The first of a series in which we'll introduce you to the students. Let's start with Tom Reiffer, one of our second years.
Before coming to the NFTS, I was part of a two-person kickboxing gym that coached everyone from total beginners to semi-pro fighters. The lead instructor was a guy called Alex Vorfi: an Albanian man with as much earnest charm as honed skill who spent his spare time testing out new drills on his only employee. I have never slept so well in my life.
Biggest personal success on the course?
The first time I wrote a C# script from beginning to end without any compiler errors stands out as a pretty satisfying moment. Presenting our Hello World project - Don Flash and the Temple of Horrors! is a very prominent moment as well! Honestly there have been a ton - not a week goes past when I don't feel like I've discovered a new thing or improved my craft in some way.
Projects you’ve created so far on the course.
For Hello World, the first project on the curriculum, I was on a team of 5 that made Don Flash and the Temple of Horrors! - a first-person narrative experience about an ageing stuntman and a pretty despicable director. After that, I spent a few projects experimenting with different bits of tech I was thinking about using for my grad project: a little 2.5D platformer in randomly generated haunted house, a rhythm-action dance floor brawler for Android, a noir-esque detective game where you play as the femme fatale for VR, and a 3rd-person stealth game about witches and puritans.
What do you hope to achieve with your grad project?
For my grad project, I'm making a small demo for a larger game called GOLD - a 3rd-person, 3D fighting game about intense sibling rivalry in a fantastical world. The project will blend my passion for martial arts with my drive to create gripping second-to-second gameplay and rich worlds. My aim is to work as a gameplay programmer and/or game/combat designer (either on my own ideas or for a mid- or small-sized studio) so this feels like a good challenge to cut my teeth on.
Best thing about studying Games at the NFTS?
Being surrounded by so much raw, ambitious talent is that perfect balance of inspiring and terrifying that results in a really strong sense of camaraderie. Steel sharpens steel, as they say. I'm not really into film or TV that much, but the excitement and creativity here is infectious beyond words - there's a kind of volatile fever that grips the place and it occasionally explodes into a BAFTA. Or two. I don't think I've met anyone (student or staff) that I'm not utterly amazed by in some way or another.
Follow Tom's progress on his grad project, GOLD - @TA_Reiffer