“One of our students started on a project for recently graduated students at a big AAA company and within a year had been transferred to the company’s largest flagship studio. Our alumni are working in many different areas from game to aeronautics, to automotive, film and medicine. In all cases they are full staff and not working as interns.” – Steven Longden, Director of Admissions, DigiPen Institute of Technology
With a legacy that stands 30 years strong – almost as established as the industry itself – DigiPen Institute of Technology is a known trailblazer of game and software development education.
As the world’s very first institution to specialise in this form of education, DigiPen has stood at the focal point for progression in digital media research and computer technologies. “Building on a foundation of academics, applied learning, industry knowledge, and multi-disciplinary team-based collaborations,” the institutional mission states, “we inspire our students to pursue lifelong learning as well as scientific and creative exploration, and empower them to become leaders and originators on a global level.”
Here are three reasons for you to study in Bilbao, at DigiPen’s first European campus:
Unrivalled academics in a uniquely specialised field
As a school that understands the importance of an industry-informed and focused education, DigiPen’s degrees are shaped around the demands of the gaming world. This intricately-woven profession calls for highly-trained personnel with expert knowledge and skill. That is why DigiPen Bilbao offers comprehensive programmes in computer science for software development, and digital art and animation for film and games; serving as a platform from which students produce every single aspect of their digital creation.
Learning here is authentic and organic, with students perfecting their art from the ground up. Computer Science students, for example, construct the game engine (the software used to develop the game) from scratch, instilling them with capabilities that reach far beyond the gaming sphere and into simulation, artificial intelligence and any other application. And the artists are in the very same boat, taking a number of drawing classes in traditional 2D animation, anatomy and film.
Everything learned in DigiPen’s classroom environment is applied to a practical project, with students making a total of five cutting-edge games throughout their time at the school, while art students also construct full-length 2D and 3D designs for games and film. All experience gained from DigiPen’s firm analogical grounding then extends to the digital arena in the form of 3D modelling, texturing and animation.
This is an institution in which creative collaboration is encouraged. As such, DigiPen students work on their projects in teams from their very first day. It’s a direct imitation of what working life would be like on a real-world game or film production, serving as invaluable professional experience that pays off later on.
Students also reap the rewards of DigiPen’s respected, professional faculty. These people are actively engaged with industry, with many receiving prestigious awards in their respective fields. Understanding the trends and fluctuations that come with a market this fast-paced, teachers instil knowledge that fulfils global industry demand.
DigiPen boasts an unrivalled reputation
The institute has forged three decades of experience in the business, on top of being the very first to offer a bachelor’s degree in game development – and that really is something that matters. DigiPen students have won 60 awards in the annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) – more than any other school in the world – not to mention the fact it represents the only school to have students competing in the professional category.
DigiPen’s impact and influence has attracted the eyes of leading industry figures. Powered by its unrivalled reputation, DigiPen has forged meaningful ties with gaming and government bodies, plus the local community, to ensure the curriculum stays relevant and up to date. This has undoubtedly contributed to the institute’s outstanding graduate placement rates. From top tech companies in sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, optometrics and shipping, to triple-A titles such as Call of Duty, League of Legends, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, FIFA, Forza Motorsport and more – DigiPen students have done it all.
An unbeatable location
With a brand-new campus development taking place in the centre of Bilbao, DigiPen students are at the heart of a thriving digital scene. The city has recently undergone a major urban renewal, stepping away from its industrial roots to focus on tourism and services. Defined by the concepts of sustainability, Bilbao’s brand-new quarter will be well connected and promote ‘green’ industry, as well as being affordable and filled to the brim with a wealth of cultural and social facilities for all to enjoy. But above all else, it is to become a hub for creativity and innovation.
Bilbao’s evolution has been so huge and inspired that it has even been chosen as the 2018 Best European City by the Academy of Urbanism, beating cities such as Vienna in Austria and Ljubljana in Slovenia. “Bilbao is a great example of the wholesale transformation of a former industrial city – not just physically, but socially, economically and culturally,” says David Rudley, Chair of the Academy. “The rejuvenation it has achieved over the past 30 years is nothing short of remarkable. All of this has been achieved through bold and effective leadership, the likes of which has seen this city run debt-free since 2010.”
When you enter Bilbao as a member of the DigiPen community, you also become a pioneer of the software development and gaming world.