Hello! I’m Jess, thanks for dropping by my portfolio site. As shown in my projects, I have a production background in art, animation, effects, and scripting plugins and gameplay.
A quick bit of history about me, I’ve worked on several Indie titles (Wee Paper Planes, Space Team, Seek & Rose) during my studies at Abertay University. After graduation I worked as a Junior Artist at 4J Studios on the Console Edition of Minecraft, before taking up my current role at Epic Games as European Community Manager for Unreal Engine.
And if I’m not doing that, I’ll be baking cakes, walking out in the wild or taking photos!
Work at Epic
Although not directly involved in the production of games titles, I keep up with all aspects of development in order to work effectively with developers. I am often the first point of contact a developer has with Epic and so must be able to answer technical, business development, marketing questions and more. This requires me to work in engine and keep up with the latest advancements in the industry, as well as broadening my knowledge outside of production.
Alongside working directly with developers to solve their problems, I’ve collaborated with them to write a ‘For Indies’ blog series to share knowledge and advice on the areas outside of technical development (such as Marketing and Expos) that Indies can often struggle with.
To further share that knowledge, I frequently speak at events (having talked at conferences such as Develop, local meetups and guest lecture at universities) and accept invitations to mentor and judge at events like Dare Academy, Nordic Game Jam and BAFTA Young Games Designers.
When I’m not working, arting or baking, I’m off volunteering as part of my STEM ambassadorship. I joined the programme to encourage young people (under 18) into careers with Science, Technology, Engineering, or Maths. This involves going out to primary and secondary schools for different events to get children excited about the industry.
In the past I’ve given a workshop for 8-10 year olds on creating and animating pixel art, with the class making the art for a game using squared paper and coloured pencils with me digitising the art into a small flash game for them.
More recently I visited Hazlewick High School in Crawley to take part in a careers event for Year 10s.
Through STEM I became a Video Games Ambassador in partnership with Ukie to help students wanting to get into the industry.
I’ve been involved in multiple events throughout the year, from helping out in the careers bar at Rezzed to visiting Universities and giving feedback on coursework modules. I was honoured in October to give the keynote for the Ukie Student Conference 2016 (my talk titled ‘Getting into Games: From One Student to Another’ is available here).