Ellie Dunstan - Games Developer
Ellie Dunstan - Games Developer
Ellie Dunstan - Games Developer
Ellie Dunstan - Games Developer

Hello...

My name is Ellie Dunstan and I'm a 22 year old developer based in Bristol. I'm studying Games Technology (BSc) at UWE part time, currently in my final year, with the rest of my time dedicated to working with PlayWest. Before coming to university, maths was my speciality. Now, I have evolved that into programming and development, particularly with my final project (dissertation) focussed on physics engine development and the 3D maths that supports it.

I have extensive experience in Unity/C# development, gained both academically and in industry, however C++ is my language of choice. I've also worked in/with engines such as Unreal 4 and Cocos2DX. Additionally, I've dabbled in DirectX 11 for procedural building generation and Python with Tensorflow for the implementation of sketch-based texture generation from a neural network.

Skills

  • C++ (3 years)
  • Unity/C# (3 years)
  • DirectX 11 (<1 year)
  • Open GL (<1 year)
  • Augmented reality development (2 years) - ARKit and Vuforia
  • Virtual reality development (2 years) - Oculus Rift and Quest, using a variety of APIs and packages
  • iOS and Android development (2 years)
  • Xcode (1 year)
  • Python/Tensorflow (<1 year)
  • LaTeX document writing (<1 year) - advanced technology reports
  • GitHub version control (3 years) - comfortable in command line and client applications, applied my skills in this both in industry and education, using issues, projects boards, branches, etc. to keep a good workflow within a team
  • iOS app publishing (1 year) - using Xcode and App Store Connect to push builds to TestFlight and the whole process of submitting an app for review
  • Cocos2DX (<1 year)
  • Unreal Engine 4 (<1 year)

Industry Experience

With HELLO® I began by creating some VR experiences as an experiment of what they could offer their clients beyond the scope of their traditional works. Initially, this was just for a week in January 2018 on an intern basis, however I returned the following summer where I began creating AR experiences for Android. One of these experiences was an image-target-based AR app which drew the attention Keycraft - a client of HELLO® - and I was commissioned to make a full AR companion app for their Elementos range of Nurchums hatch eggs. More information on the app can be found here, and it is available on the iOS App Store.

At PlayWest, I have worked on a virtual-reality, emoji-themed shop experience aiming to be a more engaging way to teach maths to primary school children. A basic prototype was created by me and a colleague and we are now waiting for funding to finish it. Alongside this, I helped out with iPatch Pirates, a cyber security game released in October as part of UWE's Cyber Security Week.

 

Interpersonal Skills

By taking part in game jams with complete strangers (who subsequently became good friends), working in industry with people from different disciplines, and working in a studio environment with other developers I have found that excellent communication skills, teamwork and leadership when required are all key skills when it comes to working in games development setting. I'd also add taking criticism in a constructive manner to that list; in the unlikely event that my work is damn right awful, I want someone to tell me!

At UWE, I did a stint as a PAL Leader in my second year, running bi-weekly support sessions for first year students. I chose to do this because I was determined to improve my confidence and leadership skills. At the time I was a bit of a nervous wreck in front of people but despite the self-loathing my decision caused me to start with, I soon got over that.

Additionally, I'm a student representative for the course which involves relaying feedback and pushing for changes related to the course and study to lecturers and course leaders. This feedback resulted in entire modules being replaced and the structure of the course modified to better suit the needs of the students whilst still providing us with a high quality university experience. Less significant changes included getting new computer chairs, dual monitor stands, and fixing the ventilation in the UWE Games lab. I was nominated and shortlisted for the “Innovation and Representation” award for my role as a student representative. 

Education

I'm currently studying at UWE Bristol for a degree in Games Technology (BSc). Modules (all 30 credit unless stated otherwise) completed include:

  • L3 - Advanced Technologies
  • L3 - Audio Visual Production
  • L2 - Gameplay Programming
  • L2 - Game Level Design (15 credit)
  • L2 - Game Engine Architecture (15 credit)
  • L2 - Play and Games
  • L2 - Low Level Programming For Games
  • L1 - Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • L1 - Game Development Evolution
  • L1 - Entertainment Software Development
  • L1 - Principles of 3D Environments

At Truro College, I studied A-Levels in Maths (A), Further Maths (B), 3D Design (B) and AS Physics (C). Maths has always been my strongest subject; I was achieving As in maths GCSE papers from year 9 (age 14).

From the Blog

  • 12 Jan 2020
  • Demo: Rigid Body Dynamics Engine with an Integrated Path Tracer
  • In-progress demonstration of my thesis; a rigid body dynamics engine with an...
  • 19 Oct 2019
  • Cyber Security Week 2019
  • During the week we held physical events at UWE campuses, where students and s...
  • 28 Jun 2019
  • VR Emoji Shop early days
  • A virtual reality shop experience aiming to teach maths to primary school chi...