Life as a CA Trainee - Grace
6 February 2019
Grace joined CA as part of our 2018 traineeships, here she shares her journey and her first impressions of the industry.
I graduated with a BSc in Human Sciences last year and I never expected to go straight into the games industry. My degree isn’t specialised for game development, but I have a passion for video games and the communities and experiences they create for players. I wanted to contribute towards these experiences, and the best way to do that is from within the industry.
I first heard about Creative Assembly’s trainee roles when I was at EGX Rezzed in 2017. CA’s recruiter explained the disciplines and the routes in to the industry, giving me specific advice on what steps to take next. At the time of my application in 2018 there weren’t any Trainee Development Manager roles open, but the recruitment team encouraged me to apply for the open position of a full Dev Manager. I sent off my application, but I didn’t set my hopes too high because it wasn’t an entry level position. However, I did think I was a great fit for the role and the studio, so it was just a case of proving that to CA!
I was over the moon to get a Skype interview with a Senior Development Manager. This was a precursory chat about why I was interested and my skills. I then had three different interviews with three separate teams, and the third was with the Total War Cinematics team who I now work with. It may sound strange to say, but I really enjoyed my interviews. They were based around things I am genuinely passionate about, so I was really just sharing my interests with the hiring managers. The interviews made me think on my feet which was great, and I was never made to feel nervous
When I found out that I’d gotten the job I was ecstatic and I was particularly excited to find out that I’d be working on the Cinematics Team. The content they produce is incredible, so being part of that, even in a small way, is such a privilege.
Fast forward a few months to my first day in the studio. I met loads of different people who I’d be working with and got my first taste of all the work that goes into making a AAA game. My lead showed me some of the software I’d be using and daily tasks I’d be doing; it was a good introduction to the role and I didn’t feel overwhelmed.
I aimed to hit the ground running, picking up as much information as I could from my lead and my team. Honestly, there are so many parts to the industry that you don’t think about from an outside perspective, but I feel so much more informed now about how games are made. I had no idea how much technical skill is required to make an in-engine trailer, and how much essential animation work can go into tiny nuanced movements that you don’t even think about when you’re watching!
Releasing the cinematic trailer for Total War: WARHAMMER 2 - Curse of the Vampire Coast has to be my proudest moment so far. It’s the first trailer that I’ve been a part of from start to finish and I am so proud of the team’s incredible work. They even managed to tolerate my Monday morning enthusiasm through the whole development process. I’ve also really enjoyed working in the motion capture studio with the team. The first time around was to film a rough cut of a trailer; getting stuck in with some acting was so much fun. The second time was in full motion capture suits, where we recorded movements to be used in an in-game cinematic. Seeing the character models move around in real time was fascinating.
CA has been an amazing studio to work for so far. I feel really looked after as an employee, and it’s obvious that CA understands that wellbeing contributes to producing high quality work. I am commuting to Horsham from London, but CA made sure that I had options available to make my commute easier (including help with potential relocation). Massages and free ice-cream are the cherry on the cake. For me, the most exciting part about being in the games industry is the speed at which it’s progressing. It’s fast-paced and constantly evolving, and I can’t think of a more exciting industry to be working in. Gaming already engages and inspires people on a global scale, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.