Get Started With Games Design: Tom’s Story

In January, Ripstone’s Gary King provided support and guest speakers to help students on the ‘Get Started with Games Design’ course provided by The Prince’s Trust.

An empty Liverpool Lime Street train station

The course itself is an opportunity for young people to explore the machinations of game design, create their own prototypes, and even pitch to an audience of industry professionals.

Thomas Paget, a recent Theatre Graduate who took part, kindly agreed to share his story on the profound effect the course has had on him.

The following is Tom’s own account. 

Thomas Paget, recent theatre graduate who took part in the Prince's Trust course, standing on a

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

There’s a definite mystique surrounding the world of game design.

Everyone on the outside has their own idea of what goes on in the hallowed corridors of studios. Some imagine Hollywood-esque individuals with entourages the size of a Premier League match day squad. Some picture the caricature of the ‘typical’ gamer, hooked on highly caffeinated beverages. I personally always favoured the former as, to me, game designers look to be gods – creators of entire worlds!

This outlook made getting into the industry feel like a pipe dream to me. I can’t program, and the less that is said about my ability to draw, the better. Despite this, I decided to sign up for the ‘Get Started With Games Design’ course. 

I’m so glad I did.

Post-Grad Blues

Since my graduation in September, I had been in a bit of a rut. The only time I really left the house was to go to work. This sudden step to working with strangers on a subject I was unfamiliar with left me nervous, and I found myself posing all kinds of internal questions.

What right do I have to be doing this course? 

Am I going to be laughed at because I won’t know where to start?

I had to push myself step by step to get to Liverpool Lime Street and then the venue and focus on ignoring the negativity buzzing around in my head.

Thankfully, all of my worries were dispersed immediately as I was greeted on arrival by the friendly Prince’s Trust staff. After a few hours, I was laughing and joking with my peers and at the end of the day I left feeling prepared to take on the week.

An empty Liverpool Lime Street train station

Becoming a Team

In the days that followed, we started to discuss the games we love and, through that, we learned more about each other.

The relationships I built during the course demonstrated to me just how important video games can be to a person’s identity. Crucially though, it established a sense of camaraderie between us. Each and every person in that room deserved to be there and we became a team.

Stephen Hey, Marcia Deakin, and the guest speakers that joined, from companies such as PlayStation and Ripstone, showed us that there is a place for everyone in the industry, no matter their skill set. As long as we have passion, drive, and a willingness to learn – there is a place for us.

Getting Into Games

Thanks to the ‘Get Into Game Design’ course, I finally feel as though I’m on track. With each day of the course that passed, my anxiety shrank until it lay near silent in the back of my mind. In its place came an abundance of excitement and anticipation.

I feel as though I am in a privileged position to take steps toward a rewarding career in the games industry, and I’ve met some fantastic people along the way.

I’d encourage anyone to sign up for this course if given the opportunity. It has significantly improved my own outlook on my future and it proved to me that there is a place for everyone in gaming. The industry isn’t a crazy Hollywood-like place. Nor is it mystical and theological.

My preconceptions have been dismantled in the sweetest way possible. It isn’t super-humans who make video games: it’s incredible people, who are incredible at what they do.

And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Thomas Paget, Theatre Graduate

Who are The Prince’s Trust?

The Prince’s Trust is a charity set up to help develop and improved the lives of young people aged 11 to 30. 

The charity runs programmes across the UK and further afield that provide people with crucial skills, confidence and know-how in various fields. 

Each year they work with around 60,000 young people, of which about 75% continue to employment, education, volunteering or further training. 

Find out how you can support The Prince’s Trust, here.

At Ripstone, we’re proud to be able to support and engage with a number of incredible charities and initiatives throughout each year. The momentous work that they take on enriches and inspires everything we do. Find out more about our charity work.