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Welcome to the HSAD New Media blog, where we hope to look at some of the dynamic and exciting projects created by the students/student researchers working with us. These may take the form of individual student projects, client related practice and/or client-led projects, works-in-progress, technology development or investigations, student interviews, client feedback as well as other collaborations and studio events.

We hope that the blog will act as a showcase in order for new/prospective students and their current teachers to gain an insight into the range of projects undertaken by HSAD’s New Media students (Web and Games Design), and perhaps even attract projects and industry clients and collaborators from beyond the institutions walls.

If you would like to work with us on future projects as either a venue, a client, research partner or in some other capacity please contact us via the Hull School of Art & Design, we’d be very pleased to hear from you.

P. Starkey and G. Sleightholme, Lecturers in Games Design, HSAD.

HSAD is the Hull School of Art & Design, Kingston Upon Hull, You can contact us via the college, or our respective emails and or twitter accounts.

Gareth Sleightholme, gsleightholme@artdesignhull.ac.uk – @hesir

Paul Starkey, pstarkey@artdesignhull.ac.uk – @PaulStarkey

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Looking for a Games Degree?

Come and check out the Hull School of Art & Design, and our BA (Hons) Games Design Degree.

…enjoy creating Fantastical Creatures? Rocketships? Robots? Enjoy Telling Stories?

Ryan Character Design

All of these and more are things we encourage as part of the BA (Hons) in Games Design.


Games Design at the Hull School of Art & Design is a visual communication based course, and we look to drawing/concept art as well as digital 3D skills as our main areas of study.


Students who have an interest in, and some level of skill in drawing and designing are particularly welcome on our course (particularly genre related imagery – i.e. Medieval, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror / Character Design, Environment Design, Vehicle Design, designing Props and Objects etc).

Our course allows access to a range of skills development that point towards a career in the creation of visual materials for the Entertainment Industries – Games, Film, TV, Animation, VFX and even Museums, Heritage and Visitor Attraction Design.


It is often a misunderstanding that Games Design is a purely technical computer science led discipline, but as our course deals with the visual development of concepts, environments, characters and props & objects and vehicles that all weave into a wider narrative, one of the primary skills for us to build on is an interest in telling stories through the visualisation of spaces, objects and characters.

Persistant Virtual Worlds - 1

This often means having traditional skills in drawing, painting and traditional 3D which underpins later studies in digital 3D.

Yes, you will eventually look at taking those designs into the digital realm, but the observation skills and narrative development that you have honed through drawing will help you in this.

Study Routes within the course are offered on an individual basis with some students gravitating towards Digital 3D Development (3D Modelling, MAterials and Texture Creation, Games Engine Implementation and Interactivity), and others towards Concept Art/Design Development (Traditional and Digital Concept Art & Design Development), with others combining the two.

Paragon Hotel


This >LINK< will take you to another wordpress page that contains the following info’:

  1. An Overview of the three years of study Games Design BA (Hons) degree,HSAD.
  2. A guide to portfolio expectations for interviews.
  3. Mini Brief to help with portfolio building should you require it.
  4. The Games Design Showreel 2016 and links to the 2015 Showreel and Heritage Project Showreel
  5. Further Useful Links.
If you have any further questions about the course please do not hesitate to contact me at the following email address.
Persistant Virtual Worlds - 2

Further, should you have fellow students or teachers that are interested in accessing additional information about the Games Design BA (Hons) at the Hull School of Art & Design, or any of HSAD‘s other creative degree courses please pass on my details and ask them to contact me or the Hull School of Art & Design directly.

tel – 01482 329943

You can apply via this UCAS link until July after which it is still possible to apply through Clearing with HSAD taking students as late at October.
VR - Archives That Inspire
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1930’s Albion Street, Hull – A Games Design Heritage Project.

Our annual Games Design Yr2 Heritage Project last year took us to the old Georgian quarter of Hull, in and around Albion Street.

Today there is still a few examples that hint at the architectural splendour and social and educational concerns of the original city planners and architects, but the sprawling car park and the replacement buildings that arrived to fill the gaps left by WWII bombing and city rebuilding between the late 1940’s and the 1980’s is a meagre shadow of what the area was, and would have been today had it not been for those terrifying days and nights during the second world war.

Our students have attempted to develop a project that shows some of that splendour. Reimagined here in a games engine (and with the potential as a Film Noir detective game environment), using 3D digital software.

All the assets and items from the textures of the floors and walls, every lamp-post and railing, as well as all the buildings were created from scratch by the students. The final version you see below was shown first at the Central Library (thanks to Matt) and is currently on display in the extended Gallery space here at HSAD.

If you have any questions about the project above, or wish to discuss a project of your own with the team, please contact: Gareth.Sleightholme@hotmail.ac.uk or Paul.Starkey@hotmail.ac.uk.

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Year 2 Games Design – Heritage Showreel 2010-2016

During their Year 2 studies, Games Design students at The Hull School of Art & Design are asked to exhibit work based on their research towards a Local Heritage project. For the last six years these students have produced a set of historic flythroughs and interactive environments that have focused on lost or dramatically altered parts of the city of Hull.

The video above is a compilation of various elements of those projects.

The works have been exhibited at a number of venues around the city and further afield, including: Hull Central Library, local shopping centre pop-up stores and stands, The Hull Heritage Centre, Hull Museums and the Ferens Art Gallery, whilst some of the work was shown as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad at Westminster, London.

Projects have included: The Hull Docks – c 1900; A Roman Oil Lamp’s Journey; The Grimston Sword; Paragon Station – 1914; Whitefriargate – c 1960; Albion Street – c 1930.

These projects which have been running for six years now regularly showcase Games student’s work , and have seen two new works commissioned from the department, the first by Burstall’s solicitors of Lowgate, who have asked for a digital 3D fly-through of their building as it would have looked when built to use as part of their public facing heritage days, and the second a project that sees a Year two Student working towards an animated showcase that will be a collaboration with the Hull University Music Composition students and the Maritime Museum for one of 2017, City of Culture’s first major exhibitions.

If you wish to know more, or are interested in collaborating with us on a local heritage project please contact Gareth Sleightholme: Gareth.Sleightholme@artdesignhull.ac.uk



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The Journey of a Roman Oil Lamp

Submitted as part of the Precious Cargoes Ehibition in Hull, and later exhibited as part of the Cultural Olympiad at Westminster London, the video below was created by Year 2 Games Design Students in 2012 as part of their Interactive Environments module…

The Flythrough below shows the majority of the expansive environment, which is able to be played as a game level.

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Games Design Showreel to view at the Creative & Cultural space, Princess Quay Hull.

Work by Games Design students across the three years of the BA is currently on show at the Creative and Cultural Company‘s gallery and culture space on the bottom deck of the Princes Quay mall, Hull.

A variety of digital environments and experimental projects, as well as several examples of the heritage projects our year two students take part in as part of an ongoing staff and student research project; an outline of which you can find below.

Engaging digital media students in deeper research through social and industrial heritage interpretation.

We have observed a perceptible cultural shift away from library research and deeper reading from print-based media, particularly with students on courses serving technology oriented industries (web, games, graphics and 3D design etc) who can rely heavily on search engine results.

With the aim of engaging students in a full range of deep and more speculative research methods, staff have employed the use of live heritage oriented projects at level 5 (year 2) as a means of extending and enriching research skills, resulting in historical reconstructions of local city spaces and connected historical environments.

The students were encouraged to use more traditional investigative processes (on which most information technology is modelled) as source for their interpretations, in combination with Games development technology.

Having utilised the resources within Hull’s library and museums service, undertaking field trips and observational recording, the students have gained a deeper understanding of how an holistic approach to research and development activity can be applied across their studio practice.

Our projects to date have included:

  • Re-creations of the City’s docks, including Queens Gardens at the start of the 20th Century

(Hull Museum’s Connect/Create exhibition, Ferens Art Gallery)

  • Iron Age sword The journey of an from a Celtic Forge, via a Victorian antiquities collector’s study, to the “stacks” behind the East Riding museum

(Hull Museum’s Connect/Create exhibition, Ferens Art Gallery)

  • Roman oil lamp The journey of a from the potter’s wheel to the ship that brought it to Britain

(Precious Cargo, Westminster, London – selected as part of the national exhibition, and the Cultural Olympiad)

  • Holy Trinity Church – A virtual model of as it might have looked during its expansion in the medieval period (shown inside Trinity as a digital altar piece during their celebrated beer festival)
  • Hull’s Paragon Station, interpretation – summer 1914. In response to the national commemoration of the outbreak of WWI, and City of Culture engagement currently highlighted in the city.

The outward facing nature of the work (online and ‘pop up’ exhibitions at the sites) have brought additional value to the experience, allowing students to witnessing first-hand how audiences engage and respond. Their reflections have led them to propose future developments, such as the use of ‘Oculus Rift’ virtual experience software to allow the pubic to fully immerse themselves in a heritage oriented digital environment.

The students have developed an awareness of the transferable skills they are learning, which can prepare them for a wealth of possible future paths.

Gareth Sleightholme & Paul Starkey (Lecturers in Games Design)




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Web Design – The Civil War Hull Project – Creating added footfall for Hull Museums via an App’ & Website

Spring 2012 saw the culmination of the excellent work done by the 3rd Year Web Students for their Client Brief for the Civil War in Hull Project.

Year 3 Web Design students early visuals for the Civil War Hull website.

…the website, the mobile app’ and print materials along with the work of the Games Design students on a new touch screen installation would all connect to create a “multi-platform” marketing opportunity.

An app’ that encouraged interaction with the city itself and key points on a virtual “Civil War, Hull trail”… all of which would lead back to the museum itself where a touchscreen installation with a series of simple Games to encourage learning about the plight of the people and the city’s defenses during the early part of this national conflict.

Year 3 Students for Web Design and one of the Games Design students look through the research materials in the archives at the Hull History Centre

…looking at actual period materials with help in interpretation supplied by a historian from the archive team.

Year 3 Web Design students even invited a local re-enactment group into the New Media Studios to discuss the Civil War period, in particular the struggle as centred on Hull.

Explaining the dress and equipment of the typical period infantryman.

A screen-capture of the interaction and flow of the Civil War Hull site can be found below.

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Table Top Tetris (Games Design Related Video)

We’ve been meaning to post this little bit of Games Design related video fun from one of our games students for a while now.

Matt Lane now in his second year here at HSAD, created this in his first year Video sessions, looking at tracking, editing and a little bit of 3DSMax magic.

A great little portfolio piece for Matt, that shows the value of these broader  transferable skill development briefs in Year 1.

You can find more work from Matt >HERE<.