During a press conference, the Institute of Digital Games of the University of Malta and Maltco Lotteries presented the two projects which were completed and made possible due to a Maltco research sponsorship of €20,000, this to promote research and innovation in digital games which allowed researchers at the IDG to hire students or alumni to undertake a project in their area of expertise.
The two launched projects, selected by the director of the Institute of Digital Games, in consultation with the faculty, were ‘Something Something Soup Something’ designed by Dr Stefano Gualeni with the support of two of the Institute’s Master students Isabelle Kniestedt and Johnathan Harrington and ‘The New Born World’, a story-telling game developed as tablet application, designed by Dr Antonios Liapis with the support of one master’s student, Konstantinos Sfikas and one alumnus, Rebecca Portelli.
Students get hands-on experience in game design
“Maltco’s funding allows our researchers and students to experiment in game design and explore the full capabilities of games from the adapting philosophical thought experiments to the virtual world to developing AI algorithms that can be used in games or even transferred to other areas such as civil planning and health.
“At the same time students get hands-on experience in a research project related to game development, something that is irreplaceable if they are looking to pursue a career in the industry,” said Prof. Georgios N. Yannakakis, director of the Institute of Digital Games – University of Malta who praised Maltco’s initiative to support student research and experience.
“To work closely with the Institute of Digital Games of the University of Malta feels indeed like making a significant step towards gaming evolution. At Intralot we invest greatly on innovation and as we have a player-centric approach at everything we do, we treasure the insights that this collaboration has brought back. We are very much looking forward to new projects and to hopefully also facilitating opportunities for young professionals in the gaming industry,” said Dr Panagiotis Koustenis, games and statistics manager at Intralot.
“Over the past years, the Institute of Digital Games has grown in reputation and hence its importance within game research and education on an international level. It is thanks to the hard-working and dedicated team at this Institute, that these innovative opportunities are offered to students; both local and foreigners, to undertake digital games as an investment in the future. As one of the leading companies in Malta, it is Maltco Lotteries’ honour to support the Institute of Digital Games,” said Vasileios Kasiotakis, chief executive officer of Maltco Lotteries
The Institute of Digital Games was ranked among the top 25 post-graduate game design programs by the Princeton Review in 2017 and this type of funding allows the Institute to ensure they remain amongst the top programs worldwide.”
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