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Shift to 3ds Max in Game Development Education

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Shift to 3ds Max in Game Development Education

Auckland-based Media Design School has announced its plan to teach Autodesk 3ds Max as 3D software taught in its Graduate Diploma of Game Development, Game Art stream, replacing Alias Maya.

This change has come about following Autodesk's recent acquisition of Alias, and shift in their product focus. 3ds Max, developed by an American based Autodesk, is used by the majority of console game developers including Bioware Corp. (Jade Empire, Starwars: Knights of the old Republic), Digital Extremes (Unreal series) and Ubisoft (Prince of Persia: Warrior Within). On the other hand, Maya, developed by Canadian based Alias, is widely used in the film and visualisations industries including DreamWorks (Shrek), Pixar Animation Studio (Incredibles, Finding Nemo), Weta Digital (KingKong, The Lord of The Rings), BMW and The General Motors.

Media Design School offers New Zealand's only stand alone game qualifications, producing qualified game developers to feed into New Zealand's growing games industry as well as international studios. Media Design School's Graduate Diploma of Game Development allows students to specialise in either Game Programming or Game Art. The Diploma of Interactive Gaming is an undergraduate course feeding into the Game Programming stream of the graduate game qualification.

The Game Art (game content design) stream requires expert creative talent and artistic ability. Applicants come from backgrounds in graphics, art and multimedia. During the course they learn 3D character modelling, rendering and animation as well as the creative and production processes involved in game design.

The programming of each individual game requires technical innovation, high-level analytical ability and mathematical skills. Applicants for the Game Programming stream generally have previous qualifications in information technology, computer science or programming. During the course they will learn the technical side of game development including programming languages, physics and mechanics for games and Artificial Intelligence.

The graduate diploma is designed to replicate industry production practices and the curriculum has been developed by key industry practitioners. The close industry ties allows graduates opportunities to gain employment with prominent game development studios.

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