Hi, United Kingdom. Don't play with your future - play for a living.

Together with Damar Training, Manchester City Council, and The Sharp Project, PlaygroundSquad has established a new base in the United Kingdom. If you're serious about getting into the game development industry and want insider knowledge from its leading members, now is the time.

Are you up to the challenge?


About PlaygroundSquad aka PSQ

PlaygroundSquad is one of the oldest and most highly rated games educations in all of Europe. Our three disciplines cover all aspects of game production and are being taught using individual coaching, team based learning, and internships. With our dedicated Industry Advisory Board made up of leading members from the games industry, PlaygroundSquad is the shortest route into the gaming business, where you will be working with and developing games along with some of the industry's leading talent.

Information

School name
PlaygroundSquad UK Ltd
Location
The Sharp Project
Contact
uk@playgroundsquad.com
0161 298 5501
Next start
12th December 2016

Programmes

There are three separate ways to fund your education at PlaygroundSquad UK, to give you a better choice of forging your own path.

Apprenticeship

You may study at PlaygroundSquad UK as an apprentice, if you fulfill the criteria for an apprenticeship.

The education spans 366 days, including a paid vacation.

What apprenticeship you are enrolled on will be determined by what role you wish to study:

  • Artists: Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media
  • Designers and programmers: Advanced Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professionals

Advanced Learning Loan

If you do not meet the criteria for an apprenticeship, you may study at PlaygroundSquad UK and apply to receive funding through an Advanced Learning Loan.

If you study to become a programmer or designer, you will receive a Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT (QCF) upon completion.

This funding method is not available for the Artist role.

Vocational

This is the same style of education as the PlaygroundSquad Sweden methodology of Higher Vocational Education (SEQF level 6, equivalent to EQF level 6), brought to the UK. Building on more than fifteen years worth of experience, this is a proven path to becoming a game developer. This is a faster track than studying an apprenticeship, with a laser focus on only learning the specific knowledge which is useful within the games industry.

This branch of PlaygroundSquad requires self-funding through other means than an apprenticeship or an advanced learning loan. The cost per term (20 weeks) is £2995, including VAT, totalling £8985 for three terms (60 weeks).

Job Roles Who do you want to be?

Artist

Shape the characters and worlds in games.

As a game artist you will learn how to build and texture worlds and characters for games using industry standard 3D tools. Bring your characters to life using animation or motion capture techniques, and utilize lighting, shading and effects in modern game engines.

You will also learn about subjects such as digital colour, style consistency, user interfaces - and of course, teamwork skills to last you a lifetime.

Prior Knowledge

Skills in traditional art/media or previous experience with 3D software is highly recommended.

Designer

Nurse and manage your game ideas.

The game design discipline will teach you how to kick start your game ideas: methods and models to help spark creative thinking. You will start with the basics of game design such as creating levels and prototyping your ideas, and move on to more advanced tricks for creating interesting game worlds, maintaining balance, and developing captivating characters with story lines.

Project management methods, managing and structuring documentation, and presentation techniques are also important aspects of this discipline.

Prior Knowledge

Writing (short stories, RPG-related design etc.) or experience in modding/scripting for demos/games is a plus.

Programmer

Forge games and make them tick.

As a game programmer you will learn 2D and 3D game programming using C++ and 3D APIs such as DirectX or OpenGL. The programming discipline includes for instance mathematics, rendering, network, AI, physics, audio programming, scripting, optimizations as well as code management.

You will work with both PC and dedicated hardware consoles such as PS Vita and PS4. In short, the tools, software and mindset to start coding games!

Prior Knowledge

As a programmer you will need prior knowledge in the C++ or C# language.

Education

Course Methodology

We help iterate and push your knowledge further by cycling between theoretical and more practical learning in an ongoing process, focused on slowly introducing you to more and more advanced topics while keeping your teamwork skills up-to-scratch through group projects.

This is what your course schedule might look like during your studies:

Art Course
Design Course
Programming Course

Beginner Courses

Students begin by honing their skills in subjects specific to their various disciplines.

Project 1

Group Projects

Students take part of their first group project and make their first real game prototype together.

Art Course
Design Course
Programming Course

Intermediate Courses

Students gain deeper domain-specific knowledge as more advanced topics are introduced.

Project 2

Group Projects

The second game project is started, and with more experience, the scope has been slightly increased to make an even better game.

...

And so on...

This cycle then continues until the external project and graduation.

PlayStation®First

PlaygroundSquad has been awarded PlayStation® First status, an Academic Partnership Programme run by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and World Wide Studios Europe (WWS-E). PlayStation® First is awarded to select partners providing best practices in PlayStation® production values, research applications and game development skills.

PlaygroudSquad is a member of the PlayStation® dev kit programme providing students with access to PlayStation® professional hardware and software (SDK) across PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable).

Read more about PlayStation®First

Two students at their workstations

Common Courses

Although the artists, programmers and designers at PlaygroundSquad all study their individual courses, the students come together in common courses, projects and social events during their journey. This encourages cross-disciplinary cooperation, problem-solving and exchange of ideas - closely mimicking professional game development.

Scrum board and a busy student

Game Projects

During game projects you team up with members from the other disciplines to develop a game concept from idea to demo – some of which have later been taken into actual production and commercially released! Last but not least, a very important part of the education are the external projects you get to work with while studying, with direct supervision and mentoring from companies in the games industry.

Previous Game Projects

Whet your appetite by taking a look at the games previously made at PlaygroundSquad. These projects were made over the course of between 5 to 9 weeks, and some of them have even been published on Sony platforms.

Motion capture in progress

The tools and software being used at PlaygroundSquad are the same as those used in the games industry.

We always aim to be amongst the first to evaluate new and exciting software. We also provide our own powerful 3D middleware named TenGine, used in the education and often in the game projects at PlaygroundSquad.

3D Studio Max Autodesk Maya Autodesk Motionbuilder Autodesk Mudbox
Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite
Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator
Adobe
FMOD
Firelight Technologies
NaturalMotion Morpheme
NaturalMotion
Havok
Havok

Applying Join us, we have cookies and jobs

The first step to studying at PlaygroundSquad is creating an account on this website. Once that is done, you will be able to provide us with all the information we need to process your application.

Your work samples or portfolio is an important part in your application. It is possible to apply without a portfolio, however submitting one greatly increases your chances of being selected.

The application process is divided into a number of steps:

Account Creation

You create an account which is later used to securely provide us with all the details we need.

Submit Your Details

You provide us with your details, divided into four sections:

  • Fill in an application form with your contact details.
  • Provide a proof of study so we know you are eligible for further studies.
  • Write a cover letter to introduce yourself.
  • Show us your work samples and portfolio to showcase your skills.

Selection

Once your application is complete and the deadline has passed, we will begin the selection process.
If you are selected, you will be notified via the contact details you've provided us.

Interview

We conduct an interview with you in order to determine if you are a good candidate.

Decision

We decide together with our industry advisors whether you are accepted or not.

You will find detailed instruction on the various steps in the application process once you have registered on the site.