UWL Students visit Payload Studios

At Payload Studios, we are always looking for ways to support the next generation of talent, and so it was a huge pleasure to collaborate with University of West London (UWL) on a cool event with some of their (Bsc) Game, Animation and Design students for a Careers Roundtable and Game Jam Showcase.

Part 1 - Careers Roundtable - what was your journey into the games industry?

After lunch and some playtesting, Payloaders and Tentacle Zone residents gave an insight to students into their own careers, first jobs and entrepreneurship – we had a range of different experiences shared by the following industry professionals which we hope the students found interesting and useful:

  • Khally Saarman-Jones, Director of People and Culture, Payload Studios
  • Emilia King, Associate Localisation Producer, Marvelous Europe
  • Pietro De Grandi, CEO and Co-founder, Strelka Games
  • Andy Harmon, Principal Designer, Payload Studios
  • Sammi Luzon, Lead QA, Payload Studios
  • Anton Korubov, Senior Artist, Payload Studios
  • Kae Cheung, Designer, Payload Studios
  • Django Verbaant, Gameplay Programmer, Payload Studios
  • Chris Dawson, Co-founder and CCO, Robot Squid
  • Andrew Smith, Managing Director, Spilt Milk Studios
  • Kieran Franklyn, Community Manager, Spilt Milk Studios
  • Anthony Langston, Junior QA, Spilt Milk Studios

Part 2 - Game Jam Showcase - teams present their games to judges

Student Game Jam

Jay Shin, Course Leader (and game developer), invited Payload Studios to set a theme for a mix of students from various years for a two week Game Jam. Our enthusiastic Payloaders voted on the theme ‘Hidden Worlds’, and we were excited to see the possibilities.


Three teams of students on the Games, Design and Animation course:

  • Team 1: Galactic Marine
    • Game name: Belana to Sirus – The team took the concept of journey and put it into space using a whale as the main character!
  • Team 2:  HITAGI
    • Game name: Zombie Warper – This 2D top down action shooter centred around a zombie invasion and travelling around different worlds using a time warp in a gun.
  • Team 3: ShiftedPixels 
    • Game Name: Cyber Shift – This platformer focused on an alien scavenger who found an item to help him shift between dimensions to progress in the game!

The teams who worked extremely hard and learned plenty of skills around working closely with different disciplines were well supported by more UWL lecturers (also indie developers, themselves!): 

The Winning Team

A number of Tentacle Zone residents and Payloaders chose to be part of the judging process for the game jam. The general consensus was how difficult they found the judging due to the high quality of the students’ work – judges felt that all of the games were polished having had only a short amount of time to work on them. However, they did ultimately feel that the game ‘Zombie Warper’ deserved the win – well done to team HITAGI! Thanks to Emilia King (Marvelous) for providing prizes for the winning team and Roseanne Robinson and Karen Yun (Payload) for organising prizes for the MVPs from each team.

Thank You!

Thank you also to all the UWL students and lecturers, Payloaders, Tentacle Zone residents for making the afternoon such a success!

Check out the full video of the student GameJam showcase here – huge shout out to the UWL staff, students and TZ residents for their interviews and a huge thank you, in particular to Ryan Callard, lecturer at UWL for filming and editing.