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Former plumber designs impressive computer game environment

24 June 2015

John Edwards

Maldon student emulates Assassins Creed design  

A former plumber from Essex has created a 3d gaming environment using similar design techniques to that of the popular Assassins Creed series.

Mature student Dan Bavin used next generation games design to produce a steampunk inspired gaming world. The 29-year-old’s game environment includes an observatory, which houses an abandoned ballroom where an eccentric professor lives. The centre piece of this level is a steam-powered orrery, which is a mechanical model of a solar system.

As a specialist 3d artist, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student used a combination of 3d applications, digital art software and game engine technology to produce a fully working, game-ready scene.

“I’m very pleased with the final product. This is the first time I had attempted next generation design, which you find in titles like Assassins Creed or Dishonoured."

Commenting on his work, Dan said: “I’m very pleased with the final product. This is the first time I had attempted next generation design, which you find in titles like Assassins Creed or Dishonoured. That was the art style I was trying to emulate.”

Such is the standard of Dan’s work, international company Epic Games are considering hosting his game environment on their website, while he has also had positive feedback from Oxford-based Rebellion.

He added: “We’re lucky in that we have frequent visitors from industry. Epic Games provided the UE4 engine which this is built in and I liaised with the Community Manager for Europe. I couldn’t have done this without the advice I got from the people at Rebellion and Epic.”

“It’s wonderful that a student can utilise cutting edge technology to create something that an industry company want to use on their website.”

Dan started his studies later than most, having previously worked as a plumber for two years. However, a shortage of work in the construction industry saw his apprenticeship cut short which prompted him to return to study in order to turn his passion into a career. He attended UCLan’s partner college Futureworks in Manchester, where he studied a foundation degree in game art before joining the University’s BA (Hons) Games Design course.

“Looking back I’m glad I had the experience of working full-time as it gave me a good grounding and work ethic. It made me realise that this was my chance to do something I loved instead of going to work because I have to.”

Dan’s work was celebrated at UCLan’s 2015 Creative Focus Awards, where he was recognised for the most outstanding work by a games design student. His success has given him the opportunity to work one on one with a games design professional, courtesy of event sponsors Creative Lancashire.

Commenting on his success Senior Lecturer Josh Taylor added: “It’s wonderful that a student can utilise cutting edge technology to create something that an industry company want to use on their website.”