Daryl Marples is the Course Leader of BSc (Hons) Games Development – Design at the University of Huddersfield. Additionally, he is currently serving as the Studio Manager and Game Director at Canalside Studios, where they are in the process of developing a commercial VR puzzle game set to release in the next few months. Daryl’s teaching primarily revolves around games-related subjects, with a focus on 3D art, character design, and animation. He also covers design principles and, his personal favourite, the final year Team Project module, where the students construct advanced game prototypes. Daryl’s academic research is largely focused on human factors in virtual worlds where he performs studies in perception and video-game engagement. Teams from the University of Huddersfield have performed exceptionally well in Student Showcases over the years and graduates speak fondly of Daryl’s influence on their careers. A regular attendee at Game Republic events, Daryl is well-known by games companies in Yorkshire and The North.
What is great about working in the games industry and teaching games courses?
While there’s nothing quite like seeing your game on the shelves, whether in physical or virtual form, I take equal pride in knowing that my graduates excel in their own right. They have worked on numerous amazing projects and established fantastic companies, which serves as a testament to the quality of our teaching as they secure such great roles.
What words of advice do you have for people starting out in the games sector?
Let your passions shine. With the vast array of roles available in the industry today, it has become possible to build portfolios that cater to any specific position. If you are deeply passionate about a particular research area, be it art, code, animation, music, design, level building, or even modding, immerse yourself in the subject and strive to become an expert. Engage with online communities related to your field of interest. By doing so, you will not only expand your knowledge but also open doors to new opportunities.
I have numerous graduates who work at all levels for major studios and several who have founded their own studios in the region.
What work have you been doing in the region to support the games industry?
I have numerous graduates who work at all levels for major studios and several who have founded their own studios in the region. While my team is always very busy, we find the time to maintain regular communication with our graduates and passionately encourage studios to provide industrial placements for our current students.
What has been a highlight of your career / work so far for the industry?
While obtaining a PhD and receiving teaching awards have been fantastic accomplishments, I must say that our consistent success in both regional and international competitions has always made me the proudest. It reinforces the significance of my day-to-day role in educating the next generation of game developers.
What influence do you think Universities and colleges are having on the sector?
It’s evident that the quality and structure of our courses have consistently nurtured exceptional talent over the years. Influencing an industry as vast as the UK games industry may be challenging, but despite being a small group of courses situated in a West Yorkshire town, we have punched above our weight and made a significant impact. Our current students are proving themselves to be every bit as talented as the graduates from previous years.
…the annual Student Showcase has provided us with a valuable opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities, leading to numerous graduates securing their initial foothold in the industry
What do you think of the role of Game Republic?
If it weren’t for Game Republic, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet many of the fantastic people who have become influential figures in the UK games industry. From the smaller meetings to GAMAYO, for two decades, Game Republic has acted as the glue that binds the talent of the region together. I am particularly grateful for the annual Student Showcase, as it has provided us with a valuable opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities, leading to numerous graduates securing their initial foothold in the industry
Why is the region a good place to do business and study?
The creative industries in the North continue to thrive, with numerous outstanding studios located right on our doorstep, making it an excellent place to study. Another major advantage in our favour is the cost of living for students, particularly in Huddersfield, where accommodation costs offer better value compared to many of our counterparts.
What projects are coming up?
I am currently the Studio Manager and Game Director of a VR game I conceived, where the player becomes trapped in an out-of-control space capsule and must repair the systems with the assistance of other players acting as ‘ground control,’ equipped with all the necessary manuals. My team of eight talented undergrads has done an incredible job of developing this captivating game within a year, and we are now showcasing it at various game events to gather as much feedback as possible before its release. Watch this SPACE!
Communication Breakdown – Steam VR
This Year’s Game — CanalsideStudios