SHE was the first female to graduate from the male dominated world of computer games design at the University of Bolton - and to the envy of gamers everywhere worked on one of the biggest video games of all time — Grand Theft Auto V.
Shauni Maple is now back at the University of Bolton to teach the next generation of designers in the fast-growing industry.
After graduating in 2012, Shauni secured a position with one of gaming’s leading developers, Rockstar Games, on the biggest title game of 2013, Grand Theft Auto V.
She worked as a quality assessment games tester, an integral part of the development process in which testers analyse different aspects of a game’s playability, find bugs and feed results back to the developer.
The 23-year-old, who lives in Bolton, said: “It was a great experience working on Grand Theft Auto V.
“To be part of something as big as that and knowing your contribution was a key part is great.”
By the end of last year, GTA V had sold nearly 33 million copies worldwide, with sales still going strong.
Shauni added: “To have my name in the credits is a really good feeling. When the game first came out it was amazing that I could tell people to look for my name in the credits.”
She is now teaching the next generation of gaming graduates, lecturing on the metrics and mechanics of gaming.
Shauni added: “Working alongside my old tutors and being on this side of the fence is a bit bizarre, but it is a really good experience.
"Working with the students is great and I can relate to them on a personal level because I’m a similar age.”
Shauni was the University’s first female graduate on the Games Design course and is encouraging other women to join the industry.
She said: “I was quite surprised when I went into the industry. I had that male-dominated stereotype in my head, but when I got to work I thought ‘wow, there are more women than I thought there would be’ which is great to see, and made me feel at ease.
“I developed my love for games design through my love of games in general.
“I have been playing games since a very young age — about five-years-old — with my family always playing them around me.
“I always thought it would be really cool to work and develop a game for others to enjoy.
“And I've always been a firm believer that its better to find a job that you can enjoy and be passionate about.”
During her time on the course, Shauni secured internships and undertook unpaid work alongside her studies to boost her CV.