NextGen student Shay is game industry rising star

A Sunderland student has been recognised for his 3D digital gaming skills after reaching the finals of a national competition.

Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:18 am

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Shay Brown, who is studying a Diploma in Animation, Games Design and VFX at Sunderland College, travelled to Manchester for the WorldSkills UK 3D Digital Game Art Live Final in November as one of the eighth highest-scoring competitors across the qualifying rounds.

In 2020, the college was selected to join the skills revolution as part of the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence trial, a new approach to delivering technical skills which benefit young people across Wearside and beyond.

Designed to reflect the role of a professional 3D artist within the games industry and the standards expected, students are marked on their creative, technical and specialist skills throughout the competition by a panel of judges, including industry experts.

Hot air balloon designed by Shay Brown

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Alongside classmate Matthew Jones, Shay advanced from the ‘Passive Stage’, where he was tasked with creating a hot air balloon using software of his choice, to the National Qualifiers, where the brief was to build a 3D snail using a low polygon mesh with as much creativity as possible.

Although Matthew narrowly missed out on a place in the finals, Shay progressed to the main event at Media City, in Manchester, where he was challenged to model a submarine and a squid to be used in a fictional computer game called “Are You Squidding Me?” which would be released on the Nintendo Switch. Despite not placing in the top three, Shay performed extremely well in challenging conditions and is expected to have a very bright future ahead of him.

Matt Lawson-Hall, NextGen Lecturer at Sunderland College, said: “Shay did incredibly well throughout the competition and he should be really proud of reaching the final.

“Competitions can be very stressful and demanding but Shay remained calm and collected and gave his absolute all, which is all we can ever ask for. We are delighted with everything he has achieved.”

NextGen room used by students at Bede Campus, Sunderland College

The NextGen Level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills ensures young people leave the college ready to enter the industry, with the right skills and knowledge for the workplace. Sunderland College is one of only four colleges approved to deliver the NextGen Skills academy qualification in the UK.

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