About KAMK University
In Kajaani University of Applied Sciences’ wide-ranging studies, students receive valuable knowledge and experience in game development. In basic studies, students will have a strong foundation for project work, business, languages and communication, as well as general skills in various aspects of game development. In professional development studies, students deepen their knowledge in game programming, graphics, game play or game production. The students of KAMK University have gained recognition both nationally and internationally in various competitions and events. KAMK is the only Finnish university in the Sony PlayStation First Academic Partner program.
2,000 students, approx. 240 members of staff
Passed the highest quality audit by Finnish Education Evaluation Centre in 2015
Sports facilities on campus available for all students
All services in one campus area; study facilities, sports facilities, restaurant and cafés, Student Health Centre Vital, Library
For years, KAMK has been among the top five UAS in Finland to offer high quality student guidance and counselling. In 2011, KAMK ranked the best UAS in Finland based on several indicators
Has participated in several game related entrepreneurial projects internationally.
KAMK has long experience both in implementing and managing projects.
Fields of study: Social Sciences, Business and Administration, Natural Sciences,Technology, Communications and Transport, Social Services, Health and Sports, Tourism, Catering and Domestic Services
There are placement, practical training, exchange and other great opportunities available for game development students!
Short overview of the global game industry
Game industry is rapidly growing business area, which is also going through major changes. Mobile marketplaces have provided new opportunities for new companies to make games with smaller budgets but still reaching huge amount of users.
The new digital distribution channels have been proven to be effective way to reach end users and to directly monetize from them. Game markets keep growing along with the different gaming capable devices penetrating markets all over the world. For example, as of third quarter 2016, there were 500 million Android devices alone activated and 1.3 million new activations per day. Apple’s iOS family boasts with similar figures.
According to recent study by ComScore MobiLens, about 60% of smartphone users in EU play games at least monthly, and around 26% of smartphone users play games on daily basis. Similar study showed that 64% of US smartphone users play games.
The industry is also seeing growth in the web with Facebook and other social network based games and reaching more and more players, Facebook alone having around 1,2 billion worldwide users.
Students in IGDC will be taught to partner with other developers, well capable of developing quality games to extend their capability to develop multiple projects at the time.
Short overview of the game industry in India
With India continuously ranking as Top 3 countries in terms of games downloaded on Google Play – it’s a matter of when but not if this market will also become valuable in terms of revenue.
Year 2018 will bring more global companies entering India.
Gaming giants with cash will look to deploy more capital in India to try and break the monetization riddle that Indian mobile gamers have been throwing for some time. With Tencent Games set to enter India it will be interesting to see how the landscape evolves, in 2017 Yoozoo Games and Riot opened local offices and companies like Zynga India launched its first India specific game – more such news will follow in 2018.
Games people will play in India: 2017 was the year when Ludo became a national obsession again but on their smartphones. Ludo King, the most popular Ludo game in India, clocked about 10 Million+ DAU and it will likely continue to grow.
In terms of revenue, Social Casino (Teen Patti) continued to dominate the grossing charts and grow their revenue. This will likely continue in 2018 with Poker games sub-genre becoming stronger during the year.
2018 will not see India become a China with multiple app stores but Chinese smartphone companies like Xiaomi / Oppo / Vivo in 2018 will try and bring some form of their existing App store business that is successful in China to India – whether they will be successful in making a dent will be interesting to see, as apart from pre-installs there are some talks of independent stores as well.
Google Play, on the other hand, will likely get more payment methods added to Google Wallet – whether they make Tez part of Google Play will be something to watch out.
Indian game market seems very interesting and there will be several Indian players amongst Western and Asian game industry players.
- text from Anuj Tandon on tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com
''Flipped Learning is the pedagogical approach used in the course. It is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.'' - University of St. Thomas
In order to complete the course, students need to publish their game.
-Timetables and schedules (how much have you worked and how did you plan it)
-Project link, video etc. (showcase of your project, what did you get done)
-Post Mortem (evaluation of the whole process, what went right, what went wrong, what could have been done better and what did you learn from the project)
-Course Feedback (evaluation of the project)
Active course participation, 320 hours of project work. Student receive a certificate of completion worth of 12 ECTS study credits.
The course is project work based, so the students will not just be learning dry programming concepts, but applying them immediately to real indie games as they go. All the project files will be included, as well as additional references and resources — because of the pedagogical model used the students will never get stuck. There are coaches, “talking heads”, powerful diagrams, quality screen casts and most of all hands-on working in student led teams.
Learning outcomes of the course - Students will understand the characteristics of game business and be familiar with business operation models and the different opportunities of financing and marketing. Students will make commercial games and the games will be published if the criteria for monetization and further development is fulfilled. The student advisor will recommend optional programme components for each student based on their individual study plan.
Project work in teams making commercial games
Characteristics of Game Business
Business Operation Models
Financing in Game Industry
Basics of Game Marketing
Brainstorming and pitching – students pitch their game ideas to the teacher and student audience. The teachers give feedback and approve or deny the project. Projects are refused if the deliverable is not achievable in the given time or if the game idea is deemed as difficult to monetize.
High Concept - A high concept document is primarily a sales tool, although you can write one for yourself as well, just as a way of keeping a record of ideas you’ve had. Think of it as a résumé for a video game. The point of a résumé is to quickly convey a job applicant’s qualifications and try to get him an interview with the hiring manager. A high concept document should be two to four pages long and should take no more than 10 minutes to read. The longer it is, the less likely it is that the producer will finish reading it. It shouldn’t have a title page; the title and your name appear at the top of the first page, and the text begins immediately. Its most important material must appear on the first page.
Start of game development - After pitch, you start the development. Knowing your role is important.
Game Designers - Communicate your vision to artists, programmers, producers and others involved in the development process
- Provide documents to ensure that everyone shares the same vision.
- Design and writing documents about the game systems, mechanics, values and other important aspects of the game.
Game Programmer - Write structured code for the game. Make the tasks according to the vision provided through documents and verbal communication. Communicate with other team members and help implement art, design or other needed aspects.
Game Artist - Create concept art and storyboards which help communicate the proposed visual elements during the pre-production phase. Create the visual elements of a game, such as characters, scenery, objects etc.
Game Producer - Keep team in schedule. Keep work hours. Prepare going through the meetings with the teams
Game development phase - The summer course consists up to 90% exclusively of this phase, where the team focuses on delivering the actual product. The pre-production phase documentary and files works as a guide to develop the game.
Post mortem - Post mortem is the final session where the students present their final product and self-reflect on themselves and their team in the project work.
For Game Artists
- Communicating with the designer to make a harmony between the visual representation and functionality
In the Pre-production
- Preparing an art/mood board
- Coming up with the visual side of the game together with the game designer & team
- Drawing concept art to visualize the designs
During Production Phase
- Drawing the visuals for the designed and needed assets in game
For Game Producers
- Keeping work hours
- Preparing meetings and going through them with the teams
In the Pre-production
- Organize a brainstorming meeting with the team
- Come up with a game idea together with the team
- Plan what to prototype to know that you can and want to make the selected game
- Help the designer to add aspects outside the game design to the concept
- Consult all the team mates to prepare a schedule for the project
- Select a project management method that fits the team
During Production Phase
- Keep the team in the project schedule and make changes to it according the progress
- Communicate with the team about the progress and possible problems, ideas, suggestions etc.
- Take care of the issues that would delay your team's work- Planning and organizing QA for the game
You will need to evaluate yourself and your performance in the end of the course. Think how you did, what went good, what went wrong, what you could have done better and give yourself a grade. Be honest in the evaluating, as proper self-evaluation will give you the keys to being even better in the future.
Team will evaluate its own members and their performance. It is good to be able to give out feedback and think how everyone did around you.
Staff will evaluate each team and team member and give feedback accordingly.
All of these aspects come together to form the final grade. Remember, the grade shows your performance on this course and can be used together with self-evaluation to see how to improve your performance in the future.
Excellent knowledge in Game Business proved by assignments and activity during classes. Published game with monetization model in place. Unique differentiating elements.
Good knowledge in Game Business proved by assignments and activity during classes. Published game with monetization model in place. Some uniqueness.
Average knowledge in Game Business proved by assignments and activity during classes. Published game and/or playable content.
Approved / Failed
Failed if poor knowledge in Game Business proved by assignments and activity during classes.
Student roles during the course
Game Programmer/Coder - Writes the program and all the features, making the functionality to program. Makes the program work.
Game/Graphics artist - Makes all the graphics, making the visual layer to the program. Makes the program visual.
Game Designer - Writes documents and communicates the vision of the end program to the team. Defines what the program should be like.
Game Producer - Keeps the team scheduled and avoids all the missteps during the development. Makes the product become ready and in time.
Important notes: The teams consist of one designer and one producer and gather more graphic artists and programmers according to the project game’s needs.
It is important to find people that are easy to interact with and that want to do their part. It's easier to collaborate with nice people, but they need to be willing to do their job.
Each of the roles mentioned above have also specializations, but on smaller projects everyone needs to do more than a small specialization such as: Level Design (Designer), Concept Design (Artist), FX programming (Programmer) or Scheduling (Producer). Each of these is important, but there is not enough resources for separate role just for those.
12 ECTS study credits
ECTS is a credit system designed to make it easier for students to move between different countries. Since they are based on the learning achievements and workload of a course. A typical "first cycle" (or Bachelor's) Degree, would consist of 180 or 240 credits, whereas a typical "second cycle" (or Master's) Degree, would consist of 90 or 120 credits, with at least 60 credits at second cycle level. The use of ECTS at the "third cycle" (or Ph.D. level) varies. The ECTS grade is not meant to replace the local grades but to be used optionally and additionally to effectively "translate" and "transcript" a grade from one institution to another.
A typical "first cycle" (or Bachelor's) Degree, would consist of 180 or 240 credits, whereas a typical "second cycle" (or Master's) Degree, would consist of 90 or 120 credits, with at least 60 credits at second cycle level. The use of ECTS at the "third cycle" (or Ph.D. level) varies. ECTS has been adopted by most of the countries in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and is increasingly used elsewhere.
The degrees and courses are measured in credits (cr). The workload of 1,600 hours is worth 60 credits (cr). One credit means approximately 27 hours of a student’s work, which consists of teaching, projects and independent studies. Most courses are worth 3 – 5 credits, meaning 81 – 135 hours of student work.
8 week IGDC summer course is worth of 12 ECTS. After the participant completes the course, he is accredited with 12 ECTS credits, which are added into the KAMK database and are redeemable in EU and US universities. This process varies from university to university on how they accept the credits towards the students’ studies. Usually and from experience, KAMK studies have been very easy to redeem in any university.