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    Game development is a world of art and technology

    As part of the series "Technological February at the Jiří Mahen library in Brno", the library hosted a lecture by Mgr. Jiří Chmelík, Ph.D. from the Department of Visual Computing FI MU, who presented this dynamic industry as a space for art, craft and business.

    Brno offers game development a suitable environment for further growth. This opens up space for educational institutions, including ours, to nurture new talents. In addition to funding, the challenge for the future is to find experts for long-term cooperation in teaching.

    What does it mean to create games? Can you learn how to do it? Is it possible to make a living doing it? And how is it possible that so many interesting games are made in Brno? These and other questions were answered by the participants of Monday's meeting at the Jiří Mahen library, where FI MUNI had the opportunity to introduce the topic of game development to the public. "What was once perceived as a rather decadent form of entertainment is now a rocketing industry that generates more turnover than the film and music industries combined." Jiří Chmelík, who was responsible for the creation of a separate Master's programme at FI MUNI called "Computer Game Development", explained in his lecture. Welcome to the world of games; we offer you an overview of the most interesting topics from the lecture.

    The introduction made a comparison between games and other products of audiovisual culture. There are good and bad games, just as there are, for example, movies. Thus, a game can also lure its fans with a compelling story, a visual component or music. The games industry offers a platform for artists and developers to work together to put together the pieces of a game into its final form. We are talking about professions such as programmer, graphic designer, animator, sound designer or producer, each of which has a number of other specialisations. However, a large team and budget are not always needed. Successful games are sometimes the result of the enthusiasm and hard work of individuals. Examples include developer Jan Zelený's Mashinky or Beat Saber, a globally successful virtual reality game from a Czech game studio that had only three developers at the time of release.

    In addition, a separate topic was game development as a field of study within the Faculty of Informatics of MU, which emphasizes the multidisciplinary nature of young talents. They are capable of mastering both theory and practice, they are both technicians and artists. The programme offers subjects such as computer science theory, programming, graphic design and artificial intelligence. However, students will also delve into the secrets of 3D modelling, Game user research and Game design. Each student will also undergo a mandatory internship at a game studio. 

    Thanks to the fact that the South Moravian Region has game development as one of its priorities for future development, the game development community finds support in its further activities here. There are support groups such as the Game Cluster or the Game Incubator. Brno also hosts the international Game Access conference every year.

    So the question remains - is it possible to make a living out of it? With hundreds of games being created on the market every day, success is a combination of a good idea, quality implementation and a bit of luck. But thanks to the high demand for technical professions, graduates can also work outside the games industry. For example, they can use their experience with technology in fields using virtual reality. Film and television also offer opportunities.

    A challenge for further education in the discipline for FI MUNI is the prospect of a bachelor's programme, upon which the existing master's programme could build. "It is an attractive field with a good future. I feel supported by the faculty management, as well as by companies, the city and the region." Chmelík explains, adding that expanding the study options would also allow for a wider range of courses, e.g. in the field of copyright law.

    Finally, he introduced the guests to the Omnibullet game, the prototype of which was created as a student project. Thanks to the development in the game incubator, the game was officially released on the day of the lecture. It is therefore a practical example of a student idea's journey to successful completion.

    The lecture was hosted by the Jiří Mahen library as part of the Mahen Academy for the 21st Century, a cultural, social and educational platform for meeting, creating and sharing ideas across generations. Its Science Lab chapter then included the series Technological February at the Jiri Mahen library in Brno, of which we were a part. Thank you for the invitation and we look forward to further cooperation. 

    Author: Marta Vrlová, Office for External Relations and Partnerships

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