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All Change in 2017 for the NFTS Games department!

February 6, 2017

It’s a new year and a brand new start for the NFTS Games course. Big changes have taken place. Let’s take you through some of them. We have a new building and two new Games Labs!

I’ve mentioned this from time to time on the social media channels and posted photos of how the building work has progressed from time to time. It’s taken a little while, it’s been noisy at times but the result is very much worth it! It’s still not a 100% complete though. An unforeseen circumstance has meant that the first year lab isn’t going to ready for a few more weeks. We’ve set them up in temporary base next door in the soon to be ‘incubation’ space. Here is a pic of the building work and finished labs…


The rooms are still very much a work in progress as far as the decor goes. We are going to get as much colour in there as possible. There are white boards and pin boards to go up but we are also hoping for a few special things too. We’ve asked all our previous and current students to draw us a picture. The hope is that it’s something that influenced them on or to join the course, perhaps a memory or inside joke from their time here. We will then frame these and put them up gallery style. As well as giving us things to put on the wall the real purpose is to bring the old into the new. The graduates are the ones that made the course what it is today. They are are the foundation. We want them featured in the building to inspire the next generations. Talking about making the course what it is today…


We have a new Head of Games. 


It was with much sadness that Jon Weinbren left his post as head of Games in December to pursue a new venture. I think it’s fair to say that Jon can be credited with making the course what it is today. He created it and put in the groundwork to make it the success that is is now. We wish Jon all the very best of luck in his new position at the University of Surrey.


But like a phoenix rising from the flames we have brought in a FANTASTIC replacement in Alan Thorn. Alan has been with us at the school for a number of years as a tutor focusing on programming and coding support. It’s been a few weeks now and Alan has found his feet already. We’ve incorporated (or soon will) some new ideas onto the course and it feels invigorated. Alan has already spread his vision of the Games course with the new intake of students. Not just the Games students, ALL the students. His key message?



Collaboration with the other departments here has always been our USP. Think about who you are working with here, we are the National Film and Television School, many of the future leading figures in the film and television industry start their journey with us. We have already had a Bafta winner and Oscar nominee working on a game project. We work with screenwriters, sound designers, composers, producers, production managers, production designers, DFX, cinematography…


Cinematography royalty Roger Deakins was here last week, fresh from working on Blade Runner 2047. His credits are remarkable. Look them up. He is a NFTS graduate. You could be working on your project with the next Roger Deakins! You never know!


Last but certainly not least. We have our new batch of students (well, still waiting on two to arrive) and what a fine bunch they are. We’ll introduce you to them properly in a few weeks once they’ve settled in (and all arrived!). We are already putting them though their paces. Yesterday they spent time getting to grips with 3D art with tutor Ted Chaplin and, as I type, they are engaged in a session with Sion Lenton on Game Design core skills. We have just given them ‘Gone Home’ to play too. We’ll discuss it in depth next week.


The students are the lifeblood of the course and the school. These guys have already showed ambition and a desire to knuckle down and learn. We look forward to seeing what they come up with! Any other business? This time of year is always exciting for the second years. They have just pitched their Grad Game idea to the tutors. This is the project that they will spend the rest of 2017 working with it’s public debut occurring at EGX in September. By now we have a history of ambitious, diverse and intriguing projects. This year is no different. We look forward to seeing how they iterate on these in the coming weeks before presenting their final ideas to their fellow students in other disciplines. Teams will them form and work can really start! Exciting!


We are talking among ourselves about starting a podcast too. Still in the organisation stage but we'll see. We know the format, we have the interest from the students. Should be interesting to see if it comes off. What kind of thing would you like to hear by the way? Let us know in the comments.


We have some events coming up too…


PC Gamer Weekender – We are taking a few projects to the event. Very quirky, five – ten minute experiences.

NFTS Grad Show – We have our annual Graduation Showcase at the Picturehouse Cinema on February 20th and 21st. Feel free to swing by.

EGX Rezzed – For the first time we are taking the graduation games to Rezzed. In a way, we see this as a different type of grad show. It’s a big deal.


Oh, and we are taking the first years to the local model village in a couple of weeks.




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