KDU University College spearheads the new Entry Point Project Game Development Cluster.

As another step in creating awareness towards the local game development industry, KDU University College has been given the green light by PEMANDU’s Education National Key Results Area (NKEA) Steering Committee for the establishment of MyGameDev2020, as an Entry Point Project under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

The Game Development Cluster, MyGameDev2020, is an Entry Point Project initiative that will enable Malaysia to become a leading Game Development centre in the region with a firm reputation as a creator of high-quality content and creative talents. This will be an attractive package for foreign game developers and investors to setup incubation and support hubs for independent game developers.

Electronic games is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and the number of people playing games is growing exponentially due to the popularity of casual games and better user interfaces.

An industry study conducted on the worldwide video game industry has predicted that the video game boom will continue through to 2012, with total sales soaring to $68.4 billion by the end of 2012.

As more consumers are picking up a controller, the video game industry shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, with a projected compound annual growth rate at an estimated 10.3 percent, Electronic Games is clearly going to outpace almost every form of entertainment, movies and music included.

As such; the demand for such high-level skills will only grow in the future.

The Game Development Cluster spearheaded by KDU University College, represents the start of a strategic collaboration between educational institutions and electronic games industry; with the support of Ministry of Higher Education and PEMANDU to meet this growing demand.

The MyGameDev2020 steering committee currently includes panel members drawn from MOL AccessPortal, Codemasters Studios, Streamline Studios, the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), Multimedia University, The One Academy of Communication Design and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

One of the strategic plans is to address the Talent Development issue in Game Development; thus leading to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between KDU University College and Codemasters Studios.

The MoU serves to establish and develop a close partnership for talent development and national awareness between the two parties, and to adopt Codemasters Studios benchmarking and standards for curriculum and assessment methods within KDU University College’s Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) programme.

The collaboration will propel KDU University College to the forefront in producing skilled graduates who will require minimum training for integration into the industry.

For more information, please visit MyGameDev today!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Digital/Electronic Games?

Electronic Games is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and the number of people playing games is growing exponentially due to casual games and better user interfaces.

An industry study conducted on the worldwide video game industry has predicted that the video game boom will continue through to 2012, with total sales soaring to $68.4 billion by the end of 2012.

As more and more consumers picking up a controller these days, the video game industry shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, with a projected compound annual growth rate at an estimated 10.3 percent, Electronic Games is clearly going to outpace almost every other form of entertainment, movies and music included.

As such; the demand for such high-level skills will only grow in the years ahead.

What is KDU’s Investment in this?

KDU University College has invested in a fully equipped Alienware Studio for the Development of Games and as a learning centre for the new degree programme. Alienware manufactures the world’s best high-performance PC gaming laptop and desktop computers.

KDU has also invested very heavily in their academic staff force, most of which were the early pioneers in the Malaysian Game Development Scene. Amongst the lecturers are Johannes Reuben, a seasoned industry veteran who worked as a Technical Art Director for one of the first few Game Development Companies in Malaysia; Bazil Akmal, the current Chapter Coordinator for International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Malaysia and a former programmer at John Galt Games and Hilmy Rahim, another seasoned game design veteran who was also one of the first Game lecturers in the country.

What does the MoU with Codemasters Studios entail?

The purpose of the MoU is to create a critical mass of skilled graduates who will require minimum training for integration into the Industry and to also adopt Codemasters Studios benchmarking and standards for curriculum and assessment methods within KDU University College’s Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) programme.

Why do we need a critical mass of skilled talents?

The primary measure of success in a digital game region is a critical mass of game developers.  Achieving a certain volume of workers provides a region with the necessary scale to make other key success factors like incubation, knowledge transfer and a sustainable ecosystem attainable. Without critical mass, it is difficult to find support, retain talent, and attract international visibility and credibility.

What is the Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) about?

The KDU University College’s Bachelor of Game Development (Hons) is a 3-year programme that allows the students an option to major in any one of the Three (3) Discipline Tracks which are Game Art, Game Design and Game Technology.

What is the difference between Game Art, Game Design and Game Technology?

Though every aspect in the game developing process is as important as the next, the first factor that a game will be judged on are its graphics. This is where game artists come into play. Game artists specialize in the creation of everything visual in the game, from characters to the interface.

Game Design is the art of crafting experiences, thus the job of a game designer is to transform a game idea into a reality. This specialization teaches students the fields of game mechanics, game-play, game balancing and level design.

Last but not least, the area of Game technology; in every game, behind those dazzling special effects, the intriguing dialogues, or even the enjoyable game-play system, they are bound together by strict and complex lines of codes. These codes govern how the game functions, when certain sounds are meant to happen and more importantly, help makes the game play smoothly.

What technology are we using?

Some of the programs that will be used to teach students will include the likes of Unreal Development Kits, Microsoft XNA Game Studio, Unity 3D or Ogre 3D. For the artist, we use 3D Studio Max, the Adobe range of products and Z-Brush, a digital sculpting application.

Are you not concerned that the game development degree could lead to people developing anti social habits? Encourage gaming addiction?

Gaming, the people who play them, and develop them are somewhat misunderstood.

Game development is not just about game development for entertainment purposes. Games have been used as teaching aids for a number of years, and the skills learned can be applied to any number of disciplines including simulation exercises, strategic planning and management.

How new is the Game Development Industry in Malaysia?

The landscape of games development is not new in Malaysia. Not many Malaysians are aware but Malaysia has been involved in Game Development since the early 90s. There were several Malaysian Companies that had been contracted for out-sourcing work on various Game platforms during that period.

Even now, some of the biggest names in Game Development is established in the South East Asian Region; Codemasters Studios has a local Malaysian Studio which handles the artwork for some of their biggest titles including Dirt3, Operation Flashpoint 2 and F1 2012.

Streamline Studios, an independent Dutch outsourcing and game developing studio has also set-up a studio right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Streamline Studios has been providing high quality content for all platforms and genre’s within the video games industry. Streamline’s work has been featured in several platinum selling hits including, Gears of War, Unreal Tournament and Ghost Recon.

Of course, there are several local companies as well. Do you know that the art work for games such as Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (2010) by SEGA, Afro Samurai (2009) by Namco Bandai Games America was done by local Malaysian companies?

Further south, in Singapore; Ubisoft, arguably the top three leading international game developer, publisher and distributor is based there. The company has a worldwide presence with 25 studios in 17 countries and subsidiaries in 26 countries. As of now, it is the third largest independent game publisher in Europe, and the third largest in the United States. The company’s largest development studio is Ubisoft Montreal, which currently employs more than 1,700 people.

Another company, Boomzap is headquartered in Singapore, and is a regional leader in the rapidly growing Southeast Asian game development industry. It has expanded into Malaysia, Germany, and the USA with a studio in Seattle to better distribute and market products to the North American audience. Boomzap’s games can be found in six languages on most major distribution channels in all major regional markets.

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