Education for the gaming industry

During the pandemic, when all creative industries lost 90% of their revenues, the games industry increased its volume by 9%. Video game sales are up more than 60%, and WHO even launched the #PlayApartTogether initiative, which encouraged people to stay at home and play online. The popularity of games in recent years has led to an increase in demand for professionals in the labor market and, as a result, to the emergence of new educational programs at Russian universities.

Gaming Industry 2021

The gaming industry is now on the hype, – says Vyacheslav Dutchkin, Deputy Director of the Center for the Development of Competencies in Business Informatics
In his opinion, a historic maximum of money is pouring into the industry, information flows from all sides carry news about how game developers from different parts of the world have earned billions of dollars from their games. Moreover, in a number of cases, starting from scratch, and being ordinary people without a multimillion-dollar fortune.

Statistics figures also show that the market is more than serious. In the last 2 years alone, the volume of the gaming market has grown by almost $ 20 billion (19%) and amounted to $ 175.8 billion (according to Newsroom data for June 2021). This leads to both a significant growth of existing gaming companies and the opening of new ones. Recently, in the CIS, new gaming companies with multimillion-dollar investments from specialized and non-core founders are opening several a month.

The games industry has already overtaken the music and film market in terms of revenue and continues to grow
an average of 20% per year. If until recently parents treated games as something frivolous, today gamete is a very promising career trajectory, – says Ekaterina Cherkes-zade, director of the University of Creative Industries at Universal University.

It should be noted that so far the share of the Russian games market in the world is only 2%: it is 11th in the world and fifth in Europe (according to PwC). However, the demand for professionals for the gaming industry is growing: according to Values ​​Value, in 2020 the companies Wargaming, Spearwort, MY.GAMES, Vizor Games, Wakeup and others more than a year ago, needed new developers, artists and marketers for games.

Specialties of the games industry and the role of a game designer in it

Let’s take a look at what Game Design is and what a game designer does. Harry Holm wood, professor of computer science at Norwich University of the Arts, describes game design as follows: “It’s the entire process of creating a game, involving professional programmers, designers, artists, animators, writers, project managers, musicians and many others.”

There is a certain problem in terms when game development is discussed in the mass information field, – says Andrey Korsakov, head of the Master’s program in Computer Game Development Technologies at ITMO University. Often the term “game designer” is used as a generalization of everyone involved in game development, although in reality it is not: game designer is just one of the many specialties of people who are involved in game development.

Compared to the film industry, a game designer in games is like a director in movies. The game designer does all this and much more to develop a gameplay, draw up a technical task for the performers, calculate the economy, balance battles, work on monetization, analyze the behavior of players and add the element they need to the game world, ” says Vyacheslav Dutchkin.


Game Design Education

The education market also responds to the demand of the game industry for ready-made professionals. According to the TalentsInGames service, 40% of employees of gaming companies (and these are developers, game designers, testers, etc.) have nothing to do with their current activities. More or less “native” sphere of games turned out to be for programmers (41%), but among game designers, almost no one has a specialized education (8%). Experts predict that this situation will change in the next 5-10 years.

But, if you dig a little deeper, then there is a lot of technical component in games, – notes Andrey Raigorodsky, Ph.D. Sci., professor, director of the Phytic School of Applied Mathematics and Informatics of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, – the basis of the game is the software “engine”, the movement of characters and various interactions within the world of the game. Then there are multiplayer games, where client-server interaction takes on an important role. Game rules set by game designers often contain complex formulas. There is also an engineering approach in games, which, in turn, requires serious mathematical training. This is precisely what Phytic is strong in. We have opened many departments and laboratories aimed at training qualified programmers and mathematicians.

It’s very rare to be a highly specialized game designer, ”explains Alexander Myasishchev, executive director of Helion games, lecturer in the Computer Game Development Technologies program at ITMO University. In the industry, the demand for specialists has been several times ahead of the supply for several years. Andrey Korsakov notes an acute shortage of professional staff at all levels and specialties – from Juns to team leads, from game designers to engine developers. Companies are ready to pick up students almost at the start, immediately after their admission to the educational program.