Next Games Game Developer Academy Starts October 4 | Pocket

After a successful launch in 2019 and 2020, Next Games is starting its second Game Developer Academy on October 4, 2021.

This is a six-month program for students and more experienced programmers who want to get started in the gaming industry.

It covers several areas of game development, such as making games from scratch in Unity and updating live games..

After nearly 180 applications – around 100 more than in the previous program – eight new students have now been selected, with the potential prospect of becoming employees of Next Games in the future.

Four students from the first program are now full-time employees and are now “some of our most valued colleagues,” according to Joonas Laakso, director of human resources and culture at Next Games.

Learning process

The program begins with a two-month period of instruction and study. Then, over the next four months, students work directly within Next Games teams on several projects.

Students at the academy also receive a basic salary.

Positions in game development are opening up all over the world for versatile game designers and developers. While the coming years look promising for those interested in the field, the industry is grappling with a serious shortage of game developers.

“There is a high barrier to entering the games industry, and we recognized that this is a real problem,” says Laakso.

“Our Academy is lowering that barrier and creating opportunities to enter the industry and learn the tricks on the pitch, in real game projects.”

There is a high barrier to entering the gaming industry, and we have recognized that this is a real problem.

Joonas Laakso

According to Laakso, “One of the main obstacles is the gap between schools and the workplace. The skills required in the workplace cannot always be learned in school, which is why our academy is so important.

There is also a shortage of candidates looking to enter the industry, which Laakso suspects is attributed to the entry requirements perceived to be high. He adds that the Next Games academy does not require its students to have any education or work experience.

“The lack of diversity within the industry is also a large-scale problem, and not just in Finland,” explains Joonas. “In fact, the current game development and game programming positions are still offered to a very homogeneous talent pool. “

While the commonly used Unity platform is available for free to everyone, game companies often have many internal systems that require games to be operated in a specific way.

“Integrating programmers into these systems is a lot of work and a big part of the essence of the academy,” says Laakso. “So not only do we teach the trainees how to make games, but we also teach them how to create games in groups, using our tools and systems. “

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