Between competitions, deadlines and a fast-paced environment, programming games can be just as challenging as finding an industry job.
But that doesn’t stop the members of C.R.E.A.T.E.
Algonquin’s Collaboration, Recreation and Exposure About Technological Entertainment club, or C.R.E.A.T.E., was established during the 2011-2012 school year, with the goal of bringing everyone in the game development program together.
“The big aspect of the C.R.E.A.T.E. Club is to make a very comfortable environment,” said club co-president Jamal Aberle, a second-year game development student. “It’s hard sometimes if you’re new to a program, or new to a school where you’re trying to go somewhere where people have the same likes as you do.”
Part of C.R.E.A.T.E. is making an environment that members can still be a part of even after graduating. They can come back and discuss the industry with students just entering the Algonquin program and provide advice.
In order to help its members advertise themselves to potential employers, one of the goals of the club is to show students how to create an effective portfolio, and they have created a website on which to host games and projects developed by students.
They also aim to bring in Algonquin game development alumni and individuals working in the industry to talk to current students about getting work, and to hopefully develop contacts.
“It’s terribly important,” Francois Dodier, a third-year game development student, said in reference to creating a portfolio and having contacts in the industry. “It’s the most important thing in my opinion. The portfolio gets your foot in the door.”
The club allows members to see the newest technologies available in the industry, and to discuss the state of the industry. In this industry it is important to keep on top of these trends because of how quickly technology changes and how easily it can be to fall behind.
“The problem with the games industry and technology in general but especially game development, is the industry is changing so rapidly you just have to stay on top of it,” Said David McCue, a professor of game development involved with the club.
One of the newer pieces of technology that the C.R.E.A.T.E. club has decided to show its members is ‘Unity’, a game engine that is gaining popularity.
“What Unity allows you to do is create a web player of your game,” said Tilan Gunawardena, the first-year program coordinator for the game development program, tying in developing games, ‘Unity’, and the idea of an online portfolio for the club members. “So we’re also going to have if you’ve made a game in Unity, whatever they’ve done in Unity, they can now put that game up on the web, so people can check it out and play.”
But above all else, the C.R.E.A.T.E. club is there to get recognition for its members.
“That’s one of the main things for this C.R.E.A.T.E. club, is to become known,” Dodier explained, “Getting our names out there is the goal of the C.R.E.A.T.E. club.”