Train2Game News Student in BAFTA programme

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Indie Developer taught by Train2Game selected for BAFTA programme

Nicola Valcasara amongst the elite of the UK games industry accepted to join BAFTA Crew Games 2014

Professional video games creator who learnt his craft with Train2Game, joins experienced UK games developers in exclusive BAFTA scheme. Nicola Valcasara has taken one of 100 places available for Game Practitioners requiring at least two years professional experience in the games industry in the UK. The programme provides exclusive access to: Games Industry mentors, live QAs and podcasts, networking opportunities and scientific research in Game Design. 

Nicola has an outstanding reputation in the Train2Game community, having won a previous design competition with Rapid2D. He now works with another previous TrainGame student, Darroch McNaught, at Indie studio DeuXality Games. He’s set to learn a tremendous amount from  the course, masterclasses and online livestreams cover; Story & Narrative, Games Design, Music & Sound Design, and Game Art. BAFTA Crew Games 2014 is an interactive programme – working with selected participants to tailor the content to their interests and needs.

Working with partners Creative Skillset and Wellcome Trust, BAFTA Crew Games 2014 will shine the spotlight on the collaboration between the games industry and research in medical humanities. Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to access insight from Scientists and researchers from the Wellcome Trust with a specific focus on how research in Biomedical Science can inform Game Design.

Nicola Valcasara, “I applied at the BAFTA Crew games 2014 in September, thanks to a research on the net about funding and game developing events. Now I have been accepted, this is a very nice way to show my face around and I hope it will move me one step further inside the Games Industry. This is a great opportunity to be involved in an interactive programme focused on making wonderful products and allowing me to meet important people in the game industry. I’ll also get to meet the other 99 people like me and share ideas and future projects.”

Train2Game News: Something Money Can’t Buy

NicolaHi guys, I’m Nicola, the winner of the Rapid2D competition that you can see on the front page of the Train2game site.

Nicolas chequeThis article is partially to share a world of thanks to the people at Train2game that helped me and continue to support me to reach my dream, partially for all the people that write on the forum asking questions like “is this real or is it a scam?” , “should I start this course?” and “will I gain success?”…

Nicola Modern JagoBut, above all, this article is for you, students that, like me, are inside Train2Game to follow your dreams.

On June 18, thanks to Eric Wiltsher and Harry Cole, I spent a wonderful, amazing, unforgettable day meeting famous people inside the game industry.

Andrew Webber (Microsoft), Nicola, Andy Payne

Andrew Webber (Microsoft), Nicola, Andy Payne

I had a tour in the Microsoft Lift London Studios (Soho, London) and I saw a real team working on a game. I shook the hands of people like Andrew Webber, Ian Livingstone, Andy Payne, Lee Schuneman, and I received more than 6 hours of mentoring about how to become someone inside the games industry. Precious information that certainly will help me.

Nicola and Philip Oliver

Nicola and Philip Oliver

When, 8 months ago, I started the course never, if someone said “Nicola, prepare yourself because the next year you will meet the life president of Eidos” I wouldn’t have believed it and never would have I felt so close to changing my life for the better.

Ian Livingstone

Ian Livingstone

So, for all of you that sometimes feel bad and think that nothing will change, keep focused on your dreams, take ALL the opportunities that Train2Game gives you and you’ll find that surely you’ll be rewarded.

Great Future, my friends.

Nicola Valcasara

Train2Game News: The future’s a game as Nicola’s incredible journey across Europe pays off

Nicola When Nicola Valcasara faced nothing but dead-end jobs in his home-town of Verona, he went on an incredible journey which ended on the doorstep of one of the world’s biggest companies.

The ambitious Italian rode almost 2000 miles through Italy, France and the UK on his Honda motorbike to seek his fortune.

Nicola, aged 26, of Lowerstoft Close, south east London, said: “I was delivering pizzas in Italy and working in an amusement park, anything to get by really, but then I found myself out of work for a year…

“I’d always had the ambition to work in the games industry but there are no real opportunities anywhere in Italy. I’d spent months applying to companies but got no response.

“I couldn’t see any future at home and one day I just jumped on my motorbike and rode off into the night with my heart set on finding work.”

After five days of travelling across Europe Nicola finally arrived in London. “It wasn’t that I believed the streets were paved with gold but I knew it was a major centre for the games industry and that’s all I wanted to get in to.”

David Cameron has made the video games and apps industry one of his main focuses of the UK’s economic recovery offering major tax breaks to companies offering new jobs and opportunities to talented people and financial support to major organisations. But Nicola’s arrival in the capital was a nightmare – within 24 hours a gang tried to steal his motorbike and a few days later he was conned out of £300 by a company which promised to get him into the games industry.

“It was terrible, I’d parked my bike in the street and five men tried to steal it – the police woke me up at 3am. The next blow was meeting up with a man who convinced me that his firm could teach me what I needed to know to realise my techy ambitions. They ripped me off. I was pretty despondent.”

Nicola and chefs

“I didn’t know he was in the competition. When he told us he had won we were in shock. He’s a very quiet guy, then out of nowhere he told us he had won £10,000”, head chef Sandro Jaupi

But within ten days Nicola had found himself a job as a chef in one of London’s top restaurants.

“Things were looking up and I have always enjoyed cooking – but it still wasn’t what I was looking for. I knew Microsoft’s London offices weren’t far from where I was working and I’d always wanted the chance to prove my abilities to them in particular. It was like I was standing on the doorstep of a dream.”

Nicola started burning the midnight oil in a bid to break in to the games industry. “I used my wages to pay for aTrain2Game course, one of the biggest training colleges in the UK, and right away I began making games and apps.”

It was then he entered the national Rapid2D development competition to find the best apps created for Microsoft’s Windows 8. Nicola was amazed to hear he’d won the top prize of £10,000. Part of the prize was to see his work go up on line, a visit to Microsoft’s new centre in London and to receive mentoring from Gurus.

Myra and Andrew presenting the cheque

“I can’t believe it – it was worth that incredible journey through the nights on a motorbike from Italy. Now I have money in the bank, I’m learning to build games which is my real ambition and I’ve got an introduction to Microsoft. I feel like I’m really on top of life.”

Dr. Jan Telensky senior JV of Train2Game where Nicola is learning said: “We think Nicola has done really well and what a journey he went on to get here. We wish him all the best. This really is an exciting time to get into the industry, particularly with the Government tax breaks and the support of major organisations. Our students are becoming main players in games design.”

Nicola coaching Andrew

Nicola coaching Andrew Weber, Microsoft at Le Mercury {deuxiéme}

Nicola chefs and cheque

Sandro Jaupi, head chef (Nicola’s boss)

How do you feel about Nicola winning?

Absolutely amazing,

He has worked for us for around 5 months.

He really likes gaming; all he talks about is gaming in the kitchen.

He works in the kitchen for a job but his heart is set on making games, this is like a dream come true for him.

Nicolas cheque