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Students and game developers who are considering the virtues of being self-employed now have the help and support they need to survive and thrive in the competitive games industry.

Associate Professor of Games Design Zuby Ahmed has co-launched a new initiative called GAMES@STEAMhouse that provides business support to students as well as to games start-ups based within the region and nationally.

Zuby identified a need for business support amongst his Masters level students who were entrepreneurial and considering starting their own businesses. He said: “Nowadays, with the support systems in place in Higher Education, this is becoming the norm.”

As part of his research and enterprise activities, Zuby spends one day a week at STEAMhouse, where he meets with gaming entrepreneurs and start-ups to work out an action plan that will help achieve their business goals. As members of STEAMhouse, these businesses also have unlimited access to the Digbeth-based creative space for a year.

He added: “We want to create and nurture opportunities for people with their new exciting
ventures, so they go onto flourish, strive and survive in an ever competitive, dynamic industry environment.

“We can run game jams, both digital and non-digital, so that people can experiment with their ideas. The latest one now has one of our members developing a card game which she wishes to take to market.

“Eventually we want to take the philosophies of collaboration we use within Gamer Camp and
GAMES@STEAMhouse to the next level by establishing a new network hub called the ‘Midlands Game Engine’which would develop strong strategic relationships between Midlands based games companies, and ultimately represent the voice of the games industry in the Midlands.”

The University’s Gamer Camp, a finishing school for game developers, opened its doors to students in 2009, offering three Masters courses in Video Game Development and Video Game Enterprise, Production and Design. In 2014, Gamer Camp expanded its portfolio of courses to include two-year fast-track degrees in Game Development, Digital Art, Digital Marketing, and as of 2017, Game Design and Production.

Get involved with Games@STEAMhouse and access:

– Specialist gaming support

– Wrap around Business support

– Grants of up to £2500 to support prototyping and advice around Intellectual Property (IP)

– Co-working and project spaces for collaboration, working and meeting

– STEAMlab events – innovative challenge-based workshops for collective problem solving, we even run Game Jams (digital and non-digital)

– Access to well equipped print, wood, metal and digital workshops with equipment, tools and space for prototyping and product development in a wide range of materials.

– Support and advice from  skilled Technicians with wide-ranging expertise

– Events and masterclasses bringing together researchers, experts and businesses

– Networking opportunities

Feeling inspired to kick-start your games start-up or get advice on how to set up your own business? Register your interest or take a tour of STEAMhouse here.