Game Development Deal offers huge advantage to Students

7 05 2008

The Game Development programme at Auckland’s Media Design School (MDS) has secured top deals with both Sony and Nintendo, and for the first time Kiwi students will be given access to cutting-edge, industry-standard game development kits for both Sony PSP and Nintendo GameCube consoles.

Having access to these kits will allow Media Design School students’ games to be developed for and played on both consoles, increasing chances for development deals after they graduate.

Media Design School’s Game Development Course Leader, Mr Brendan Burns is thrilled with the secured deal and says, “Game studios need developers who can write code or prepare art assets not just for the PC, but for fixed hardware consoles like Nintendo’s GameCube and Sony’s PSP. As such we are further enhancing our console development modules to provide our students with the skills they need to get into the top studios.”

“Our industry partners – Game Studios Metia Interactive, Sidhe Interactive, and Straylight Studios – all stated their emphatic support for graduates with development kits experience,” says Burns.

“Furthermore, the majority of MDS Game Development graduates all ranked the inclusion of the now-defunct Criterion’s RenderWare as a deciding factor in their reasoning for studying at MDS. When RenderWare was bought by Electronic Arts, the support forum was pulled worldwide, and now we are delighted to have not one, but two industry heavyweights supporting the school again.” says Burns.

Media Design School will be the first educational body in New Zealand not to mention Australasia to have access to both Sony and Nintendo development kits.

The Sony PSP Academic Development Program, courtesy of the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), includes physical hardware development kits, SN Systems ProDG compilers, and access to Sony developer forums, as well as feedback from top Sony developers.

The Nintendo GameCube Academic Development Program, courtesy of Nintendo of America, will provide the school with physical hardware GameCube T-Dev kits, Freescale CodeWarrior Development Tools, and the Nintendo GameCube SDK.

Both of these kits will allow Media Design School students to write games using the exact tools used by the games industry to make Nintendo GameCube and Sony PSP games.

“We greatly thank Sony and Nintendo for making their technology available to Media Design School students. It will no doubt help to further develop New Zealand’s reputation as an emerging hub for game developers,” says Burns.

The students have also been given access to Industry-Standard Gamebryo Middleware from US cross-platform provider Emergent. Gamebyro is used by AAA studios around the world and is the game runtime engine of choice for hundreds of games in multiple genres.

Media Design School’s latest Student Game Oddballs was showcased the the Armageddon Expo in Wellington to rave reviews. The team of 9 in the 2007 Interactive Gaming class developed the multi-player racing game in just 6 weeks. The game is currently ranked 4th on gamecareerguide.com. To download Oddballs visit http://www.gamecareerguide.com/downloads/

For information on all Media Design School courses, visit www.mediadesign.school.nz or phone 09 303-0402. An Open Day will be held on May 29th from 12pm till 7pm at Level 12, 242 Queen Street, Auckland. Come along to meet students, tutors, win some prizes and check out student work and games first hand!

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