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Computer Science & Game Design Experts Share On “How Are Games Made”

June 13, 2022 | Campus News

The demand in the computer science and game design industry is now higher than ever making it an excellent field to venture into!

To cope with the rising demand, The One Academy has collaborated with DigiPen USA, the university behind the world’s first video development degree to bring exceptional diploma and degree programmes such as Diploma in Game Design, Diploma in Computer Science, (BA) Game Design, (BS) Computer Science and Game Design and (BS) Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation to Malaysia.

While the reaction from the crowd has been absolutely amazing, many were still confused on which pathway to follow. To address this, The One Academy had invited two professionals from DigiPen USA to share their expertise on the subject.

Jeremy Holcomb (Program Director - BA in Game Design) and Ben Ellinger (Vice President of Software Production) held an exceptional Virtual Masterclass titled “How Are Games Made” during which they spoke about the ins and outs of these exciting fields.

Ben Ellinger is an experienced programmer and technical designer who has worked on professional games, tabletop games, real-time strategy games, multiplayer games and more whereas Jeremy Holcomb specialises in user experience and has worked on numerous analog games which include collectible card games and board games.

They kicked off the session tackling the idea of game design and all of its supporting parts. Emphasising that game design is a fundamentally collaborative process right from the start where a game idea is conceptualised up to the end where it is shipped to the masses, many different people have had a hand in bringing it to life.

But why does DigiPen use games to teach its renowned syllabus?

“Games are fun to play and a useful tool to learn design”, said Ben. The fundamental skills students learn are design skills but the medium in which they learn them is through games.

The speakers went on to define the different parts of the syllabus and how using games to teach them is a winning process. “Level design is fundamentally a type of design that is interested in how people move through space, but also the experience. For example, walking down a hallway is more than just the architecture and physicality of it, there is also the experience, the emotion of moving through that space”, stated Ben.

Another key component is system design, which is the math or the underlying skeletal structure of what makes a game or other design space work. For example, in a street fighter game, system design is the structure that tells us how many hit points things have or how much damage things do. It’s being able to take numbers and turn them into something someone can have an engaging experience with. Students who enjoy maths and structure will thoroughly enjoy system design.

Other components students will master are narrative design or the art of storytelling, user experience design which tackles how a game feels in gameplay and user research where the fundamentals of how people are reacting to the game is studied. All these are essential components of game design.

The learning does not stop with game design. Tech innovations such as the Metaverse, AI, Big Data, 6G, Cloud Computing, Edge Computing and Blockchain are taking the world by storm and changing the way we live. From education to entertainment, the digital era has opened up new possibilities. To equip graduates with the right tools to forge a successful career in these fields, DigiPen also provides exceptional computer science programmes.

One of the key components of the DigiPen syllabus is programming. Programming is an essential part of the digital era as it is the process of creating a set of instructions that tell a computer or software how to perform a task. At the heart of all these tech trends is programming and apart from game programming, students will also be exposed to software programming, network programming, graphic programming, physics programming, artificial intelligence programming, tools programming and more. All these are then tied together using math and code to build software.

During the Masterclass Q&A session, one of the key questions asked by a participant is whether further education in computer science and game design is worth the investment if one is already equipped with the foundational knowledge of coding and programming. The speakers answered that “one of the things you got to watch out for if you just stay in the industry and try to do it is a lot of times even though your programming is part of your job that doesn't mean you're programming in a way that you're going to learn how to program a lot better”. One of the key benefits of an education in these fields is that it is going to let you explore different areas of programming and really develop your skills as opposed to learning on the job and getting really good at only one part of the process.

The One Academy is committed to providing the best art education programmes and continues to nurture its students passionately through its ‘Masters Train Masters’ coaching philosophy, which has been practised for over 30 years, by providing diploma and degree courses namely Advertising & Graphic Design, Digital Animation, Digital Media Design, Film Visual Effects, Interior Architecture & Design, Illustration, Fine Arts, Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making, Computer Science, Game Design and Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation. For more information on The One Academy, visit www.toa.edu.my or call (+603) 7875 5510 or e-mail your enquiries to [email protected]

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