In conversation with… Warwick Game Design Society

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University is the time in which many discover their vocational and personal ambitions. Though Law, Accounting, Banking and Finance may be among the candidates that your teachers and parents have advocated for; there is something so alluring and intriguing in the Videogames industry. Though as an industry which makes more money than Hollywood, and with Coventry being a prime location for new gaming studios, this is certainly something a Warwick student could benefit from learning about. Thanks to the Warwick Game Design Society, you can. I caught up with society President Alex Dixon to find out more.

The first thing that Alex emphasised was the society’s effort to make sure new students to Warwick didn’t feel “lost in the crowd”, as many often do when arriving at such a big university. Armed with only a laptop, any student at Warwick can fully immerse themselves within all aspects of the society, which involves weekly game design workshops, talks and good old trips to the pub. No former coding or designing skills are necessary to join in, and tutorials are offered for the first few weeks of term to help you get into the swing of things.

Actual photo of the Warwick Game Design Society at one of their Workshops, PressXtra, Ubisoft

And once you’ve got the basics sorted you’re free to let your creative juices flow with “all sorts”, according to Alex, being designed during his time at the society. From text adventures, to platformers, to artsy indie games, you are free to bring whatever creations your vivid imagination can think of to life.

With an abundance of events and opportunities that involve (shockingly) actual game design, to more casual meet-ups and trips, the Warwick Game Society has a lot to offer for new students to Warwick and returning ones alike

A part of the society for four years, and a part of the exec for nearly three, Alex draws attention to the growing “inclusivity” of the society that looks set to only improve over the coming year. Planned “game swaps”, an opportunity to examine the art, design and mechanics of your favourite games and to gain inspiration for others as they talk about theirs. The society is also going to be running termly quizzes to test the knowledge of any ‘so called’ gamer to their maximum skill level.

The face you pull when you finish a game, PressXtra, Square Enix

These new features, combined with the other weekly sessions, are topped by Alex’s personal favourite, the 48-hour competitions. At the end of the year and, most importantly, at the end of exams, members of the society compete to create the best game they can over the span of a weekend. With, according to Alex, “a really relaxed atmosphere” with a “community atmosphere” for people to get down to some serious designing. Trips to gaming conventions and events are also an occurrence, with EGX becoming something of an annual treat and the Nottingham Game Festival, ‘GameCity’, being his favourite trip.

With an abundance of events and opportunities that involve (shockingly) actual game design, to more casual meet-ups and trips, the Warwick Game Society has a lot to offer for new students to Warwick and returning ones alike. Novice to master game designers are welcome and there is a genuine focus from the exec to make sure all feel welcomed into the society. So if its gaming you’re interested in, and you’d like to make some new friends along the way, the Warwick Game Design society seems like a great place to start.

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