Yuk Yat Cheng

Year of graduation: 2015
Current employer: Vocational Training Council 
Current job title: Computer Graphics Programmer
Location: Hong Kong 

“During the International Student Orientation Programme, which took place in the first week I came to the UK, there were lots of events helping me to familiarise myself with the University and the city.”

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

After finishing my undergraduate degree in Computing & Games Development at the University of Plymouth, I studied for a postgraduate degree in Video Game Development at Birmingham City University.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

During my postgraduate at BCU, I worked with 22 classmates to finish a PlayStation 4 game, Xtreme Drone Racing. This was my first time developing a console title and working with professional programmers, artists, and producers. We finished the game in less than eight months and then presented it to Sony and other game developers working in famous game studios. Their praise for our hard work was the best reward for the project.

What would you do differently since graduating?

Before I joined the course at Plymouth, I always thought I could lead a game development team and become a game director. However, during the course, I realised that I was more interested in implementing a game system rather than designing a game from scratch. Therefore, after graduating, I decided to continue my studies in order to learn more programming skills which will help me to implement more game features in the future.

Imagine you were about to start university again – with the benefit of hindsight – what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

I would try to meet more students studying in different areas, especially in art and design. I would like to know more about how they work and how they start designs from scratch. I would also try to use more innovative development tools and new technologies, such as Leap Motion and Oculus Rift.

What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? With hindsight how significant was this for you?

The main reason was the accreditation between the University of Plymouth and my previous college, Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi). Apart from that, the updated teaching materials and latest development tools, especially Oculus Rift which was the latest virtual reality headset at that time, also attracted me.

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the university how did they enable you to get to where you are today?

The tutors and staff on my course gave me a lot of support. Outside of the teaching hours, when I had questions or problems about the lectures, assignments, or projects, they were pleased to spend extra time to give me tips and support.

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?

Before studying at Plymouth, I aimed to be a game director or game producer in the future. However, during the projects in my final year, I realised that I enjoyed game programming more than game design or project management. Therefore, I decided to focus on developing my game programming skills more and aimed at a position more related to game programming, e.g. game programmer.

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth?

During my final-year project, I had some troubles when using the gyroscope of Android through Unity3D. One of the tutors in the ISS team, Marius Varga, spent a morning with me to try to solve the problem. Although the problem was not solved in the end, his support gave me a lot of inspiration to develop the final product.

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career?

During my studies, I had lots of opportunities to meet people from different parts of the world, from tutors, classmates, and also the public. I have gained a lot of experience on how to communicate with foreign people. These experiences have helped me face the challenges in my masters study since I needed to cooperate with over 20 people throughout the year. Furthermore, as I wish to find a job overseas, these experiences may definitely be a treasure for the future.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth?

Plymouth had lots of great resources to support my study and provided lots of chances for upgrading myself. Tutors were very nice and gave a lot of help and support to me. I definitely enjoyed my life in Plymouth.

If you are an international student, how did we help you to get used to living and studying in the UK?

During the International Student Orientation Programme, which took place in the first week I came to the UK, there were lots of events helping me to familiarise myself with the University and the city. Student helpers gave me a lot of advice about living in the UK. Tutors on my course also gave special support to international students like me so that we could catch up with the study materials quickly.

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Games and Interactive Systems studios equipped with dual-booted Apple iMac computers