In a blog post, I will write about how I got accepted into BUas in the Creative Media and Game Technologies (CMGT) program as a programmer and what we did during the first year of it.
Previous Experience and Intakes:
First a bit about my past experience before the intake:
The first time I was actually doing something connected with programming was with an “HTML5 for Games” course. My father, being a professional coder himself, inspired me to try that course and I loved it. I did extremely well for my age and even got second place in the final test. It was two weeks of classes during the summer vacation after which followed a camp at the sea. It was extremely fun. Sadly, because I was lazy and couldn’t find a project to work on, I stopped programming after that and replaced that hobby with drawing, but enough about that.
A few years later I saw that there was a C++ club in my school and I joined that jumping back into coding. There I learned the basics of C++. It was around that time that I started getting interested in game making so I googled “how to make games” which lead me to Unity and C#. I dabbled a bit in those and watched a lot of tutorials on YouTube. Then before I realized high school was beginning to end so I had to think about what I wanted to do and I figured that programming was the most fun option from what little experience I had I did well, so I might as well try my luck there. I got accepted into two universities in the Netherlands: Saxion University and Breda University of Applied Sciences which both had an intake assignment.
Saxion University’s intake was extremely flexible. We were given 4 themes and we had to make a game however way we wanted and then present that game during an interview. What I presented was a game with the theme “Arctic Exploration” built with Unity. I’ve uploaded the game to itch.io. You can find it here (link). It’s bad, I don’t recommend you play it unless you have a lot of free time 😉
BUAS’ (Breda University of Applied Sciences) intake was much more strict and difficult. They gave us an empty PowerPoint presentation with template slides each with its own questions for you to answer. This acted as the motivational letter and CV of the intake. I also had to discuss my game, what hardships I faced, and my thinking behind a few of the choices I’ve made. What made this intake different from Saxion’s was that it gave you a specific template (built by one of the teachers) to work with and a website with a tutorial that you could follow (link). It also recommended you read this book (link) if you’re unsure about your C++ and how you could apply it to games. Definitely follow those two and use the book to help you with the challenges that the website gives you!
If you wanna see my full presentation feel free to DM me or send me an email. I don’t wanna post a link to it for obvious reasons.
All of that was closer to what studying and practicing programming is so that set off a green flag in my mind. The intake had me write the game in C++ using a simple window template. I’m pretty embarrassed to show it because the code is trash but I’ll still link it here for anyone who wants to apply to BUAS (link) to use as a reference. We also had to do a 1-hour coding test. Finally, there was the interview during which you showed them your game and they asked you a few questions about it.
I picked BUAS and I can say that so far I’m happy with my choice. The reason why I chose it was the more difficult intake and a recommendation I got from one of my father’s friends who works in the game dev industry. He said that’s the place to be. After one year of studying here, I am extremely happy I chose BUas. From my brief experience there though, I would even say that this is the golden ticket introduction to the game industry and if you don’t get accepted here just improve your C++ to be able to be accepted next year. This sounds sponsored, but it’s not. I’m just this happy with my university.
What was BUas Year 1 and what did we do:
If you want to check screenshots of things that I’ve done that I think are cool, feel free to check the GALLERY page of my website.
Here’s a link for ease of access.
The first block started with a tiny humbling challenge. The sort of thing job interviewers will give you. Get an ‘n’ amount of random numbers, sort them and then turn them into strings. Easy enough, but it took us a long time and the teachers laughed at us.
After that, we got told that for the next 2 weeks we need to recreate Galaxian (link) with the template with which we made the intake. Once those first 2 weeks passed, we left that project behind and worked on recreating a more complex shoot-em-up, R-Type (link).
Here’s a short gif from my version of it. As you can see I took a bit of creative liberty:
For the second block, we also had a solo project. We had to make a real-time CPU ray tracer. Every block is two months. Eight work weeks after which you submit the project with its documentation. It’s very similar to the way that the intake is.
Here’s a video from my ray tracer:
…and a cool screenshot:
For the 3rd Block, I won’t say too much, because I’ve written an entirely separate post about it.
Please check it out, because it was the most difficult challenge of this block. For the first time, I researched Rasterization and a Graphics API (OpenGL). On TOP of that, we also had to code it for the Raspberry Pi 4 AND integrate a Physics Dependency, called PyBullet.
All of that work, solo, for 8 weeks.
Here’s a preview though:
FINALLY, the 4th Block was something completely different. A TEAM Effort!
All variations of the study (PRogrammers (me), Visual Artists, and Design and Production) were put into teams.
In my team, there were 13 people. 5 VAs, 4 PRs, and 4 DPs.
Our task was to create a game based on 2 prompts, 1 for environment and 1 for character, with the newly released Unreal Engine 5.
The two prompts were “Tiki Island” and “Cowboy”.
Here’s the trailer:
AND, if you want to play it you can download it from our itch.io page: https://buas.itch.io/2122-y1d-team-11
I’m very happy with my university! I definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking into getting into the game development field, not just for programming. I’ve gotten to talk with many professionals, gotten advice from higher years, and given advice to lower years.
As I’m writing this I am at the start of my second year, and it’s just as good, if not better than the first one. I’m looking forward to finishing it so I can write about it here 🙂
Thanks for reading my post. Feel free to contact me with questions/suggestions.