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Juice to cherry pick student talent with open day

Wed 19 Mar 2008 12:28pm GMT / 8:28am EDT / 5:28am PDT
TIGA News

UK developer Juice Games is to open its doors to students next month in order to build better relationships with colleges and potential industry talent.

UK developer Juice Games is to open its doors to students next month in order to build better relationships with colleges and potential industry talent.

The open day can help students get a better understanding of the real development process behind games creation, said managing director Colin Bell, who is also unapologetic about the studios' chance to cherry pick skilled students walking through the doors.

"First and foremost I'd say that we've had some graduates enter our company in the last two years and make a hugely impressive start to their careers," revealed Bell, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz.

"They're making a big impact into our teams and becoming positive contributors after only a couple of months at the studio. So that first reason [for the open day] is a very selfish one, but I'm not embarrassed about that.

"Secondly, we realised that these relationships with educational establishments should be give and take. We need to offer something back to universities and colleges," he said.

"We're starting that by holding this open day and using that as an engagement tool so that we can form longer term contact. We're also getting involved in other ways, such as judging final year projects."

Games courses have been criticised for teaching skills that are out of date, and although Bell agrees that some colleges are failing when it comes to basic skills, he said that it's important to treat each college and student individually.

"I would say that is true for a great many of games courses that tend to churn out students that have done a bit of design, a bit of programming and can manipulate a few shapes in Max. That really is no use to any games company that I know," he offered.

"But that's not to tar every games course with the same brush, there certainly are some good courses that do specialise a little more and they at least try to be relevant.

"There's a lot to be said though for the more traditional maths, physics, programming, fine art type courses," detailed Bell. "We've had particular success with people who have excelled in these courses whilst maintaining their own hobbyist interest in games or computer art."

The open day takes place April 23 at the Cheshire-based studio, and Bell sees it as a great opportunity to meet face-to-face, gets hands-on with a project and speak openly about the business of games creation.

"It's important for those attending as not only do they get a good background to the industry, but this year they will also design a game during the day and take part in a scrum planning meeting with experienced Juice staffers," continued Bell.

"The goal is to transition the enthusiastic into future games industry professionals. And that can only be done through talking to these folks directly .

"It's important for us since we get to dispel a few urban myths about working in the industry. We know that for each person that attends, around 4-5 more will hear directly from them about what happened on the day, and that can only be good," he concluded.

More information can be found at the official Juice Games Open Day website.

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