Michael Wadelin - alumnus profile
From a part-time job at PC World to Senior Mission Designer for Rockstar North, Michael Wadelin is one of the world's leading games developers. He tells us how his degree in Games Technology prepared him for his career.
Essential programming and collaboration skills
"The course at UWE Bristol provided me with skills that I use on a day-to-day basis. First and foremost, programming. Most of a game's core architecture is built in C++; it is the industry standard and I learnt to program this at UWE Bristol. I also value the skills I picked up in various group assessed modules. Collaboration is a big part of working in a games company and the course helped prepare me for this.
Finding work after graduation
"I applied for Rockstar on a Thursday, had my UWE Bristol graduation on the Monday after, and was in Edinburgh interviewing for the role of Mission Scripter at Rockstar North the next day. It was an exciting few days. A week or so later, the job offer came through, I accepted and just over a month later I moved to Scotland.
Developing a competitive edge
"The additional opportunities at UWE Bristol, such as the PAL programme or the Search for a Star competition, have been accolades on my CV that vastly increased my chances. I now have a senior role in the team - something that I feel has come not only from the technical skills I obtained at UWE Bristol, but also from the enthusiasm and drive I picked up from the teaching staff."
Working on a global phenomenon
In Michael's current role, he takes responsibility for design and programming missions for Rockstar's open-world titles, primarily for the Grand Theft Auto series.
"Grand Theft Auto was a global phenomenon well before my time at Rockstar, so just getting to be a part of the development for GTA V has been incredible. As a big gamer you always get a buzz for upcoming games, so being swept up in the hype from the developer side of things was something special. On the night of the launch of GTA V, lots of staff (including myself) went to the GAME store near the Rockstar offices for the midnight launch. The queue was huge. It is one of those things I will never forget. The hard work doing A-Levels, university, late nights at work; it makes it all worth it."