Malcolm X once said that “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Games are a big business; the global gaming market is currently worth more than the film and music industry combined, and it is expected to reach USD 256.97 Billion in 2025. It is encouraging to see African learning institutions taking it upon themselves to train people on the relevant skills needed. The following are a few learning institutions that offer specialized game development course.
Wits University – South Africa
The Game Design courses offered by Wits University can be taken in two specialist degree programmes:
Aspiring artists interested in creative production can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts which is hosted in the Wits School of Arts. This degree is intended to produce graduates that can become specialist practitioners in the creative areas of game production.
In their senior years, they have the opportunity to specialize in Interactive Art, Animation or Interactive Writing to complement their Game Design Major. The student will have the opportunity to select other subjects that suit their own individual interests. Some options include English, Psychology and Philosophy.
Aspiring developers can pursue a Bachelor of Engineering Science in Digital Art which is hosted in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering. This degree is intended to produce graduates that can become specialist practitioners in the technological arena of software development within a game context.
The aspiring developers study Physics, Maths, Electric Circuits, Software Development and Electromagnetic Systems among others with Game Design as their core subject. The degree aims to give the students an introduction to both the hardware and software environments.
African Digital Media Institute (ADMI) – Kenya
ADMI partnered with Rubika the top-ranked animation, game and industrial design school in France to start a game development course. The course is designed for students to gradually transition from working individually to working with a team as they learn to pick specialized roles within the team. This equips the student to be proficient as an independent developer and a team player in a Game Development Studio.
The course progresses from a Certificate to a Diploma and finally to a Degree. Upon successful completion of the program, the students will be able to make games of different genres, understand the history of the game industry, program using C#, create game art assets for both 2D and 3D worlds, be independent developers, work within a game studio team, create basic sounds for in-game use and manage a project.
Skilled video game designers will guide the students through the entire development process to build optimized programs, compelling game levels and engaging experiences. Upon completion of their study, students will have the skillset to start their own independent studio or be part of a game development studio both locally and internationally in the following capacities: Game Designer, Level Designer, Game Artist, Game Programmer and Game Tester.
International Private Polytechnic School of Tunis (PolyTech Intl) – Tunisia
As a private university in Tunisia, PolyTech Intl positions itself at the heart of innovation and technology by offering a Canadian Master’s degree in video game development. In partnership with the University of Quebec, it presents its students with an opportunity that is truly unique in Tunisia and in Africa.
At the end of this course, the student will obtain a Canadian diploma that facilitates access to international careers. Admission requirements require the aspiring candidate to have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, an engineering degree or an equivalent in Computer Science.
Upon completion of the course, the students will have learnt how to design and develop high-level software, acquire a fundamental understanding of the subfields of computer science specific to video game development, search for appropriate solutions through problem analysis and develop teamwork skills.
School of Audio Engineering (SAE) – South Africa
SAE was established in 1976 and it now spans the globe with 47 campuses in 23 countries. They offer higher education qualifications and short courses in animation, filmmaking and sound production. In addition, they now offer a Higher Certificate in Game Design and Production for candidates aspiring to enter into careers in the gaming industry.
The curriculum has been contextualised as a foundational qualification, aiming to contribute to the growth, quality, and competitiveness of game production on the African continent. The programme will expose students to academic and practical skills with a strong focus on technology and creativity generally expected and required in this industry.
The students will learn, game design, scripting, production, storyboarding theory, how to systematically utilize production methods and processes, effective oral and written communication skills, basic research skills and abilities, professional attitudes, effective teamwork and creative expression. Upon completion, the students can pursue a career in the industry as a Technical Artist, Game Developer, Story Writer, Game World Editor or Digital Media Producer.
Let’s continue learning and upskilling today for the sake of our tomorrow as practitioners in this promising field. After all an investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.