I found the passion at NHTV so infectious that I wanted to be a part of it

1. Why did you choose for Game Programme you are doing right now?

I chose to do IGAD because when I came over for the international open day, I found that everyone was so incredibly passionate about what they were doing, both students and teachers. I found that passion so infectious that I wanted to be a part of it. I loved video games, I wanted to create, it seemed a good fit and the teachers were incredibly honest about what the course was like, what they were trying to do and the thoughts behind everything.

2. Why did you choose to study at NHTV?

I paid 1.906 euros for this year’s tuition at NHTV. I would pay 11.416 euros for a similar course in England. There was very little difference in quality (actually, NHTV seemed just as good if not a higher quality than some of the universities I was looking at in England) and whatever that difference was, it was definitely not worth 9.510 euros a year.

3. If you would have to explain what you are studying right now to someone    who is in secondary school, what would you say?

I’m studying as a videogame designer, which basically means I’m studying how to make videogames fun. I’m studying how to make a world and design everything inside, from the story to how the doors work and how high you jump (which is as important as the story itself). What I’m learning the most is about how to craft an experience, how to make something that makes you feel a certain way when you interact with it and how, through that, I can make you have fun, feel happy or sad.

4. How do you like your studies and NHTV or dislike?

I really like my studies and NHTV. Honestly, the atmosphere that the game programme has is very nice and welcoming. We’re all passionate about what we’re doing and it’s really fascinating to see what different stuff everyone is working on. If you keep a good eye, the teachers (and the students) post up some amazing opportunities about events or projects or tools that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise and you can work on some amazing things.

5. What did you enjoy most in the last year?

I went to a LOT of game related events last academic year, which was something that started with travelling with other NHTV students to some local ones, but I ended up flapping my wings and have travelled all over the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Britain. It’s been an amazing experience to meet all of these other game devs and getting the affirmation that yes, this is what I want to do and yes, what I have been studying is relevant to what I want to do.

6. What do you do besides studying (in your free time)?

I’m a member of the NHTV Theatre group, which has some cool international stuff now (but now I don’t have the time to properly join them!). I was a part of two different international theatre improvisation classes (Which ended with a show each) and was part of the dancing crew and choir for a Dutch musical. I’m also part of the Creative Lab, which is an organisation of the academy that is about supporting students who wants to make things. I was part of a project to make a short live action film for the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which was shown at the GoShort international short film festival in Nijmegen. Not only did they were the one making the opportunity, their support meant that I could focus on the challenges of working with the technology, instead of more of the logistical challenges of making such a thing.

7. How would you describe the atmosphere at NHTV?

Friendly, busy. There’s a lot of free areas to work in and there’s a lot of students. Sometimes it can be a little hard to find a quiet, lone spot, but since the work areas are open, it’s easy to find the people you know and talk or work with them.

8. In what kind of place do you live in Breda and how did you find this place?

It is quite hard to find a good place to live. I found the primary system to get a place in Breda as a student (clicforrooms) tricky. Outside of that, housing agents don’t seem to like international students so much because they’re afraid we don’t respect the place we live. Fortunately I have been able to find myself a good place now using clicforrooms.nl.

9. Do you think Breda is an interesting city for students? Why?

Sure. There’s no good place to dance, but there’s a lot of night life. However, it becomes way more interesting if you’re not just interested in getting drunk. There’s a really good design museum which has new stuff every once in a while. There’re really interesting art/design events and city-wide parties/festivals happening around the year. We have a good concert hall which puts up various kind of music. It’s a student city, so there’s always something happening IF you keep a good eye out for things and are willing to try out something new.

Brenden Gibbons
Student International Game Architecture and Design

Read more stories of students and alumni of the programme International Game Architecture and Design