Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology is one of many third level institutions in Ireland to have embraced the emerging discipline of multimedia. The National Diploma in Computing at Dun Laoghaire is a three year computing course during which students specialise in multimedia production. Students can opt to do an additional one year if they wishs to obtain a degree.
Modules of relevance to games developers include Multimedia Authoring and Multimedia Communications. A lot of programming in Action Script and Lingo is covered, indicating a strong emphasis on the web as the interactive medium. Maths is studied as a tool for conceptualization and 3D modelling.
3D Studio Max, Director and Flash are the three major pieces of authorware available to students and taught on the course. Students who take the 1 year add-on B.Sc. course cover OpenGL – the graphics programming language behind many windows games. There are no optional modules on the course.
We spoke to Rupert Westrup at Dun Laoghaire who, while unable to say if any graduates have gone to work in games development, did say that many of the final projects submitted by students are shockwave or flash games. Of these various examples include flight sims, driving games, first person shooters and multi-user network games. Some students have also applied their programming skills to visualizations, for example simulating the movement of a flock of birds.
The courses have had some input from the staff at Havok in the form of guest lectures and consultation with students but industry links are sparse.
Overall, the computing courses at Dun Laoghaire provide a good basis for an aspiring web developer and many of the programming concepts which could be applied to gaming.
Location: Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Course: BSc. In Computing (Multimedia)
Duration: 4 years
Provides students with the skills needed to program games for the web as well as core programming skills transferable to other media. A good all-round course with design and business content also.
There are no major games industry links. The course does not produce games, rather multimedia programmers, who could transfer their skils to the games market.