Word of the game developer school in Boden has spread throughout the world and is now attracting students from far away. Meet Kai Wang from China, Nelson Kiyoshi Kossuga from Brazil and Sushant Bhonde from India – game development students at Boden Gamecamp.
Futuregames’ courses at Boden Gamecamp have really made a name for themselves in the international tech world. Now people from all over gather here in new, modern facilities in Sävast. Among the approximately 300 studying here, there are now students from China, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Poland, France, Turkey, Iran, Nigeria, together with people from all over Sweden.
“The day I landed here, one year ago, it was a pretty good day and it was quite cold. I liked it because I could actually breathe here. I love to go out, it is always nice weather and I love the snow. I would much rather have minus 20 degrees than plus 30”, says Sushant Bhonde.
Back home in India, he worked as a game tester for Ubisoft and says it’s true what they say, that all game testers really want to design games themselves. He heard about Futuregames from a friend who had a friend who had a colleague who studied here, so he applied, got in and got his visa.
Nelson Kossuga from Brazil heard about the programme through a Youtube lecture and Kai Wang from China heard the name from a former classmate. Kai is in his second year of game programming studies and started his education in Stockholm but chose to move here because of the housing situation. Here, students get help arranging accommodation nearby.
”The housing in Stockholm is crazy, it’s really difficult to find a place to live. It took me around an hour or more to get to school, and during the winter it was even worse. That’s why I asked to be transferred to Boden. They were able to offer a house pretty close to school, it’s a 20-minute walk from here”, says Kai.
Sushant also chose Boden over Stockholm because of housing. Here he lives a mere 30 meters from the school facilities.
“Where I’m from, there are far too many people and I prefer Boden because there are no people here. The population is around 28,000 and that’s basically the population of my street back home. That’s pretty funny”, says Sushant.
”I thought that if this is in the middle of nowhere, I’ll probably have more time to focus”, says Nelson.
He grew up in a sleepy small town in Brazil and thinks it’s quite unique that Boden has the charming small-town aesthetics and at the same time you can work in tech and actually do something, like go out to restaurants with friends.
The point of the courses is that all students should be employable and ready for the game industry when they graduate, either in their own companies or as employees. That’s why a lot of focus is placed on project-based learning, where students from the different disciplines (game designer, game artist, game programmer and QA/game tester) come together and create four games during their training. At the same time, they get the chance to meet senior game developers as guest speakers, mentors and advisors.
“The school tries to simulate an actual work environment in the game industry. I haven’t seen anyone else do that”, says Sushant.
”A big advantage to having studied here is that we don’t really need to worry about our portfolio. We can put our projects from school in there, so we have something to show”, says Kai.
The language is not a problem, all training is done in English, but entering society in a completely new country, in a small town in another part of the world is not always easy and cultural clashes can occur.
“I think this place is a great ecosystem. Having this shared workspace, where everybody is very excited about making games, is very friendly, very comforting and very inspiring. It’s also pretty nice that this location brings together a lot of international people. To me it feels interesting to have the mix of cultures, because a little bit from every country just kind of pops in here, and that’s super nice”, says Nelson.
A common denominator is that all three already have university educations and they dream of doing an internship and later working at one of the larger game companies. Stockholm is attractive for work opportunities, but there are also jobs in gaming here in Boden.
“I really want to settle in Sweden. I don’t know why, but I want to live in Boden after my studies. There are no big companies here but I really do like Boden a lot”, says Sushant.
There is a great demand for game developers in the region and the industry shows strong growth. More and more game studios are being established here in Boden and even if the big companies haven’t found their way here yet, that could soon change. Some really big players in the industry have shown interest in the town and discussions are ongoing behind the scenes. One thing is certain, the talent is here and the future looks bright. #
Text: Josefin Wiklund / Photo: Mats Engfors
Read more: Boden Game Camp’s concept is praised: ‘Very smart’ | BODENXT.se
Nine star chefs from Michelin restaurants throughout the Nordics. Flavourful food grown and matured in the land of the midnight sun. Seasoned with northern lights,
The gaming industry is one of Boden’s strong and rapidly growing industries. This autumn another game training programme will be added at Boden Game Camp,
For almost 40 years, Thomas Fägerman has been called a visionary and dreamer in the field of sustainability. But the green transition considered utopian is
For several years, Andreas Morat and Fredrik Alnelind saw how large amounts of unopened building material were rushed to the dump. Now they run a