Meet Andrew Leung, a graduate from Recording Arts Canada’s Game Design program in May, 2012. With a Bachelors and Masters Degree already in his pocket, Andrew decided he needed to develop his professional skill set in Game Design, and enrolled in RAC’s Game Design Program in Toronto to give him the best chance of succeeding in a competitive mobile app and game market.

Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Engineering from the Univeristy of Waterloo and Masters Degree from McMaster University, Andrew Leung was already working within the Computer Engineering field as a programmer – but felt his education was not complete. A long time gamer from youth, he had always dabbled in games – slowly creating his own game projects. Leung stated that “I wanted to get into the Game Design industry” and knew that “I needed to upgrade my resume to help me break into the Gaming field.” Leung researched schools and decided to that RAC’s Game Design program was his best option.

At RAC, the Game Design program is a collaboration of artists, programmers and writers. Leung notes that:

“I found it very interesting – everyone had a different background. For example, I came from programming, so I was the lead developer- programmer in our projects. Another student was a Graphic Artist, so he did all of our 2D and 3D art. And another was a Designer.”

This collaboration was especially evident within the end of term projects. Students were able to build two unique games using all of the fundamental concepts and tools they had learned within the program. This not only provided students skills but also a solid body of work for their portfolio.

Leung’s strength was naturally in the programming classes. “ I knew a lot of the fundamentals already, but the classes were taught even if you had no prior knowledge.” While in University, he recalls, “we still had projects, but they were more theoretical but at RAC we actually applied our programming knowledge to build games.” Leung’s experience at RAC allowed him to flex his creative side. But he still feels strongly about his programming roots.

“Games are half code and half assets. When you see a game, the graphics look good but there is a lot of programming behind it – a mix of engineering and art.”

Leung appreciated the hands-on experience he gained at RAC.

“At RAC, you get a lot of practical experience using valuable industry tools. By the time you graduate, you can immediately apply your skills and start to build things… A portfolio is important…you have something to show employers.”

Leung recently accepted a position as a C++ Developer at American Gaming Systems. While going through the process of finding employment, Leung “ was able to show them my games on my Android phone.”

When asked about the future of the Game Design industry, Leung says he sees growth overall in the Game Industry. Leung predicts that 2D games for mobile and tablets as being a dominant force, especially when you factor in cost and development. “When I was looking for jobs, I found a lot of jobs posted for Android Developers. The Android market is growing.” He also notices that within the Gaming Industry, “3D games are the industry standard” for popular consoles such as Xbox and PS3, Leung explains the bigger companies can spend 20 million to develop a game – so they need big publishers. Whereas, the smaller companies do not require as much capital to develop their mobile apps and are able to move to market with smaller publishers.

Leung’s believes the ingredients to success are passion and a commitment to excellence. For Leung “the RAC Game Design program helps you stay ahead of the pack.”