In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we hosted a special #Shillumni competition. One lucky Shillington graduate could win a trip to any of our six international campuses including flights, accommodation and spending money. We received lots of creative entries, and reconnected with so many graduates from the last two decades. Hearing their success stories and how Shillington helped their careers reminded our whole team why we love what we do. Stay tuned—we’ll be sharing some of the entries throughout 2017 on social media.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the big winner! Vanille Cuvelier, a Shillington Manchester graduate with no previous game design experience, taught herself a brand new skillset to design and develop an amazing mobile game called Shillorun. Download it yourself and play!

Vanille couldn’t quite believe she won the grand prize and expressed gratitude for the greater Shillington community: “I feel fortunate to be part of such an incredibly helpful and supportive #Shillumni community. One that has time and time again helped me find a new job, new colleagues, get inspired, learn new skills, meet new friends and even find new housemates! I honestly couldn’t ask for a better community to be a part of and it is safe to say that it would’ve been near impossible to get to where I am today without Shillington.”

Vanille will be making the flight to Sydney, Australia this year to meet the Shillington team and explore the creative scene of the Land Down Under. We can’t wait! Read on to hear more.

As our winner of the first-ever #Shillumni competition, how do you feel?

Ecstatic! And overwhelmed!

I can’t quite believe I’ve been chosen as the winner, especially when you look at the calibre of all the #Shillumni out there.

Why did you decide to make a mobile game as your #Shillumni competition submission?

As soon as I heard about the #Shillumni competition, I knew I wanted to break out of my design comfort zone and learn a new skill.  At Shillington we were all taught to continuously push ourselves and develop our skills, so it felt right for me to work on something completely new. I knew I wanted to recreate a shorter version of the Shillington journey in a way that other #Shillumni could interact and resonate with, so a mobile game felt like the perfect way to do that.

Can you talk us through the technical components of the game? Was there any new software you had to learn to make Shillorun? Any tips for fellow #Shillumni wanting to dip their toes into the world of game design?

Admittedly, I didn’t give myself plenty of time to create Shillorun – definitely not enough to learn how to code a game from scratch anyway! After doing a bit of research, I figured I could create a Shillorun using GameSalad, a mobile game development platform that allows you to create iOS, Android and HTML5 games without any coding knowledge. You just need to create a few scenes, actors, behaviours, rules and attributes, and away you go! You can also create your own graphics and import them into GameSalad, which lets you customise your game from start to finish.

To get started, I would recommend following a few of the ‘basics’ tutorials available on GameSalad’s website. Then head over to Youtube where you’ll find tutorials for all types of – arcade, runner, puzzles etc.

Creating a game is really straightforward once you get the hang of how rules, behaviours and attributes work.

GameSalad’s forum is also a godsend and I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re stuck – it got me through the process of publishing the game on to the App Store.

Had you attempted something like this before, and do you think you’d do it again? Is Shillorun 2 on the cards?

I’d never attempted to create a mobile game before, and if it wasn’t for the competition I don’t think I would’ve ever attempted it either! It opened my eyes to this whole other field that I always knew existed, but always felt slightly inaccessible. I thought games and apps were generally best left to the pros – developers and coders – and not graphic designers. But that’s not the case anymore! In fact, I’ve enjoyed this experience so much that it’s made me want to learn how to code and design a game from scratch so who knows, Shillorun 2 could definitely be on the cards.

Do you think your time at Shillington heightened your curiosity for learning new skills? Is this something you’d encourage other #Shillumni to do as they work within an ever-changing industry?

Without a doubt! I’d always been a bit curious before studying at Shillington, but I do feel like the course takes it to the next level and really brings it out of you. The design world is ever-changing, new technologies are constantly being created and replaced, so as graphic designers it makes sense for us to evolve with it. I don’t think you could ‘sustainably’ stay a graphic designer without continuously improving your skills and learning new ones too. Sure, I don’t make use of my shiny new skill every day, but this experience has allowed me to see things differently and realise that my career can take different paths.

What does being a #Shillumni mean to you?

For me, being a Shillumni doesn’t just mean graduating with an amazing graphic design portfolio, an invaluable set of skills and incomparable experiences. It’s so much more than that.

As a Shillumni I feel fortunate to be part of such an incredibly helpful and supportive community.

One that has time and time again helped me find a new job, find new colleagues, get inspired, learn new skills, meet new friends and even find new housemates! I honestly couldn’t ask for a better community to be a part of and it is safe to say that it would’ve been near impossible to get to where I am today without Shillington and it’s Shillumni.

Want to play Shillorun for yourself? Download it yourself and play!

Special congratulations to our five runners-up, who will receive a special prize package: Tommy Higgs, Ashlee Kim, Jenny Leung, Jing Ong and Vanessa di Cristino. Expect to see their entries shared on social media later in 2017!

Learn more about our new #Shillumni network.