THE future is bright for Asian game developers and creators.

This is what MINT College students realized when they attended the two-day GameFest 2018, held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia last October 24 and 25. GameFest is hosted by Game Developers Association of the Philippines--the official trade association who represents and promotes the country’s game development industry.

Student organizations such as MINT Blitz and Up Arrow Games were joined by two faculty members, Abelardo Medenilla and Dulzzi Gutierrez, as they sat down in panel discussions about the current trends in the gaming industry, such as game design, virtual production, motion capture, blockchain technology, mobile game publishing, and jumpstarting a game development company.

Up Arrow Games--headed by IT Professor Medenilla; CS-IT Program Head Reuben Ravago; and Vice President for curriculum development Jonathan Tinga--is a MINT initiative that aims to “give gaming enthusiasts from different programs [an] actual experience in the development process.”

They plan on involving various programs to handle the visual, audio, and technical departments of creating game applications for both online and mobile media.

This year, the culminating activity was attended by well-known personalities of the trade such as Jim Lipscomb of Epic Games, and Maarten Noyons of International Mobile Gaming Awards. The MINT group spent two days learning about the process and planning involved in coming up with computer and mobile games.

Medenilla shared that the gaming industry is growing here in Asia. For him, it would mean more opportunities for our country’s aspiring game developers and creators to learn the tools of trade by attending workshops, thus helping them to improve their skills and the quality of their work.

“My biggest takeaway from the convention is that Asia is getting really serious about having fun. Foreign game companies are looking for talent here. Local developers are sprouting, too. Big business and big careers are waiting to be pursued. It’s an exciting time for our students who want to cross the line between game player and game creator,” he said.

For Vicky Tumacder, a fourth year Multimedia Arts (MMA) student, it’s important to work from the ground up. Elrik Tinsay, a second year MMA student, supported this, sharing how the speaker Chris Natsuume, creative director & co-founder of Boomzap, explained the importance of having a good concept before anything else. The speaker added that concepts lead the success of a game.

“[A concept] makes the game unique and what will make it sell,” the speaker explained. Furthermore, he added that the game developer warned that if a game started out quite mediocre during its beginning phase, it would remain mediocre, regardless of the additional enhancements on the design and animation.

Elrik also pointed out that there are readily available applications and softwares to assist game developers in creating games. Citing an example, he said, “The most memorable part for me was about [the] Unreal Engine, a famous engine used by a lot of game developers. We found out [that] it’s actually free to download and use.”

Aside from attending technical seminars, MINT students were also given an opportunity to observe and interact with various game companies as they visited various booths outside the function room where the panel talks were held.

Aia Arkoncel, also a graduating MMA student, spoke about being able to build relationships. It was through connecting with, and learning from other people, that the gaming industry would grow into “something great and revolutionary”. W


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SYMPHONY CAROLINO is a jack-of-all-trades from MINT Senior High taking ABM-Marketing, who has a genuine passion for writing articles, poems, stories, and songs. She aims to inspire one person at a time, may it be through her talents, skills, words, or how she simply lives life.

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