james brady feature

‘My pathway to being a 3D artist in games’ – James Brady


My dad worked at a graphic design company in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the 90’s. The company he worked at had Apple Macintosh computers loaded with Bungie’s classic hit “Marathon” and Bullfrog’s legendary title “Syndicate”.  After hours, he would sneak me in to play these games along with a quick shop run for orange juice and cookies. This was the start of my pathway into the games industry as an artist.

Many years down the line when the Microsoft Xbox was released, my parents bought me the collector’s edition of Halo 2, the sequel to Bungie’s next generation title ‘Halo’. The collector’s edition came with a ’making of’ DVD which showcased the production of Halo 2. Not only did I watch this on repeat, but it reinforced my longing to become a 3D artist within the video games industry. During secondary school, I started to learn the tools required to becoming a 3D artist. Not owning a computer at this time, I would borrow my Mum’s laptop in the evenings to practice 3D modelling.



After secondary school, I decided to pursue a 1 year Game Design course. I taught myself a lot in the evenings after completing assignments. Once I graduated, I decided to pursue a HND in Game Development at North West Regional College in Derry. During my time in the HND course, I stumbled upon a website called Polycount ‘https://polycount.com/’.

Polycount is an online community solely focused on the design/art spectrum of game development. The community consists of seasoned grizzlies to budding grunts trying to land their first job in the games industry. After contributing to several on-going threads within the community, I felt at home. I decided to drop out of the HND course, much to my parent’s dismay, and focus my time on honing my abilities and creating a game art portfolio. There has been a huge growth of globally accessible online educational content for newcomers wanting to learn their desired craft.

Three really useful ones are: 3DMotiveEat3D, Udemy


First Project

My first project within the games Industry was as a QA tester at Creative Assembly in Horsham, West Sussex in the UK. I worked on ‘Total War: Warhammer’ along with a few DLC releases. My tasks in this role included testing for game bugs and reporting them to the correct development team. Once the art team got a whiff that I knew 3D art, I was then embedded into the environment art team to report back with environment art bugs/problems. The skills required for this position was a passion for video games and general computer knowledge.


On-going Projects

Over the last year and half as a freelancer, I have been very lucky to have contributed to more games than I can count on my two hands. I contributed environment art, asset creation, weapon creation for these projects as a seasoned artist.

My work has been featured in multiple magazines such as 3DArtist, Develop Magazine, and ImagineFX.








Several of the games I have worked on to date include:

*****Red Dead Redemption 2

*****PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
*****Insurgency Sandstorm
*****The Forest
*****Hitman 2
*****Halo Infinite


Advice For Survival

Everybody’s path into the games industry is different, be it indie developers, AAA developers and even some who want to go into teaching. We all share the same passion, to make video games. As a student, or budding self-taught artist like myself, your biggest challenge will be deciding which aspect of the industry you would like to dive into i.e.: Animation, Character Art, Rigging, Weapon Art, Vehicle Art, Environment Art and even Lighting Art. It’s very important that in doing this, you focus your skills in one area and develop them to the best of your ability.

One way of finding your ‘niche’ would be to work on small projects with peers or even join a mod community at ModDB ‘https://www.moddb.com/’. Another great way would be to attend local game-jams. It’s very important to be visible in this industry, this can be easily done by joining websites such as Polycount ‘https://polycount.com/’, Artstation ‘https://www.artstation.com/’ and Mapcore ‘https://www.mapcore.org/’. Not only will this allow you to be inspired by other’s work and make friends, it will also allow you to get professional critique on your work. By posting your ‘Work In Progress’ shots, you may also become visible to those who are hiring. People will be able to see how passionate you are about your craft and you will also find yourself getting better at a faster pace.

Always be friendly, humble and respectful. The game’s industry is very small especially in the art/animation section and word travels. You certainly don’t want a heat of the moment ‘comment’ to hinder your chances of securing employment in a studio. When it comes to your portfolio, quality is more important than quantity. A portfolio with fewer pieces that really show your strengths would stand out better than a portfolio with a lot of incomplete pieces.


What’s happening in the industry? Where will it be in the next five years?

Many exciting projects were announced at this year’s E3. We certainly live in the most vibrant time of gaming due to graphic fidelity. I really admire what Nintendo have done with the Nintendo Switch and I would love to see more Playstation 4 and Xbox One games being released on it also. There has also been a huge influx of ‘Battle Royale’ games since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. A lot of game studios are either releasing battle royal games or shipping battle royal game modes for their current projects.

In the next five years, I can see games migrating to a cloud service rather than being released for purchase on PC or console. I feel there will be companies who release software that allows gamers to play PC games like DOOM and Battlefield on their mobile phone for a monthly membership.

Bio: Video game artist from Ireland. Drinks copious amounts of tea.

Portfolio: https://bradyart.xyz

Resources Mentioned

*Polycount – https://polycount.com/
*Artstation – https://www.artstation.com/
*Mapcore – https://www.mapcore.org/
*ModDB – https://www.moddb.com
*3DMotive – http://3dmotive.com/
*Eat3D – http://eat3d.com/
*Udemy – https://www.udemy.com/game-art/

Animation Skillnet September/October Workshops & Classes (Dublin)

Animation Skillnet have a number of courses and workshops running in the months of September/October.


Workshops and Events:

1) One day workshop in Character Design for Animation with Ernie Gilbert with support from Screen Training Ireland (Sat 15th September).

2) Character Performance, Acting, and Storytelling for Animation with Myrna Gawryn with support from Screen Training Ireland (Sat 22nd September).

3) Schoolism Live – Dublin with support from Screen Training Ireland (Sat 20th & Sun 21st October).


Evening Classes:

4) Storytelling and Screenwriting with John Dawson (5 Monday evenings)

5) Production Management for Animation (5 Tuesday evenings)

6) English Language for Animation and Other Creative Studios with Everest Language School (5 Wednesday evenings)

7) Essence of the Pose – Gesture Drawing (5 Thursday Evenings)


For further information on available courses and workshops visit – http://animationskillnet.ie/category/courses/

Animation, VFX, & Games Graduate Traineeship 2018/19






Screen Training Ireland and Animation Skillnet are currently seeking applicants for a graduate Traineeship Programme for Animation, VFX and Games.

The programme has been running since 2016 and has had a very successful track-record with over 90% of graduate trainees going on to gain further work in the industry.

Last years programme had 12 graduates placed in animation, games and VFX studios for up to 6 months. The participants received targeted and intensive training in specific skills areas throughout the training period. Off the job training included courses in storyboarding, production management and visual storytelling. The participating studios last year included Brown Bag Films, JAM Media, Cartoon Saloon, Boulder Media, Windmill Lane VFX, Screen Scene VFX, Piranha Bar, HMH and Immersive VR Education.

The 2018/19 programme will take place over a 6-month period, with a short intensive period of upfront training, followed by a mixture of on-the-job and classroom based training over the following months. Selected participants for the 2018/19 programme will once again be matched with leading animation, VFX and games studios and participate in tailored training through Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland.

The VFX, Animation & Games Graduate Traineeship is a full-time programme for which a training allowance/bursary will be made available to selected participants.


Start Date: Monday 22nd October 2018

End Date: Friday 5th April 2019


Interested applicants should upload a CV Link or LinkedIn link and showreel/portfolio link to:


Deadline for applications: Wednesday 12th September 2018.

Interviews will be in late September/early October with the Final Selection on Friday 5th October 2018.

GamerFest 2018 October 28th – 29th (Galway)

Image result for gamerfest

GamerFest 2018 takes place on October 28-29 at the Galmont Hotel (previously Radisson Blu) in Galway City.

The gamer and YouTuber festival is one of Ireland’s largest, this years event contains a Player Zone where gamers can play the newest releases, a Live Stage with interviews and VR challenges, a Virtual Reality Zone with the latest VR experiences, a Retro Gaming Zone and an Indie Zone to play original consoles and independently developed indie games.


Early-Bird Admission – 14.95e

General Admission – 19.95e

Student Admission – 14.95e


For a full list of events visit the GamerFest website at – http://gamerfest.ie/

Schoolism Dublin Workshop 20th – 21st of October





Schoolism – Dublin are running a workshop in association with Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland on October 20th – 21st at the Morrison Hotel, Dublin 1.


The workshop program is as follows:


Day 1: October 20th

Creating and Art Directing Compelling and Unique Visions for Games with Stephan Martiniere (9:00am to 12:00pm)

Sculpting with Paper with Megan Brain (1:00pm to 3:00pm)

Sharing Your Stories: From Notepad to Script with Shannon Tindle (3:30pm to 6:30pm)


Day 2: October 21st

Visual Development & Art Direction As A Freelancer with Sylvain Marc (9:00am to 12:00pm)

Designing With Colour & Light with Nathan Fowkes (1:00pm to 4:00pm)

Procr(e)astination: The Art of Perpetual Production with The Black Frog (4:30pm to 6:30pm)


For further details on Schoolism Dublin visit – https://www.schoolism.com/workshop-dublin/

Tickets are available at a reduced rate for registered members of Animation Skillnet, for ticket prices and information on how to register visit – http://animationskillnet.ie/event-registration/?ee=184

Gaming as Youth Work – Funded MA – Deadline 16th of Aug**

Gaming as Youth Work: Exploring the Role of Gaming as a Creative Tool for Fostering Social and Emotional Learning among Socially Isolated Young People

Applications are invited for a two-year, full-time, funded Masters through research exploring the role of gaming in youth work. This project is a partnership between IT Carlow and Carlow Regional Youth Service (CRYS). Funded by IT Carlow’s President’s Fellowship Scholarship and by CRYS, the student will have their fees paid and will receive a stipend of €26,000 (€13,000 across each year of the programme). In addition to an academic qualification, the successful candidate will receive direct, hands-on youth work experience.

Project summary

Youth work is a form of informal education which uses flexible methods to support young people’s social and personal development. Despite youth work’s demonstrable success in engaging a diversity of young people, there remain a cohort of young people who do not participate in traditional youth work formats because of communication, learning or mental health difficulties. Such young people may experience significant social isolation. For youth workers, innovative ways to engage such young people are required. Research suggests that gaming may offer one such approach (Stewart, 2013; Dunlap and Rivers, 2018). While ‘games in isolation do not provide in-depth emotional bonding … they can serve to facilitate relationships’ (Dunlap and Rivers, 2018: 141). Games can also integrate skills such as communication and cooperation, and provide safe spaces for experimentation and risk-taking (ibid.).

The aim of this interdisciplinary study is to work collaboratively with youth workers and a targeted cohort of 20 young people from the Carlow region in order to answer the following research questions:

*Can gaming be used to build relationships between youth workers and socially isolated young people, and if so, in what ways?

*Can gaming contribute to young people’s social and emotional learning, and is so, how?

The research will result in a resource pack for youth workers which will be disseminated throughout the sector. The successful candidate will be based in Carlow Regional Youth Service (CRYS) for part of the week and will work alongside its staff in the development of the project.

The student will be co-supervised by the director of SocialCORE, IT Carlow’s applied social research centre, and the director of GameCORE, IT Carlow’s research centre for interactive applications, software and networks. He/she/they will be also required to undertake two hours teaching per week.

Person specification

The successful candidate will:

-Be a youth work graduate, or a graduate of another discipline with at least five years’ youth work experience;

-Have a minimum 2.1 honours degree;

-Be available to work/study full-time;

-Have the ability to engage with diverse young people using youth work pedagogy;

-Have very good writing and analytical skills;

-Be committed to the principles of youth work;

-Be interested in gaming as a tool of youth

Technical knowledge of gaming or coding is not a requirement of this project, though some experience of using games is desirable.

To apply, please email patricia.rochford@itcarlow.ie with the title of the project in the subject line, a CV and a statement (c.500 words) of why this project is of interest to you.

Deadline for applications: August 16 2018.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Niamh McCrea, at niamh.mccrea@itcarlow.ie.

[sorry for the short timeline – blame the holidays!]

IMIRT Board Elections – call for nominees

The 2018 Board elections for Imirt will happen in September. There will be three seats available for nominees to fill (it was four last year). Being on the board of Imirt means you steer the agenda and implement the goals of the organisation.

As a volunteer-run organisation we look forward to welcoming new faces to the board every year and would like to encourage anyone in the Irish games community to consider running.

To become a nominee you simply need to be a member of Imirt and e-mail contact@imirt.ie expressing an interest (i.e. you self nominate) by August 31st. We will then ask for your bio, goals, and optional photo to put on the Imirt website in the run up to the elections.


Imirt Irish Game Makers is a Company Limited By Guarantee (CLG) that represents game developers in the Republic of Ireland. We promote, mentor, and improve the game making environment for those developing games here.

[cross posted from http://www.imirt.ie/news/]

Immersive VR Education Launch BBC-Commissioned ‘1943:Berlin Blitz’

Immersive VR Education have released their teaser trailer for the ‘1943: Berlin Blitz’ VR experience.

The Waterford based company, and its founders Sandra and David Whelan successfully won a commission from the BBC Northern Ireland’s ‘Rewind’ archive innovation team, in conjunction with the BBC’s central VR Hub, to work on a Lancaster Bomber VR experience.

‘1943: Berlin Blitz’ puts viewers in the shoes of BBC war correspondent Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, and allows them to retrace his journey on a genuine bombing raid to Berlin at the height of the Second World War.

Commenting about the project, Sandra Whelan, Co-founder of Immersive VR Education said,

“The Berlin Blitz was an exciting project for us and working with BBC Northern Ireland’s ‘Rewind’ archive innovation team, and the BBC’s central VR Hub has been a fantastic experience. Initiatives like this really allow us to move forward on our primary goal, which is to bring immersive technologies such as AR & VR to distance learning, and to transform the ways in which people all over the world learn about and experience events, both past and present.”

Pre IPO, Immersive VR Education had successfully raised €1.3m from a number of private investors, including Suir Valley Ventures, Kernel Capital Venture Funds and Enterprise Ireland.  Immersive VR Education is now a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange AIM and Irish Stock Exchange (Euronext Dublin) ESM with a market cap £37 million and has grown its team from 4 to 34.

For more information about Immersive VR Education and possible job opportunities visit – http://immersivevreducation.com/

Back-End Developer, Warducks VR/AR Studio, Dublin.

Warducks VR and AR development studio are looking for an experienced back-end developer to join their dev team. The successful candidate will be responsible for the server side of their games and apps. Warducks studio is located in Dublin, Ireland. Previous work from the studio includes RollerCoaster Legends, RollerCoaster Legends II: Thor’s Hammer, Sneaky Bears, Sneaky Bears VR.

The position requires excellent programming skills and a passion for developing games or improving existing ones. As a back-end developer, you’ll work closely with the studios engineers to ensure system consistency and improve user experience.

Responsibilities include:

Participate in the entire application lifecycle, focusing on coding and debugging
Write clean code to develop functional web applications
Troubleshoot and debug applications
Perform UI tests to optimize performance
Collaborate with front-end developers to integrate user-facing elements with server side logic
Gather and address technical and design requirements
Build reusable code and libraries for future use
Liaise with developers, designers and system administrators to identify new features
Follow emerging technologies
Optimization of the application for maximum speed and scalability
Implementation of security and data protection
Design and implementation of data storage solutions

Requirements include:

Proven work experience as a back-end developer (5 years+)
In-depth understanding of the entire web connected game development process (design, development and deployment)
Hands on experience with programming languages like Java, Ruby, PHP, Python and C#
Working knowledge of CMS framework
Working knowledge of back-end services (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure etc)
Familiarity with front-end languages (e.g. HTML, JavaScript and CSS)
Familiarity with Unity game engine and mobile platforms (iOS and Android)
Familiarity with back-end platforms (GameSparks, PlayFab, Firebase etc)
Excellent analytical and time management skills
Teamwork skills with a problem-solving attitude
Management of hosting environment, including database administration and scaling an application to support load changes
Setup and administration of backups
BSc degree in Computer Science or relevant field

Email info@warducks.com with your CV to apply

For more information about Warducks  visit – https://www.warducks.com/

For further details on the job listing see – https://www.warducks.com/careers/

Programmer (Mobile Games) at Simteractive, Dublin (Permanent)

Simteractive are looking to hire a mobile games programmer on a permanent basis. The candidate will work on Eden Isle and future mobile games.


Responsibilities include:

****Implementation of new gameplay systems.
****Programming tasks across all areas of the game including AI, UI, GameSparks integration, Facebook integration, saving and loading systems, in-app purchases and in-game adverts.
****Implementation of character animations, effects and art assets.
****Optimisation, refactoring and bug fixing of existing game systems.
****Maintain a high level of code quality.
****Co-operate in the overall planning of projects.
****Evaluation of third-party tools.
****Technical design of new projects.


Requirements include:

****3+ years of relevant professional experience in a programming role including at least two shipped commercial titles, ideally for mobile or tablet.
****Excellent programming skills including knowledge of Unity3D and C#.
****Strong understanding of the challenges presented by mobile platforms.
****Confidence and experience with third-party tools such as GameSparks, Facebook API, NGUI, advertising, analytics and plugins.
****Great communication skills and ability to work well with all disciplines.
****Hard-working, focused, high degree of self-motivation and ability to solve problems independently.
****A strong personal interest in creating fantastic simulation games for mobile devices.
****A degree in computer science, game development or equivalent.
****Must be able to work in Ireland.


Job Title – Programmer – Mobile Games

Job Location – Dublin, Ireland

Job Type – Permanent

Job Salary – Negotiable depending on experience


To apply, email a cover letter, CV and your availability to hello@simteractive.com. The closing date for applications is 9th August.