Catherine Hughes

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Internet & Software
Job title: Narrative Designer
Subject of study: English
Year of graduation: 2020
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Carbon Based Life Forms

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I did my Masters at Exeter and found a part-time job alongside that towards the end of the year that was related to what I wanted to do. A few months after finishing, that manager hired me full-time for the start-up games company he co-founded.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I love ideating, writing and crafting stories. I also love games and the interactive experiences they offer which allow you to tell stories in very different ways. My job as a Narrative Designer is to build narrative lore, write design documentation, write in-game text and work with other departments to build a playable story world. It doesn’t feel like a job most of the time!

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

Main club was the Archery Club (was on Committee for a year). Also was a part of the EUSO (Symphony Orchestra) for a couple of years, and at some point or other was in Photography society, Italian society, and Canoe club.No.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I liked the variety of modules available – I could do creative writing, film studies, explore the creative industries.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved the atmosphere and particularly the Archery Society. It’s where I met like-minded people: most of my friends and my current partner. I liked the variety of first-year halls, and enjoyed my time at St David’s. I felt like there was a lot to do around the City.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I liked the course, the location in the UK, the green campus spaces, and it had good qualities regarding the league tables compared to other unis.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

My analysis skills, presentation and public speaking, networking, collaboration, writing, research, communication, understanding of the creative industries, creative management, leadership, organisation.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Get onto Twitter (it’s where all the game devs are), NETWORK, contact people that do the role you want to do, find a mentor, pick modules that will help you improve your writing and research, find internships, download Twine/Ink and make your own games, join game jams (a good place to look for these is on – also good for inspiration when making your own games!), learn how to do basic coding (this sounds daunting but starting with Twine worked great for me!), BUILD A PORTFOLIO (an online website that doesn’t require people to download any files). Also get books that talk about game writing/screen writing/game development/prose.

What are your plans for the future?

Learn what I can from my current job, keep reading books, make more individual games, develop my portfolio, keep an eye out for more opportunities.


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