News and events

Simone McDermott

BA(Hons) Games Design (2007)

Whilst studying an Art and Design course at college, Simone’s tutor suggested UCLan’s BA(Hons) Games Design course would be a good fit for her talents. “I’d never heard of the course,” said Simone, “but as soon as I looked into it, I instantly loved the look of it and was really excited to get started.”

Simone recalls a “fascinating” course where students were encouraged to play games whilst thinking critically and creatively about them. “Thanks to the lecturers’ wide range of experience, we got excellent tuition in technical skills such as digital modelling and games development techniques. Things that are crucial for modern games designers.”

“I remember when I found out my results, I was delighted and upset at the same time. Whilst I was thrilled all my hard work had paid off; I was upset because it was the end of my university experience. I really loved my time at UCLan and had a brilliant experience.”

Simone McDermott

After graduating, Simone moved back home and found work in the local Gamestation store, whilst applying for games design jobs before receiving a call from a recruitment agency that were looking for a Games Designer to work for Stainless on the Isle of Wight. “They’d found me whilst looking at the UCLan Games Design website and asked me to attend an interview,” recalled Simone. “I got my portfolio sorted and went for the interview. On the ferry home, I received a call telling me I had got the job. I was chuffed to bits.”

Simone is certain she wouldn’t have landed her position without her degree from UCLan, commenting: “Usually people start in the games industry in quality assurance, which is testing the games, however my degree and the practical skills it gave me meant I could aim to jump straight into design.”

“I’m currently the Lead Designer on Carmageddon for Stainless Games,” explained Simone. “I design everything from how games look and their content to the controls and mechanics such as scoring and ranking systems.”

In addition to designing games, Simone will also be appearing in one. After appearing in several videos updating people about the latest developments during the development of the game ‘Carmageddon’, fans started a campaign for Simone to play the character ‘Die Anna’ in the game. “Not only did I get to work on such a fantastic game franchise with an awesome company, but I also have my childhood dream come true and get appear in a game! I can certainly tick that off the bucket list.”

Speaking of the impact her degree had, Simone reflected: “If I didn’t have my degree, then none of this would have happened. I would not be working where I am, living where I am or have appeared in a game itself!”

TOP TIP FOR UNDERGRADUATES: My advice would be really simple. Never, ever give up; you can do anything if you try hard enough.