I’m Nadia, a first year Computer Games Technology student. First things first my degree is not for playing video games, playing games definitely helps but we’ll get into that later… My degree consists of making video games, creating character and environment models, with a bit of animating here and there, and most importantly, professional and technical sides of computer science. Sounds a lot different to just playing video games, right?
I love my course, I was pressured a lot to take computer science because my course is very specific, it is, don’t get me wrong, my final assessments are based on video games or are video games but the skills are transferable so I don’t think it matters too much. What I love about my course is the community feel, everyone knows everyone regardless of the year you started, your age or background. The community feel is essential for the course because you can bounce ideas off each other and the creative freedom you get when completing assignments lets you see how everyone’s unique creations come together. It makes group work easier and makes life more enjoyable because going into a class where no one speaks gets dull quickly. We do game jams, game nights and our huge discord chat keeps everyone in the loop.
Why does playing games help me in my course?
Well, playing games lets you interact with everyone and become more social, by playing games online together, talking about games, consoles and anything else nerdy you can think of. Also, linking up technical parts of the course with parts of video games helps a lot (I could get super nerdy here but I’m holding myself back).
What people don’t understand is that the course is intense, it’s a hard course from what I have experienced and heard. The modules are intense, the checkpoints keep you on a very tight schedule and my assignments aren’t easy, I know it sounds weird, but I love my assignments. Making a game as my final assignment is hard but I enjoy it, so it no longer feels like a chore.
I get to test my game, which basically means become a pro at your own game while working out errors like going up a mountain, this sounds normal but in a boat that doesn’t sound too great so it’s something that needs to be fixed. Ultimately seeing a blank scene and then your finished product is quite satisfying and makes me feel like the assignment was worth something.
CGI Animation and Modelling is great, it takes a lot of time and strength because I’m more logical than creative so I am really out of my comfort zone there but I do enjoy it because I can make whatever I want and have fun trying regardless of the outcome. My one tip for CGI Animation is that referencing is key. I do give it to people who can model and animate a lot of appreciation because the eye for detail they have is great (VFX students are very talented).
So that’s the life of a Computer Game Technology student, we do play video games, just not all the time.