Lawrence is clearly a young man with a great deal of passion for what he does, and it’s certainly looking like he’s going to make his mark in the gaming industry. As a second year student on the BSc (Hons) Games Technology course, Lawrence is preparing for his placement year - something he’s very excited about.
“I’m off to New York, Manhattan, to work with Gameloft,” he says with a sparkle in his eye. “They’re one of the biggest mobile developers, they make games like Spiderman, Cars, Disney-inspired everything. I’m going to be doing level design.”
It’s certainly a prestigious company to be working for, with Gameloft creating incredibly popular games for various mobile devices and even having won the BAFTA Kids Vote Game of the Year in 2013 for its Despicable Me: Minion Rush app.
“I’m quite happy about my placement,” Lawrence adds with a smile. “It’s a good reminder that there’s more than just getting the grades within the university, having your peers saying your work was fantastic. When someone external, on the other side of the world, appreciates that too and rewards you, that’s nice.”
Lawrence will be spending six months with Gameloft before returning to the UK, where he hopes to find another six-month placement for the remainder of his sandwich year.
When you’re speaking to Lawrence, it’s clear that he loves what he does. Level design is his current focus and he becomes quite animated as he tells us what it is, why it’s important and why it fascinates him.
“Level design is looking at say, different levels on Angry Birds and working out why you find one level boring and one level fantastic, or why you find every rip off of that game terrible, and looking at what distinguishes them all,” he explains.
However, he doesn’t want to limit his prospects too early on. “I think that’s why the placement is going to be so good for me, because games is such a wide area and I’m going to find out which exact area I want to work in,” he adds.
It’s clear that Lawrence’s future lies somewhere in the games industry though, as he speaks with such passion about the industry. “I’m a creative individual, and Games Technology [as a course] gives me the ability to deliver that creativity - it’s a form of media that I can express myself in,” he states.
He admits that he doesn’t play video games as much as he used to since he came to university, adding that studying the sector in more detail has given him a new perspective on the games he does play: “The more you learn about them, the more you see the flaws, but you can also see when they’re done really well. They are honestly an art.”
During his time at BU, Lawrence has been keen to help others to engage with gaming, as well as to help his classmates get the most from their course. He has been helping to coordinate the Games Development Society since the end of his first year at university and recently he even set up regular sessions designed to help anyone who was struggling on the course, as well as to create an environment where people could come and talk about, play or learn more about games.
He likes interacting with people and is obviously a sociable young man. When asked what he likes most about BU, he doesn’t hesitate: “The personalities,” he says. “Whether that’s the lecturers or my close friends, although being around my peers is probably where I’m most comfortable.”
He would encourage anyone new to BU to make the most of the social life both at the university and in Bournemouth itself. “Without sounding really cliched, work hard, play hard. Get your assignments done and then just have loads of fun,” he laughs.
Lawrence also recommends making the most of Bournemouth’s beautiful location. “The beach is great, and you’ve got Poole nearby, which is lovely, and there’s Charminster too.
“Go to the beach, take a barbeque down on a sunny evening, the sunset’s nice,” he adds.