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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Bobbie Allsop BA Games Design and Art, 2017

Games Designer at Mangahigh

Bobbie Allsop's Photo

Winchester School of Art offered a unique course that combined art with technology, which mean I could pursue coding, design and drawing in one degree. No other degree offered this combination of disciplines, which I feel is key to creating interesting digital experiences.

My degree in Games Design and Art gave me the independence to work on what interested me, combined with the networks of friends and tutors who I could go to and ask for help. I was encouraged to think critically and creatively, and to look for unusual avenues of inspiration in order to push my discipline forwards.

I enjoyed the discussions and tutorials I had with my tutors that encouraged me to think differently and push my work further. The 1-to-1 support really enabled me to develop skills I had previously not considered learning.

For example, I learnt coding principles that allowed me to make games in Unity using C#, and games in Phaser using Javascript. I could also use these principles to write my own websites using HTML and CSS, and then go on to host the website on AWS.

I’m now a Games Designer at Mangahigh, where I design and make maths games. With over a million users across the world there is a massive audience for any of the games I design. These games will help make maths more exciting and engaging and hopefully lead to more people enjoying maths!

As part of my job I create games in Phaser, and as such I now understand some of the more technical conversations around web hosting, deployment and content management systems.

I’m fortunate in my job to have been given a huge amount of freedom to work on what I think is interesting. This means I have to be quite disciplined with my time, structuring which projects to work on, and how best to spend my time. I think university is a great time to get into these good habits, setting yourself milestones within a uni deadline and keeping to a plan and if it goes wrong, reflecting and learning from the process.

I first discovered MangaHigh during my second year, when I researched companies in the UK who were combining education with technology. With the help of my tutors, I secured a summer internship there between my second and third year. During my final year, I worked at MangaHigh part-time to create a Mathematical Inequalities game, which has been shortlisted for a TIGA education award.

Also in my final year, I worked with one of my course friends to create a working prototype of a game called ‘Hurry Hurry Heal Me’. We have already shown it at Norwich Gaming Festival and at Develop: Brighton to a positive reception. We are hoping to continue working on this game during our spare time and then releasing it onto the Switch or another gaming platform.

I’ve always been interested in education and technology, and how they can provide new ways to look at the world. I wanted to pursue how games can be used within a classroom setting. I think my degree helped me to find the niche in the games industry which suited my skills and passions. I also came out with transferable skills that could possibly help me set up my own studio and create my own games as part of a small team.

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