What is behind the hugely successful games from Sweden and Skövde? How does a game come to be and how much thought, planning, knowledge and hard work is required? These are questions that the University of Skövde, together with students from the Game Development programmes, will try to answer during the game conference So Long, and Thanks for All the Games, 31 May and 1 June. The conference is free and open to the public.
On Wednesday 31 May and Thursday 1 June, the G Building at the University of Skövde will be filled with games. This is where the final conference for the game development students' last course, Game Project 3, will take place, with presentations and a game exhibition. The conference goes by the name So Long, and Thanks for All the Games, and marks the completion of the first batch of students who studied according to the new programme structure of the educations in game development. The game development educations at the University of Skövde are celebrating their 20th anniversary this academic year, and here, 650 people are now studying game development, both bachelor’s and master’s.
Sweden's new basic industry
The games industry has become a new basic industry in Sweden and the industry needs to increase by at least 25,000 game developers in ten years according to the Swedish Games Industry. Skövde is Sweden's second largest game development municipality after Stockholm, and here, there is a well-developed collaboration between academia and industry.
“Now we want to showcase the academic game education. We want to tell you why it exists, and what the students can do after three years of study. We develop the game developers we want in the future – game developers who are wise, analytical, insightful and innovative,” says Ulf Wilhelmsson, Associate Professor in Media Arts, Aesthetics and Narration at the University of Skövde and examiner for Game Project 3.
Good breeding ground for starting a business
The course Game Project 3 is not an entirely new feature at the game development programmes at the University of Skövde. When the educations started in 2002, there was such a course, but it disappeared after a few years. Starting in 2020, the courses are given according to a new programme structure, where the course Game Project 3 is again included, and also completes the entire programme. In the course, the students create a game, during 10 weeks, which must be presentable at the end of the course. The purpose of placing the course at the end of the programme is to give as many as possible a good foundation to build on if they want to start a company with the help of Science Park Skövde – with which the students in the course have the opportunity to collaborate.
“The conference is a good opportunity for the students to show the games and test them against a larger public. It is also a festive end to both the semester and the study time,” says Andreas Jonasson, Lecturer in Informatics at the University of Skövde and Course Coordinator for Game Project 3.
Shows what academic studies provide
The conference is part of the ducation and contains a number of interesting elements. Among other things, each student will present a part of the game for 15 minutes, where they justify and reason about their choices.
“Academic studies give students research-based knowledge about how games and gaming work in more depth, as well as how games and gaming culture are important parts of our societies. They learn to use scientific methods and approaches to understand games and gaming. It can be important later in working life to be able to make well-founded decisions in a game development process,” says Ulf Wilhelmsson.
The studies at the University provide well-founded theoretical knowledge and methodological knowledge of how games and gaming can be investigated and evaluated.
30 exhibition spaces
The conference will have 30 exhibition spaces. Most exhibitors are from Game Project 3, but student groups from the course Game Project 2 also participate. Individual works and theses will also be displayed.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Games in the University's calendar.