Studying a Computer Games course at the University of Portsmouth – Tips and My Experience

Are you considering studying a Computer Games course at university?

If so, why not read through my experience of the Computer Games and Enterprise course here in Portsmouth.

 

Background research

I advise you to do some research on game development before starting the course. When playing your favourite games, check online and read about them in depth to see how they were made and what processes were involved. You will be very surprised how much this opens your eyes to a variety of different game genres as well. This will also give you an idea of the specific route you wish to take and what to look for in a course.

 

Course specifics

From the very beginning of the course, units will be split into three main areas:

  • Design – the artistic side of things (drawing, painting etc.) and the use of digital creation as well (Adobe Photoshop, Premiere etc.)
  • Modelling – developing representations of three-dimensional surfaces of objects. The use of 3D Studio Max Software.
  • Programming – the manipulation of code in different programming languages

The first year will give you the opportunity to experiment with each of these aspects. You will then be able to see which one you feel most comfortable with and continue choose units based on your desired path. Don’t worry if you think you’ll be interested in more than one, after all, the more skills developed, the better, right?

 

Play more games

You have a valid reason to play games, it is important for your course! The more games you play, the more you learn and are able to make comparisons. Having a broad knowledge of games makes you calmer when searching for references and really does make coursework a whole lot easier to do.

 

The ‘Secret Portfolio’

While doing your course, you will be tempted to experiment and create things on your own that may not be part of unit assignments. This is absolutely fine, in fact, it is encouraged. Lecturers may not tell you this often, but do your own work and broaden your skills, provided you keep your assignments in order as well. Keep all of your inventions and creations in a portfolio; this may be what separates you from all the other potential candidates when seeking that job that you want after you graduate or during a placement year.

 

The business side of things

The amount of business related units will depend on whether you’re a CGT (Computer Games Technology) or CGE (Computer Games Enterprise) student. Either way, you might think that these topics are a waste of time or have nothing to do with games. WRONG! Pay as much attention to these units as the others. This will give you the mind-set of what the games industry is really like when it comes to things like marketing, finance, budgeting and sales for games.

 

I hope these few tips shed some light on what it’s like to study a computer games course at the University of Portsmouth. If you have any queries or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Email address – denis.odera@myport.ac.uk