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James Kilkenny at Computer

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into the world of gaming?

I played video games as a kid and I’ve always loved gaming. In college I did a BSC and took a few electives in computer science but after studying biology, I found myself naturally gravitating back to the world of gaming so I did a course in games development.

But it was only in the last few years when the indie market started to grow and produce high quality games that working in this industry really became a viable option career-wise. Once that started to happen, I thought why not?… It’s been a natural progression and I’ve found myself in video games development for over 5 years now.

 

What can a student expect from the course?

At Pulse, we try to cover the entire pipeline of game development. We’re very passionate about exposing the students to as much of the video game development process as possible.

The course is for anyone looking to get into the video game industry – whether that’s programming or 3d or 2d art. It’s for people who know exactly what area they want to go into…. and for those who would like to get a flavour of the different career options and aren’t 100% sure right now where they might fit in. That’s the great thing about the course – it really gives a flavour of all the different toles in this business – the student can discover what they are passionate about.

 

It’s a practical course, right?

We’re very targeted on teaching practical technical skills. It’s what the industry requires. While we do cover a bit of theory… all are classrooms are lab-based – with each student sitting in front of their own computer. The lecturer in this case is not even really lecturing, they are really facilitating each student to produce their own specific projects, with the support of the expertise of the lecturer.

Any tips for job-hunting?

Ideally start job-hunting before graduation. We are introducing an internship programme for students actually, for example, we currently have a team of second years working with primary schools developing educational games. This builds real-world technical experience that will set you apart from other graduates… It’s getting those bits of experience on your CV that can make the difference.

 

How would you describe the industry in Ireland?

It’s growing very fast and this has been the case for the last number of years. We’ve seen large independent groups like Black Shamrock along with the larger international companies such as EA and Riot base themselves here. Overall, the industry is really strong here in Ireland and I can only see it continuing to grow – that’s exciting for all of us!

What advice do you have for someone thinking about doing the course but maybe they’re not sure they have the right skills or passion?

We run short 5 weeks courses (in February and summer) which can give you a great taste of what’s involved in the course – the topics we cover and the way we teach things at Pulse. Beyond that, I would suggest researching and reading up on our blog to see what previous students have produced.

Overall, there is a growing need for graduates and while gaming might not be considered a conventional course …the jobs are there; with the video games market growing significantly. Also, the skills we teach in Pulse are transferable into other sectors outside Gaming; there’s so many applications for these skills now that we haven’t even imagined some of the roles into the future!

Finally, what’s your favourite game of all time & what game are you playing at the moment?

My favourite game of all time is a bit of a tricky question because there’s a lot of games across a lot of different genres! There are games that I really enjoyed for different reasons whether its game play, art style, story or sound. Some of my favourites would be Zelda Majora’s Mask for its story and soundtrack, Timesplitters for its game play and art style, Doom 2016 for its art, soundtrack and game play, and Darksouls for every aspect!

At the moment I’m currently playing Borderlands 3 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

 

If you would like any further information on the course, then please contact us.