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Game Development Insights-What to Look Out For in a Game Development Education: Part I

Hi all!

Today I’d like to share a little bit about gaming courses in Singapore. When we speak about game development education, what comes to mind is usually in line with either game programming, design or art—so depending on what your niche is, there are several things to look out for. To prevent an information overload, we shall separate it into three posts, starting with Game Design, before moving on to Game Art, and then Game Programming.

Gaming Courses in Singapore

There are several reasons for one to come to Singapore to study, so much that not all can be covered in detail. What aspiring game designers should know is that Singapore provides a safe, convenient and optimal learning environment. Furthermore, the Creative Technology industry in Singapore is quickly gaining prominence in Singapore, with the government raising its budget to support industry. As a result more jobs and opportunities have been created, making it the perfect place to start a career and education in.

As quoted by Singapore’s minister of Finance in the Budget 2014 debate, “There will be many jobs that involve working with technology and using technology to gain a competitive advantage. Jobs in engineering… Jobs in programming, data analysis, ICT. And jobs in the creative industry.”

A recent survey showed that from the period of 1986 to the year 2000, the creative cluster has been shown to be growing faster than its overall economy, with an annual growth rate of 13.4% as per compared to the national economic annual growth rate of 10.6%.

There are other numbers that could be thrown about such as the increased support and awareness in creative education, but it is better to summarise that Singapore’s creative industry is one of the fastest growing in the world, and definitely in its region.

Naturally, gaming courses in Singapore have also begun to evolve as its importance and demand grows. It has grown so important, that even the public schools have begun to integrate gaming courses into their programmes. Private institutions, like MAGES, offer their students accelerated programmes, as well as smaller student to lecturer ratios for a more tailor-made education.

Game Design

Game Design remains one of the more popular courses in Game Development education, owing perhaps to the fact that it covers a broader range of topics. A typical game design course should offer art modules (such as character design, animation), programming modules (C# programming, mathematics and physics for artificial intelligence), as well as design specific courses (level design, game design and development).

This has to do with the role of a designer in a development team. A typical game designer is expected to know aspects of both programming and art so as to be able to integrate the assets into the game, as well as fluent in design software and to be able to conceptualize the game mechanics and story.

A game designer is as much a creative role, as a technical role and is very much the glue of the development team. There are finer aspects to being a game designer as well. The game designer is often also expected to be knowledgeable in matters such as the business aspect of games, and as such, a deeper education in game design will often cover games business topics such as the psychology of pricing models, as well as market analyzing and deductions of video games.

A word of warning to all aspiring designers; due to the crucial nature of the job, most companies seek only experienced game designers to join their development team and graduates cannot expect a cushy job from the get-go.

However, those who show their passion and talent can quickly rise to prominence and make a name for themselves. The game industry, in Singapore especially, is small enough such that it is an extremely close-knit community, filled with supportive members who are always willing to lend a hand to promising developers.

On a final note, I hope that this short post has helped anyone considering a game design education in Singapore. Do leave your comments and queries if you want to know more about the subject matter or the video games industry in general, and I will try to have them answered to the best of my knowledge.

Cheers!

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