MANY people love video games, but imagine having a career that is related to games development.
Among the reasons why students choose to pursue courses related to games development at the tertiary level are passion, interest and desire to be creative.
Bachelor in Computer Science (Game Development) student Ian Pee, 21, who is studying at Multimedia University (MMU) in Cyberjaya, said he is amazed to learn that people have at least one favourite game at some point in their lives.
“When a game is fun, it makes the player happy and satisfied, and this provides them entertainment. This is why I want to make games.”
The same passion can be seen in Yap Wei Kit, 23, who initially wanted to study software engineering or data science programming, but changed his mind. Instead he took up game development at MMU.
He said he has been playing video games since he 3 and decided to take up the course as it is something that interests him.
“It does not stray far computer science because at the end of the day, I still have to write codes and programmes logics.”
Limkokwing University student Chiew Seng Jie finds that game design is more than fun and games.
He said it gives a student the platform to explore different areas of entertainment not only in the gaming industry, but also in movies and sports.
“The university equips me with the right skill-set to design, manage projects and produce world-class games on top of attaining skills as a project manager for a team of artists and programmers.
“I have learnt a lot from my internship and industry talks that canboost our potential for employment upon graduation.”
But learning how to develop games is not without its challenges.
For Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Bachelor of Arts (Game Design) student, Zachary Tristan Quah, 20, not having the opportunity to watch Japanese animation or reading Manga while growing up has put him at a disadvantage in class.
“Sometimes, it is difficult to familiarise myself with game design concepts, but I managed to catch up as we (the students) share the same interest.”
Quah said his course teaches the basics right up to the advanced level of game design.
He said the course includes learning how to write codes to programme a game, animate and designcharacters.
“I have so much to learn but this course has strategically and creatively prepared me for what’s coming next in the future of video games.”
Time management and teamwork are also challenges in studying game design.
Pang Wen Horng, 24, from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Development programme, said there are no boundaries to what one can create when it comes to games.
He said with imagination and creativity, anything that might seem impossible in the real world can be made possible in the gaming world.
“As a student, managing time can be a challenge as there are modules that demand not only technical skills, but also creativity. So good time management can help us complete our work on time.
“I have to learn the importance of teamwork as I believe creativity is inspired, not born, so having people from different backgrounds working together paves the way for brilliant ideas.”
The biggest challenge for Yap is the need to adapt to different technical environments.
“My course emphasises ‘how to do something’, and not ‘how to use this tool’ to do something. Different subjects use different tools. As you are not fluent in the usage of the tools, you have to know what you need from each tool instead of spending too much time learning how to use only one tool.
“What comes out of all these hardships though, is the ability to be flexible and adapt to different environments, which I think is useful no matter what your future might be,” said Yap.
For him, this creative industry gives him the opportunity to be expressive in using games as a medium.
“Ideally, I would prefer to work in a game studio as a developer or designer, but I am not the kind of person who plans far ahead in the future, so we’ll have to see what the future has in store.”
Zachary hopes that video games such as That Dragon, Cancer and What Remains of Edith Finch can benefit the players and that is what he strives to deliver in his future endeavours.
Pee, meanwhile, hopes to leverage on the gaming industry by making an open world game that has its main settings set in Malaysia.
“This will not only let people immerse in the environment of Malaysia, but also learn our culture and way of living.”
Quah is looking forward to become a story designer as he is interested in story designing and games with good storylines are always his first choice.
“I would love to create stories and build a strong relationship between a player and his game character.
“A character in a game is just as important as a story as there can’t be a good game plot without an iconic character to begin with.”
Pang said it is nice to learn a skill that is not common and requires specific expertise in the real world via a game.
“For example, learning how to fly a plane or how to save a life with first aid techniques from games.”