Arran Topalian

Arran changed his career goals from history teacher to computer games designer. He now works at Mediatonic.

BA (Hons) Game Design and Production, 2015

How did you end up going from studying to become a history teacher to studying Game Design?

It’s quite a drastic shift! I finished my degree at Glasgow and thought teaching was what I was going to do. However, I got to a point when I realised if I kept going the way I was I’d get even deeper into it and it’s going to be hard to change my mind and do something I was really passionate about.

I thought to myself “what’s the one thing you’ve really loved?” and the only answer was video games. I looked online to see what place offered the best course, and Abertay came up. I saved up my money and put myself through university.

So tell me more about your job now and what it involves?

I’m a Game Designer at Mediatonic, so my day-to-day job tends to involve writing up documentation or specifications on how features are going to work.

I can also act as a liaison between the different departments at the studio.

Sounds like quite a challenging job!

It is, but it’s also hugely rewarding! It’s a lot of fun and I’m very, very lucky to work here.

I thought to myself “what’s the one thing you’ve really loved?” and the only answer was video games. I looked online to see what place offered the best course, and Abertay is what came up.
Arran Topalian | Mediatonic | Game Designer

How did you end up in your current position?

I was actually contacted on LinkedIn by the in-house recruiter for Mediatonic. I’d actually been in touch with Mediatonic a few years before that. I applied through the website but at the time there was another job offer which I ended up going with. It’s sort of gone full circle, and I finally ended up here!

You’ve done a lot of interesting things in your career, including an internship at Microsoft – what was that like?

Fantastic. That was a huge learning opportunity. It was a lot of fun, especially since I was getting to work on a Triple-A game. The people who worked there were amazing.

How did your Abertay degree help you get to where you are?

I definitely found that it was a great way to get connections. I was very focused on my studies and I think that got me noticed a little bit more by the tutors. That led to me getting opportunities, for example, with QA for people they knew in the industry. It really was a good way to get my foot in the door.

Do you have any advice for our current students?

Work hard! It sounds a bit obvious but it really does matter. A lot of people put emphasis on talent and while that does matter I think resolve and a solid work ethic does pay off.

 

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