Before Jagex I studied BA Web & Multimedia at the University of Teesside. My degree wasn’t specifically aimed at any particular industry, but throughout university I was always focused on developing my skills in animation. Shortly after completing my degree, I was offered a piece of freelance work for a London-based games company that involved animating various character sets using Flash.
I had played RuneScape briefly in the past so I knew of Jagex but it was mainly through a friend at university who pointed me in their direction. The year before I graduated I met two people from Jagex at a careers fair, they gave me their business card and encouraged me to apply. I still had a year left at university at this point so I felt I should wait before applying, luckily there was a Flash Animator position available when I was close to completing my degree. I applied through the careers website and was contacted shortly after.
I have been with the company since July 2011 so I am still pretty new to the industry, but have learnt so much in such a short amount of time. My current role is Flash Animator which consists of creating animations for our websites, game trailers and other things that advertise our products. I also get involved in video editing and motion graphics for our game trailers and community videos using our in-house tools and After Effects.
My day can be completely different depending on the project but usually involves being given artwork by the illustrator on my team and asked to come up with ideas for how to animate it. I would then take the images into Flash or After Effects and experiment with different techniques of animating the image and adding effects to make it look visually appealing. Other days could involve capturing footage from the game and using it in videos or creating motion graphics for game trailers and community videos.
Getting paid for doing something I love is the main thing but there are so many perks and benefits to working at Jagex. It's great to be able to walk across the room and get advice from people who have a lot more experience in the industry than I do. I also live pretty close to work so I was able to sell my car and start cycling, saving me a lot of money and also forcing me to exercise which is something I used to avoid.
My favourite perk has to be the free gym membership. The gym is only 5 minutes walk from work so being able to go during lunch for free is great! It’s really motivating to see a lot of other people from Jagex taking advantage of the gym too so there is always someone there to compete with (I mean talk to..)
My favourite memory so far would have to be the Christmas party. Jagex really do go all out on the Christmas parties and as it was my first time, I didn’t really know what to expect. It happened shortly after a big project had just been completed so it was great to be able to relax and take advantage of the free bar.
As this is my first job in the industry it’s hard for me to compare, but Jagex seems quite unique from what I have heard about other companies. It's got such a relaxed atmosphere and the people here are all really helpful and friendly.
Having an interesting and creative portfolio is the main thing. I got offered the job before my university results came through, so the decision to hire me must have been based primarily on my portfolio. Being a gamer is also a good thing but not essential as there are people at Jagex who don’t play games, but being passionate about the games industry is a must.