A student in Game Design & Technology
Interview with Marek Černák from Slovakia, first-year student in the master's programme Game Design & Technology.
What made you apply for the master's programme Game Design & Technology?
– Basically because I wanted to work as game developer. I had a master's degree in information systems already and I was working as a software engineer. As a software developer I was interested in taking my knowledge further and more specifically into game development. But I realised it would be too time consuming to try to expand my competence in my spare time, so I decided to apply for a programme targeted at game development.
– I was also looking for a master's education somewhere in the Nordic countries, since I had been to Norway as an Erasmus exchange student and I was very fond of the climate, nature and society there. I found this programme that is targeted at game design, programming, computer graphics, and game engines, which I find most interesting.
How would you describe the programme?
– The master's programme Game Design & Technology has a focus on technical aspects of game development, but it also provides insight on how the game is designed from the perspective of game mechanics and rules.
– The programme is trying to cover the whole knowledge spectrum needed in the game development area, which means lots of technological courses like Game Engine Architecture, Computer Graphics and also many elective courses like Artificial Intelligence or Real-Time Systems. Game engine architecture and Computer graphics are among my favourite courses by the way. Right now, we are working hard to finish our project in the course Game engine architecture…
– But to be honest I didn't expect the first period of study to be that much about game research. As I said, I have a master’s in information systems already and I am used to studies related to computer science. In the first study period, we were supposed to learn a lot about research from the game design perspective, rather than the technological one. I had to leave my comfort zone, but I found the process of learning about game history and how game can be analysed from a design perspective interesting. I was surprised about the content in the course Introduction to game research, and when I look at it now, I see it as one of my favourite courses.
– Another new thing that was new to me and that I like is the programme's intentions to encourage students to go to game conferences and game jams. I find the programme management very nice and supportive in this. You might be able to attend some very interesting conferences or game jams with your classmates and meet people with the same interests and also gain some new contacts.
What do you think about studying in Gothenburg?
– I like northern Europe and the seasonal change – also gloomy weather to some extent, haha! It is kind of similar to our weather in Slovakia except for more rain, but since we don't have this kind of master’s programme in Slovakia anyway, I knew I had to study abroad.
– I appreciate the study environment here and I find the campuses very nice. I like the premises, the staff and the professors very much. It is a very friendly atmosphere and my experience is that people here are solution oriented and try to help you out with any issues that might occur during your time as a student. We take a lot of courses together with Chalmers' students, since the Department of Computer Science and Engineering is common between Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg, and I think it is a nice idea to have that mix of students.
Text and photo: Catharina Jerkbrant, 2019