join us in September? Well, things have been quite different the past year and a half because of the Covid-19 pandemic and a large proportion of our learning has been online. 

Although this bought many challenges, we were able to work through it. We have our own 'Discord Channel' where we have been able to stay connected with our peers throughout the pandemic  – I'm sure you will find this very useful too. 

We also have constant access to the Games Development tutors who are always around the help you with any issues that you might have, as well as if you just want a general discussion. The Discord Channel is also an excellent way to have in-depth games discussions, share your work and stay in touch with your cohort. Even though we haven’t been able to gain access to the building for large periods of time during the pandemic, the sense of community on our course is so strong. You’ll always feel you are part of something.

Inside the games lab

So you’ll probably be asking yourself, “What is it actually like to be inside the games lab at Ravensbourne?”. Well, to start with we have two main sections:

The teaching space

On one side of the room, you'll find the teaching area, where you'll have many of your lecturers. All of the course computers are here too. This side of the room has a strict rule that you’ll need to remember… no eating or drinking.

The open space

Then, on the other side of the room, we have more open space where you can do what you like. This side is a very free space that’s great for everyone to communicate in. Here you we often have gaming sessions and friendly tournaments during our lunch breaks. You just need to ask permission from Nick or any other member of the BA (Hons) Games Development staff and you can grab whatever game or console you want to use. 

We also have lessons on this side of the room, because we share the computers on the other side of the room with the BA (Hons) Animation students. So that's why it is important to have your laptop on you. 

Working in an open space like this can be really beneficial. Especially if we are doing more 'physical' based work such as making paper prototypes for any of your games.

Whichever side of the games lab you are on, I'm sure you will always feel a great sense of community as soon as you walk into the room. Another thing worth mentioning about the lab is that we are closed off from the rest of the university. Where everywhere else is totally open plan, we are more closed off – which is great for those who struggle with the bustling noise that the university brings with it. 

What is the course itself like?

As for the course itself, you’ll probably be wondering: “What is it like?”, “What will it be like during my first term?”.

So, generally speaking, the course starts off with you learning the very basics and as your first year progresses, your skill-set will develop naturally.

You might find that the things you are taught early on in the year quite familiar – but don't be fooled. This course is not a walk in the park. It can be a tough course, particularly as you progress past the first terms. But if you have a passion for games development, then you will shine through. 

I think it’s fair to say that whatever you put into this course, you will get even more back. Though I think if you really want to be a great games developer, then you will naturally put the time and effort into it.

I understand that learning and working during your first term will be a challenge. It’s going to be important that you learn to self-motivate yourself. But don't panic, if you are having any trouble with lessons, work, or anything else, then you can talk to one of the tutors or seek support from your cohort. 

I think it is very important that we make sure that we are all supporting each other - don’t ever be afraid to approach any of us, we’ll always be around to help.

Find out more about the BA (Hons) Games Development course.