Live, Breathe And Sleep Video Games As A Viable Career Path

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Ben Herron (left) Ben Herron (left) Image supplied
Ben Herron has always relished the opportunity to make people laugh, cry and cheer.

After spending some of his earlier years in theatre, Ben’s love of play, creativity and skill lead him to study a Bachelor of Games Development at SAE Brisbane.

Studies completed, Ben continues to grow and learn in his career devoting several hours each day to building on his knowledge of games development. For three years he’s been a resident at Gameloft’s Brisbane-based studios as a game designer and writer. Gameloft is renowned for games such as 'Modern Combat 5: Blackout', 'Dragon Mania Legends', 'Asphalt 8: Airborne', and 'Brothers In Arms: Sons Of War'.

As one of the world’s largest, global gaming companies housing two studios in Australia (the second is in Sydney), Gameloft boasts 6,000 employees in 21 studios throughout America, Europe and Asia.

What inspired you to study games?

[Ben] I didn’t really have a singular light-bulb moment when it came to deciding to study games. I’d played games my whole life and had never really considered it seriously as a career.

Over time however I became more interested in what made games tick; why did players turn right at on a map instead of left? How did particular systems function under the hood? How were different assets made? What were all the tricks developers used? So, my interest grew organically for a while until an opportunity presented itself.

I’d recently quit my day job with the intention of going back to study and a friend of mine mentioned that SAE Institute was having an Open Day that weekend. I attended and as the saying goes… the rest is history.

What did you love most about studying at SAE?
It’s going to sound horribly sappy and exaggerated, but it was one of the first times I remember truly belonging somewhere. I was finally among mentors and peers who shared a passion for games that matched my own. I was able to have extended and informed conversations with fellow students and lecturers about games development. I knew then that I’d made the right choice.

What have been your career highlights?
My career is still in its infancy, but a highlight so far has been playing a key role in the development of Gameloft Brisbane’s first release, Zombie Anarchy. In particular taking over writing duties for the project, and being able to develop the game world and its characters alongside the design. This experience has definitely been at the top of the highlights ladder.

Start your career in gaming at SAE.

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