A new online games student network has been launched to help connect aspiring developers directly to games businesses.
Likened to LinkedIn, the site allows graduates to upload a portfolio of their work and their role in the titles they have developed. Finished games will even be available to play on the site so prospective employers can evaluate their skills, as well as find links to the team's CVs and portfolios.
The site was founded by Sensible Software founder Jon Hare and the University of Befordshire's Professor Carsten Maple, and can be found at www.bugsnet.org. Each applicant to the site will be approved by a team of evaluators headed by Hare before being allowed access to the website.
Over 1,000 students are already said to be on board for the project, as well as 15 per cent of UK developers. The site is designed to enable developers to build closer links to local educational institutions as well as contact nearby graduates.
Students meanwhile will have access to learning materials and industry guest speakers, as well as the ability to apply for various internships and work placement schemes at studios across the country.
BUGS was launched last night at BAFTA's London headquarters, where special guest and UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey discussed the importance of improving the skills of university graduates. The MP also discussed the long-awaited video games tax breaks.
“BUGS is there to give games students a greater understanding of the industry they are about to enter and to help British developers find the talent they want, at the standard they need," said Hare.
"To help grow their businesses and re-establish the UK as one of the top countries in the world for games development.”
Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said: “TIGA supports the BUGS project and we expect many of our members will too. This is a project that has been conceived and built to make the UK games industry stronger and more competitive, by raising the standard of UK video game graduates, and then making them easier to find and assess. This programme could go a long way to enhancing the skills of more UK graduates and so help them secure jobs with UK games businesses.”
UKIE CEO Jo Twist said: “Securing the best skills pipeline is so important to the sustainable future of our industry and BUGS is a fantastic opportunity for UK graduates to skill up and allow games business to access the highest calibre of graduates possible. Working alongside the BUGS scheme, our student and wider membership of developers, publishers, SMEs and service companies, we can support and grow the industry to make the UK the best place to make and sell games. We encourage all games business to sign up for free to take on the next generation of games talent.”