Shay Allen

'I would learn the skills to tell my own stories, whether through film, games, or other media…'

  • Shay Allen

Studying towards a Bachelor of Product Design in Applied Immersive Game Design

‘I have a passion for the art of storytelling,’ Shay says, as the inspiration behind his creative degree studies. 

Being particularly fascinated by the archetypal “Hero’s Journey” narrative, because of its reflection on ‘the reader’s very own life journey’, Shay hopes to create fictional works with the same impact as his favourite examples Spiderman, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars.

‘These interests motivated me into Applied Immersive Game Design, where I would learn the skills to tell my own stories. Whether they are through film, video games, or other digital media,’ he says.

The Bachelor of Product Design degree at UC was the ideal option for Shay to explore ways to convey his storytelling, with the Applied Immersive Game Design major fitting particularly well with his hobbies in sketching, reading, and illustration.

‘UC offers a unique degree which balances creative thinking with technical skills and the ability to manage and market a business. I also enjoy the Game Design lecturers, who do a great job of teaching content while making the learning fun. The fully kitted-out games room in the Product Design building is so cool.

‘My ultimate career goal is to start my own film/TV show franchise. I am also interested in being a game or film concept artist, animator, or scriptwriter.’

Also being motivated by fitness and becoming a sports or gym coach, Shay hopes to combine the two fields in his future career.

‘This degree will give me the opportunity to use advanced technology, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, to help motivate and instruct people pursuing a fitter lifestyle,’ he says.

His Applied Immersive Game Design studies gives a big picture view of the video games industry and experience creating his own projects.

‘I particularly enjoy learning about all the different roles and development stages that go into making a game from start to finish. Practical work is also enjoyable, as it gives me the opportunity to brainstorm, collaborate in a team, and sketch down potential ideas. 

‘My advice would firstly be to expose yourself to as many different games as possible. Explore different game genres, game structures, and game mediums (yes, even board games as well!). Figure out what you enjoy about these games and why. Also, get some experience in computer programming languages, especially Python language, as it will be taught as part of the course.’

Originally from Nelson, Shay spent his first years living at Bishop Julius Hall close to campus to help settle into life at UC.

‘It is a great experience. You meet so many new and different people who are all in a similar situation to you are,’ he says. ‘Living in a hall environment causes you to grow up as you learn how to live with more independence and get along with other students you are staying with. It isn’t long before you have made some good mates and the hall feels like home.’

Shay makes a point of using UC’s services to support his studies, including the Health Centre, and Academic Skills Centre to develop smart study skills. He is also an active member of Campus Church which ‘encourages faith alongside study’. 

‘I thoroughly enjoy the numerous student services and clubs available, such as the student cafés, Campus Church, the tennis courts, and the student RecCentre. 

‘Additionally, Christchurch is a beautiful city with a great outdoors. It offers so many fun activities for students.’

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