Serious about games: Smart equips IT educators with skills to develop game apps

[28 October 2015] Smart Communications organized a three-day training program on game development, in partnership with trainers from the International Game Development Association. Upon learning of this plan, the Cagayan de Oro ICT Business Council volunteered to host the event, which was eventually held at Cagayan de Oro College-Phinma Education Network (COC-PHINMA).

Developing game applications is not a common choice among “serious” IT individuals. But with global smartphone gaming revenue hitting $12 billion, the field is now attracting interest from the community.

For this reason, mobile leader Smart Communications organized a three-day training program on game development, in partnership with trainers from the International Game Development Association and Smart Developer Network (Smart DevNet). Upon learning of this plan, the Cagayan de Oro ICT Business Council volunteered to host the event, which was eventually held at Cagayan de Oro College-Phinma Education Network (COC-PHINMA).

At the SWEEPx Game Development Training series, IT teachers from eight schools in CDO, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, and Lanao del Norte created their own games and are now better equipped to teach game development to their students.

Karim Bangcola, chief operating officer of COC-PHINMA, lauded the project and expressed his appreciation for the chance given to their faculty to learn more about game development. 

COC-PHINMA IT professor Adormie Macario said, “We really jumped at the opportunity to host and join this training.  We are already offering a game development course in our school, but by learning about the latest Unity program (a game development platform), our students will be able to improve productivity.”

Herabelle Villanueva of Xavier University developed a 2D game called Red Dissonance, based on the story Little Red Riding Hood.  The objective is to defeat Red’s enemy monsters as the story unfolds.  “Gamers don’t just want to read stories.  We want to experience them, and experience the heartfelt action of being there in the scene,” Villanueva said.

Other games presented were “Potsky” by Titus Menciano of Informatics, and “The Lonely Truck” by Gems Verula of Central Mindanao University.  Potsky features an alien stuck in the deepest pit of the earth who has to and avoid monsters while looking for a way out.

Meanwhile, the Lonely Truck is a game combining software and hardware.  Once this game is further developed, an actual object – a special chair, for example – would move every time the truck hits obstacles on-screen.

“This training program will help us a lot because in our university, we have not yet implemented a Game Development course, but we plan to.  We are also planning to offer new IT-related programs, and create additional IT-related tracks for incoming senior high school students,” Verula said.

The SWEEPx Game Development Training comes one year after Smart organized the Android Development Training.

 “This training will benefit IT education and local businesses, especially now that the creative gaming industry is an emerging and serious business in the country, with currently around 3,000 professionals representing 60 companies,” said the council’s executive director Jonathan Adolfo.

SWEEPx is a component of the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program, under which Smart partners with the academe to improve the level of technology and engineering education in the Philippines.

To know more about Smart’s other programs for education, please visit www.smart.com.ph/learnsmart.