En­trepreneuri­al­ism is a top pri­or­ity at this South Coast univer­sity

EDGE - - TIME EXTEND - TANYA KRZYWINSKA Pro­fes­sor, Dig­i­tal Games www.fal­mouth.ac.uk


Pro­fes­sor Tanya Krzywinska is a pro­lific re­searcher of games, and has pub­lished a num­ber of pa­pers and books in the field of screen-based and in­ter­ac­tive me­dia fic­tion. In 2006, she be­came pres­i­dent of the Dig­i­tal Games Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion and is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing an in­ter­ac­tive fic­tion game for iPad called The Witch’s Room. We spend some time with her dis­cussing the im­por­tance of flex­i­ble de­grees, main­tain­ing in­die sen­si­bil­i­ties, and why Fal­mouth sees it­self more as in­cu­ba­tor than school.

Which dis­ci­plines do your cour­ses cover? We of­fer six spe­cialisms in our BA (Hons) Dig­i­tal Games: art, an­i­ma­tion, au­dio, de­sign, pro­gram­ming and writ­ing.

So six en­try points to the same de­gree? Yes. We ap­pear to be set­ting a trend in con­tem­po­rary game ed­u­ca­tion by cre­at­ing an un­der­grad­u­ate course that al­lows stu­dents to spe­cialise in dif­fer­ent ar­eas of game de­vel­op­ment and to bring that spe­cial­ism to a group where live game de­vel­op­ment is un­der­taken. And rather than [as] tra­di­tional teach­ers, we see our role in terms of coach­ing and men­tor­ing; [it’s] an in­cu­ba­tion ap­proach to game de­vel­op­ment within a univer­sity con­text.

Spe­cial­is­ing is key, in your opin­ion? Ab­so­lutely. You should start to de­velop your spe­cial­ism as soon as you have de­cided which path­way into games you wish to take. Start mak­ing games with your friends, play many types of games, be ex­tremely cu­ri­ous about de­vel­op­ments that re­late to game de­vel­op­ment and tech­nolo­gies. Be open to learn­ing and play around with new soft­ware, but above all make games by spe­cial­is­ing in the area you want to work in! As an in­die de­vel­oper yourself, how do you feel about the la­bel these days? It’s more rel­e­vant than ever. In­die games thrive on dif­fer­ence and so the term re­ally does ap­ply here. We be­lieve that stu­dents stand a far greater chance of ful­fill­ing their as­pi­ra­tion to work in the in­dus­try if they take an en­tre­pre­neur­ial ap­proach to de­vel­op­ing their own games. By tak­ing this route, they’re likely to de­velop the type of in­de­pen­dence needed to be suc­cess­ful. Does this pre­pare them for the re­al­i­ties of work­ing in a large stu­dio, though? The fo­cused ap­proach we take will also pre­pare our grad­u­ates for work in the tra­di­tional game in­dus­try, since they’ll have de­vel­oped games to­gether in groups and prac­tised their spe­cialisms to a high de­gree. Our aim is to en­sure that our grad­u­ates are tal­ented within recog­nised skills and have real, pub­lished game portfolios that utilise recog­nised soft­ware. Most im­por­tantly, they will be able to ex­plore ar­eas of that all-im­por­tant dif­fer­ence in cre­ative think­ing that will make their work stand out! Have tools such as Unity changed the way you go about that? Yes – we’re now able to move away from mak­ing ‘sketches’ of games in 2D game en­gines to hav­ing the scope to make far more com­plex and po­ten­tially saleable games in what­ever di­men­sion!

“Fal­mouth is a very lively and cre­ative place, with gor­geous scenery and a great sense of com­mu­nity,” says Krzywinska. “There is a thriv­ing game com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing a gam­ing bar called 8-Bit in town”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.