FORT MYERS, Florida – Designing video games as a job sounds like a luxury, right?
But a Florida Gulf Coast University design program takes this concept from the virtual world and turns it into reality. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry that seems to be growing as video games approach. Their creation is taught at Florida Gulf Coast University, as part of the Digital Media Design program.
“It’s definitely one of my passions. I’ve been interested in video games most of my life.
Thomas Griffin is an alumnus of the program. For his senior project, he created his own video game demo. The graphics are comparable to those of leading games in the industry, but what’s even more impressive is the amount of work that went into it.
“I used Game Creator for the main mechanics of John moving, pushing things and collecting items,” Griffin explains. “All the visuals are powered by Gaia Pro which is a plugin for Unity that somehow improves the overall look of the game when it comes to lighting and shading and textures. This gives it a nice professional touch. .
Two years ago, video games were not part of the FGCU’s curriculum. Due to the high demand and growing number of students, the university’s design concentration in the art program has grown.
“Because we had so much interest and so many students who wanted to do it, we grew up in this program and now we’ve been going for two years,” said Mike Salmond, Associate Professor and Media Design Program Coordinator. digital at FGCU. “We just hit 233 majors today. We’ve had explosive growth, which is really, really fantastic.
A total of 21 students, like Griffin, graduated from the program in May, and a few of them have created a video game. It’s a good start to getting that dream job.
“It’s an important thing for us in digital media design, it’s prototyping,” said Salmond. “Anyone can have a great idea, can’t they, for a video game? But doing it is very different. So we make sure our students can do whatever they want, which makes them more invaluable to the industry when they get out of here and can go out and do all of these amazing things.
Griffin said, “Regarding a senior project at a college, I feel like I pulled off a pretty successful project when it comes to something that I would either like to continue in the future and release on Steam, or something I would like to use on my portfolio to search for jobs in the future.
You can find out more about the Digital Media Design program at the FGCU online here.