Coventry City of Culture 2021

Games Designer teaching the course that changed his life

Games Designer teaching the course that changed his life
Joseph Casey

A Coventry games designer has gone back to college to teach the very same course that changed his life.

Joseph Casey is now teaching the Level 3 Games Art and Design course at Coventry College’s campus on Henley Road for around 50 students – five years after leaving the College to eventually gain a first class honours degree in games design at Teesside University.

The 23-year-old has long-held ambitions of becoming a game designer, but after taking a call from his former college lecturer about a vacancy on his former course, Joseph couldn’t resist.

He said: “The games design department at Coventry College holds a special place in my heart as it was the first place that I felt like I fitted in, and made friends for life.

“I was bullied throughout my secondary school life because of being on crutches and being overweight for four years – all because of a rugby tackle that went wrong when I was in year 7 – but all of that is now behind me.

“After leaving school I decided to follow a passion of mine – gaming – and as soon as I joined Coventry College it was like a totally different world.

“Mixing with others who had the same interests as me gave me a massive confidence boost, and it was just a pleasure to go into a creative and friendly environment without being judged.

“Because of Coventry College I now have a group of six close friends. After college we all went off to Teesside to study together, and three of us now have jobs within the gaming industry.

“I feel like I owe the College a lot for what they have done for me, and when I got the call asking if I’d be interested in coming back to teach, it was like receiving a call inviting me back home – I didn’t hesitate.”

Joseph teaches students the basics of how to design and make props used in computer games, such as barrels and weapons using industry-standard software, before eventually progressing students to designing their own unique games.

Joseph added: “The software we use on the course is the same that is used to design games such as Fortnite and Gears of War, so these courses really do help to lay the foundations for students to pursue a career within gaming.

“One of my friends who I studied with at Coventry College is now working for Rockstar – the maker of Grand Theft Auto – as a games tester, while another of my friends tests out the Apple arcade games, which just goes to show how far you can go!”

“If there’s one piece of knowledge I wish I could tell my younger self, and what I tell my current crop of students now, is that you have to fail to succeed, as it’s ultimately failure and mistakes that enable you to learn and grow.”

If you’re interested in studying Games Design at the College, you can find out more and browse the courses on offer here.