As fans of video games, I’m sure most of us have wondered how video games are actually made. Some really passionate gamers take the said question to heart and eventually get to help make games themselves. These people become game development professionals.
People who work in the game development industry are a varied bunch. There are game designers, game programmers, game artists/animators, game testers, game producers, and other less common roles. In the Philippines and for several years now, schools have been offering game development courses that enable students to take up the highly-specialized roles that function in creating a video game.
One of the most prominent schools in terms of game development education in the country is De La Salle University – College of Saint Benilde. The said school offered the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BS-IT) with Specialization in Game Design and Development curriculum in 2009, the country’s first 4-year degree program that centers on developing games. According to DLSU-CSB’s prospectus for 2011, students of the program “will be trained to address the needs and meet the standards of the local and global game development industry.” DLSU-CSB was also home to last year’s Philippine Game Development conference, wherein game dev students, in coordination with the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP) and other local studios, organized game dev work shops and lectures.
The Philippines’ National University (and my alma mater), the University of the Philippines, has also dabbled in teaching game development to students through the UP Information Technology Center (UP ITTC). UP ITTC offers game development programs either as short courses or a longer, full-time course. According to UP ITTC’s website, “The Game Design and Development Track focuses on the foundational knowledge of creating 2D and 3D Video Games. Students will understand fundamental key components and programming paradigms to create their own games from the ground up using C++, OpenGL, and OpenAL. The track will also give students a glimpse of rapid video game development using Unity3D.”
Another school offering a four-year degree program in Game Development is I-Academy, which is located in Makati’s Ayala Avenue. The academy’s BS-Game Development Program with Specialization in Game Programming and Design “integrates fundamental computer science with game design, studio art, electronic art, animation, and storytelling.” The school’s website adds that program will “helps students develop the technical, professional, and personal skills needed in the industry. Students will learn about game programming, developing game engines and artificial intelligence, and designing and developing a complete game”.
Far Eastern University -East Asia, FEU’s engineering and computer studies branch, is also offering a new program called BS-Information Technology with specialization in Animation and Game Development. The college’s website details that the program will provide students with “skills and knowledge in game conceptualization, mechanics, story, interactivity, design and 3D animation. The discipline is towards the approach in the studies of games, game genres and software package that delivers game across different platforms.”
Lastly, Philippine Multimedia school Cosmopoint International Institute of Technology (CIIT) is touting that students of it’s game development degree program “will learn to make simple games from online all the way to consoles and mobile such as the iPhone.”
So there you have it, a handful of schools offering game development education in the Philippines. For a bigger list, check out the member schools of the Game Developers Association of the Philippines. I hope this helps anyone who’s interested in studying game development and becoming a game development professional like yours truly.