Technology meets artistry at video game development awards 2017

Year-end ceremony recognizes student achievement in computer game development course.

Katie Willis - 27 April 2017

Students in CMPUT 250 Computers and Games will celebrate their collective achievements in video game design on April 28 at the ninth annual game development award ceremony.

A course focused on video game development, CMPUT 250 brings together students from across campus, from film studies to industrial design to software development, combining their various skills to complete the 12-week course. In groups of six, students spend the semester working toward one culminating project-a video game of their own.

Each year at the end of the term, students present their final projects for nomination for awards in five categories: excellence in art and design, excellence in writing and story, audio achievement, technical achievement and game of the year.

Hugely popular on campus, CMPUT 250 offers only 36 spots. The course is part of the Certificate in Computer Game Development, a joint certificate program between the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science, open to the entire University of Alberta community.

"A computer game is the culmination of creative efforts of many different artistic and technical disciplines, integrated through the capabilities of the computer," explained Vadim Bulitko, associate professor and lead instructor in the course.

The course features lectures from industry leaders like BioWare, as well as professors and graduate students from computing science, fine arts and beyond, giving students a taste of the world of video game design.

"This is one of few University of Alberta courses where undergraduate students from different disciplines come together to work on an intense team-based semester-long project," said Bulitko. "In doing so, they get to apply their specialized skills while at the same time learning to speak the other disciplines' language-just like in the real world, where many projects are team-based and team members have different backgrounds."

Canada is the world's largest producer of video games per capita. With game industry sales exceeding movie box-office ticket sales worldwide, preparing to work in this dynamic and lucrative field is of great interest to students across disciplines at the U of A.

The ninth annual awards ceremony takes place April 28 at 4 p.m. in the U of A's Computing Science Centre, room B-02. All are welcome.