Stepping Up Her Professional Game | Sydney Pallister’s Video Game Development Story

Sydney Pallister - Toronto Film School

 

It was only by chance that Sydney Pallister happened to stumble across Toronto Film School’s Video Game Design & Development program, but her ultimate decision to enroll in the 18-month diploma is one that’s already paying dividends.

 

Very shortly after completing her final term at TFS earlier this year, Pallister was hired on by Beamdog video game developer as a programmer for the game MythForce – an opportunity the 25-year-old Class of 2022 valedictorian said has allowed her continue to grow as a professional.

 

“I was fortunate enough to be hired at Beamdog almost right after my last semester ended, which has been wonderful,” she said, crediting her studies at TFS for allowing her to broaden her skill set “significantly” and flourish in her chosen field.

 

“In the future I’d like to see myself stay with the company, as I love the atmosphere, the people, and the work that I do. I know I’ll definitely be staying within the video game industry for a long time, if I have anything to say about it.”

 

Beamdog video game developer of MythForce

 

Pallister recently sat down to reflect on her time at Toronto Film School, her passion for video games, and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:

 

Tell us about yourself.

 

I’m 25 years old and I’m from Oshawa Ontario. I’ve always had a strong passion for content creation, especially writing and making video games. These were important aspects of my life growing up and shaped my career aspirations, as well as what I enjoy doing for fun. I enjoy the way media can resonate with people and really stick with them, and become something representational that means more to them than just a show, a movie or a game.

 

What brought you to Toronto Film School? Where were you in life when you decided to continue your studies with us? 

 

I had previously graduated another program for design, which ended right when the pandemic lockdown started. This affected me and my classmates’ networking and career opportunities hugely, and I felt as though I needed more hard skills to pursue my passion. I signed up to hear more about Toronto Film School’s Video Game Design & Development program, and after speaking with a recruiter, I was convinced that it would be a great opportunity for me at the time.

 

What made you decide to pursue your passion for video game design? 

 

I’ve always had this dream, and have always made plans to go to school for it. When I found that I enjoyed programming as much as I enjoy the more artistic aspects of it, I knew I’d enjoy pursuing multiple different career options within the industry. My family has also always been very supportive and encouraging to go into a field that I am passionate about, which always helps.

 

Sydney Pallister sporting VR goggles

 

What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at TFS? 

 

I took away a lot of really valuable things from TFS, and really enjoyed my experiences with the school. The biggest things were definitely how to represent yourself as a professional and network within the industry, as well as the hard skills I need to get by day-to-day at my job. I definitely made some long-lasting friendships with the whole crew in my class. We were a pretty close group, especially within the capstone group. I still keep in touch with people from this group, and plan to for a long time.

 

What are your plans after graduation both immediate and long term? 

 

My immediate plans are to keep doing what I’m doing with my current job position. I was fortunate enough to be hired at Beamdog almost right after my last semester ended, which has been wonderful. In the future I’d like to see myself stay with the company, as I love the atmosphere, the people, and the work that I do. I know I’ll definitely be staying within the video game industry for a long time, if I have anything to say about it.

 

If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be? 

 

I would say that the best advice I can give is to network actively with your peers and professors, as you are making relationships that can really matter for you in the future if you do. I would also say, make sure you’re looking at your assignments as an opportunity to create a really stellar portfolio piece where applicable. Your portfolio will be a huge factor in applying for jobs afterwards, so you want to do future you a favour.

 

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