The newly launched Tromsø Game Lab lets students develop and release their own games during their university studies as part of a new initiative created in partnership with the local games industry.
For many people, developing games while they are studying at the University is something they do in their spare time. But now, the new Tromsø Game Lab under the Department of Computer Science at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, is launching a new initiative where students will get official credit (10 ECTS points to be exact) for developing and releasing their own game. According to the official site for the new program, the initiative aims to to let the students learn both about game development and business startup life.
We want you students to experience and learn game development and at the same time enjoy the excitement of being an entrepreneur and launching your own game
The new initiative is open to master level and PhD students connected to a study programme in computer science at UiT and is planned to last one semester. The program has already attracted enough students to have no less than 15 different games in production to be released this spring and summer.
The new initiative is set up in partnership with some of the local professional game developers from the thriving local scene around Tromsø, and according to Anders Andersen, Associate professor at Tromsø Game Lab, that’s one of the reasons for the new initiative.”We have a goal at the Department of Computer Science and at the university to cooperate and be involved with the local industry,” he tells Nordic Game Bits.
To ensure cooperation between the university and the local games indsutry, Tromsø Game Lab has hired one of the local profiles, Kim Daniel Arthur from Superplus, in a part-time position. “to both get input form the industry to our department, research and education, and to provide input back to the same industry,” as Andersen explains.
The new initiative also allows students to engage in a game development scenario that is much closer to the reality of game development that some of the students will face after their studies. “it provides the challenge of developing a real, and in the end released, product,” Andersen says. And then, there’s also the advantage that game development is just very popular with the students.
However, as this is the first iteration of the program, nothing is really set in stone yet, Andersen tells Nordic Game Bits.
This time is a first try where not everything is completely formalized.
As Andersen explains, this means that the students are getting slightly different versions of the course to see what works the best. That experience will then be rolled into the more formalized program that is expected for the next edition of the course.