Gaming grads set up studio that helps to save lives

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Five graduates from the University of Northampton are helping to save lives – direct from their digital studio.

Last year, William Marshall set up 925 Studios with fellow Games course graduates Ben Maher, Artise Brown, Wednesday Garrett and Gabriel Cruceanu. 925 primarily works with the public sector, providing a variety of training simulations, virtual environments and prototypes.

Their first major project is a commission from the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) to build a virtual fire training simulation to promote UK fire safety law in the workplace.

William said: “It helps businesses to know what measures they need to take into consideration with fire safety law, how things in the workplace should be arranged and what protocols need to be in place to protect employees and the company.

“Simulations are a great way of training people in a safe environment, and we can build these virtual environments to spec.”

The decision to specialise in training simulations was made after the friends came to the rescue of students on the Early Childhood programme at Northampton.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Early Childhood undergraduates saw their placements in schools and nurseries cancelled. William & Co got to work and created a virtual reality version of a pre-school, which allowed the students to safely explore and identify hazards in a simulated environment.

Read more about that story.

William said: “By the end of last summer, I had an idea that we could carry on making these helpful simulations for clients – which we’re doing now for the NFCC.

“It’s exciting and exhilarating how quickly this is happening, because we’re using skills we gained during our games development degrees at the University of Northampton
straight out of the gate.”

“We’ve had lots of interested clients, which was initially a bit intimidating.

“We’ve done numerous projects though, with the support of lecturers like Iain Douglas and Rob Lambert from the Games Art course, as well as the University itself. We’re aiming to work more with the public sector, to push forward and gather more interest.”

Find out about 925 Studios on the website.