Wednesday, May 22

KDU offers honours degree in game development

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KDU’s game development programme has adopted Codemasters Studios’ benchmarking and standards.

KUCHING: KDU University College’s Creative Media Department — a component of the School of Computing and Creative Media — is offering the Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) and Foundation Studies (Art and Technology) programmes.

A press release said the Bachelor’s degree programme allows students the option to specialise in any one of the three discipline tracks in Game Development — Game Art, Game Design and Game Technology.

The school is pioneering the concept of ‘technological artistry’ in Malaysia, an approach to incorporate creativity into technology in order to produce graduates who will be the bridge between the two fields.

It is also spearheading MyGameDev2020, an Entry Point Project Initiative under the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) Education National Key Results Area (NKEA).

This Game Development Cluster represents the start of a strategic collaboration between educational institutions and industry sectors to create a high income, sustainable creative economy in the area of Game Development for Malaysia.

“The potentials of the industry are ripe for the picking, and the timing is ideal for Malaysia to seize this opportunity and enhance its global footprint in this sector,” said School of Computing and Creative Media head Tan Chin Ike.

“To ensure the industry’s success in the country, it is imperative that Malaysia develops a critical mass of skilled talents in this fast-growing industry.”

KDU University College also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Codemasters Studios, one of Europe’s largest independent games companies.

With this, the Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) programme has adopted Codemasters Studios’ benchmarking and standards for curriculum and assessment methods.

This collaboration is crucial in creating talents who will require minimum training for integration into this industry.

“We are not merely talking about quantity, but world-class quality which we can and have already achieved. We now have many local studios in Malaysia currently working on the next-generation game titles for the latest consoles. The quality will blow your mind.

“Look at the end credits of films like ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’, ‘Yogi Bear’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’. You will notice Malaysian names. The art for DiRT3 and Grid 2, both racing video games developed and published by Codemasters Studios, was mostly done in Malaysia by Malaysians. In fact, Malaysian talent has helped Ang Lee’s blockbuster movie ‘Life of Pi’ win an Oscar for Visual Effects as well,” said Tan.

KDU has also invested very heavily in their academic staff, most of whom were early pioneers in the Malaysian Game Development Scene.

As such KDU University College Game Development students are favourably received by the industry, and Tan is confident of a 100 per cent employability rate upon graduation.

“Because our teaching staff are predominantly from the industry and with their invaluable wealth of experience both in teaching and in developing games, our students are taught the production and pipeline techniques used by the actual game development industry, thus making them generally well-accepted into the fold.

“In fact, an international major game developer told us that our course actually met their expectations in terms of syllabus and, more importantly, outcomes for talent development,” he said.

KDU University College’s E3-Boosters, a newly introduced initiative, is expected to further enhance student employability.

Comprising three core elements — English Proficiency, EQ Development and Entrepreneurship — the initiative ultimately aims to groom individuals with good interpersonal skills and who are confident team players and problem-solvers with a positive attitude to learning.

KDU University College features a state-of-the-art game development studio that is fully equipped with Alienware desktops and a games research and recreation room with the latest games and consoles.

The career opportunities open to graduates in this field include game artists, designers, scripters, testers and programmers.

Game Development market share is currently valued at US$72 billion, with net earnings that surpass even that of the film industry.

In September 2013, Take-Two Interactive’s Grand Theft Auto 5 crossed US$1 billion in sales in just three days, making it the fastest selling property across all forms of entertainment.

For more details on KDU University College Game Development programmes, call 03-79536688, email [email protected] or go to www.kdu.edu.my.