Training Spotlight: Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies

The talented students at this Nottingham institute have been rubbing shoulders with the games industry for several years, and now it has its own games course.

Confetti offers a professional working environment similar to a studio that is responsive to the needs of employers. It aims to bridge the gap between games education and industry, offering students opportunities to make industry connections. FDSC Games Technology has been running for two years, and Confetti’s first set of graduates finished in July this year.

The institute offers degree courses in partnership with De Montfort University, which can provide a top-up year for students to achieve a BSc. Four modules run in parallel over the two-year course: Games Architecture, Games Development, Audio and Video for games and Games Industry. Students are introduced to a variety of areas of games production within the first year.

In year two, they work on creating an original game using custom assets. This process leads students to create an industry-ready portfolio with the emphasis on a specialist area or job role. Students produce portfolio work that aims to demonstrate their ability in creating high quality 3D assets, audio and level designs.

Assignments include looking at how students can market themselves within the UK games industry, and business guidance on how to set up a budget and fund their own independent studio. Students also look at the theoretical side of game and level design to underpin their technical skills.

Recent graduate Victoria Van Garretts had this to say about her time at Confetti: “I’m 29 years old and an avid lover of game design. I worked full-time in the energy industry for ten years before I decided I wanted to follow my dream of becoming a games designer three years ago. I started by completing my national diploma in interactive media and then applied to complete my degree with Confetti and DMU. I visited several universities but after visiting Confetti my mind was made up almost instantly, Confetti was the only choice for me.

“The amount of contact that was promised with industry professionals gave me a lot of hope of achieving my dreams. The other universities offered more academic-based study, which in my mind was not going to give me the edge in the industry.

“Confetti certainly lives up to its promises and I have now got an amazing network of contacts who I can approach for industry knowledge as well as potentially putting my work out there. Confetti has given me the confidence to approach people I often believed out of my reach. I have made contacts within several triple-A companies as well as many amazing indie developers with the help of GameCity.

“Confetti has made my dreams come true. It might sound like PR cheese and smush, but this is truly how I feel. This place has changed my life. I aim high in everything I do now, and I encourage those around me to reach for their dreams, because I know now that anything is possible if you truly want it bad enough.”

Tools-wise Confetti gives students access to a host of industry-standard software, such as 3ds Max, Maya, Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop and Fmod.

The institute focuses on using the CryEngine when it comes to level design, and has a connection with Crytek UK – also based in Nottingham. Guest lecturers to the institute so far have included Crytek, Rockstar, Sumo Digital and Mike Bithell.

Confetti students have previosuly secured places at Blitz Games Academy open days, gained work experience at Crytek and won categories in the Nottingham Young Creative awards.

Course leader Rob Hoare says Confetti is a forward thinking organisation which aims to bridge the gap between games education and the wider industry.

He concludes: “Confetti’s FDSC Games Technology students are instilled with a professional attitude that carries through from the quality of their work to their interaction with industry professionals.

“We are quick to respond to the needs of the industry and as a result the content of the Games
Technology course is constantly adapted to enhance students career opportunities.”

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