Insider's Guide - The Game Assembly

Insider's Guide - The Game Assembly

In this article, we delve into the experiences of Anes Sabanovic, a talented 3D artist, as he shares the ins and outs of studying at The Game Assembly.

Welcome to The Game Assembly (TGA), an exceptional school that fuels the passion for game development and propels students towards success in the industry. Located in the vibrant neighbourhood of Västra Hamnen in Malmö, Sweden, TGA offers a practical, project-based education that prepares aspiring game developers for the challenges of the real world.

Whether you’re already at school, looking to find a new school or even considering moving overseas to study, nothing beats hearing from the students themselves!  In this article we speak to Anes Sabanovic about the ins and outs of studying at The Game Assembly.

The Rookies - The Game Assembly
For nearly 15 years, we have educated highly skilled game developers for the games industry all over the world. Based in Malm and Stockholm, Sweden, we educate Game Artists, Game Programmers, Level Designers, Game Animators and Technical Artists. Every education is 1,5-2,5 years and one third of the…

The Specifics

What’s the name of your school?

The name of the school is The Game Assembly (TGA)

What’s the name of the neighbourhood?

It’s called Västra Hamnen, which roughly translates to “The West harbour”.

Closest train station or public transport option?

Closest train station is Malmö Centralstation which is just a 15 minute walk from TGA.

How long have you been there?

I’ve been studying at TGA for almost 2 years now.

Why did you choose to study here?

I chose to study at The Game Assembly (TGA) for its exceptional practical, project-based education that prepares students thoroughly for the game development industry. TGA has strong industry connections, a reputation for producing skilled graduates, and is located in Malmö, offering abundant networking opportunities and access to game development internships and job placements.

The unique learning environment at TGA emphasises collaboration, teamwork, and hands-on experience.

TGA's curriculum strikes a balance between half-time individual courses and game projects. In the individual courses, such as sculpting in ZBrush or 2D concept art, we delve into specialised software and workflows relevant to our chosen fields. The remaining half is dedicated to our game projects, where we utilise industry-standard tools like Perforce (P4V) for efficient version control. This combination allows us to gain crucial insights into working within a team, navigating through different project stages, and developing essential time management skills.

By studying at TGA, I benefit from an education that not only equips me with practical skills but also provides invaluable industry exposure and networking opportunities. The hands-on learning approach, combined with a collaborative environment, allows me to thrive and prepare for a successful career in the game development industry.

What is your greatest takeaway from your studies so far?

One significant takeaway from my studies so far is the importance of lifelong learning. I've learned that education extends beyond the classroom, empowering me to adapt, grow, and continuously seek new knowledge and experiences. Additionally, my studies have taught me resilience, collaboration, and effective communication skills, all of which are crucial for personal and professional development.

What advice do you have for students thinking of studying for your degree?

For students considering studying for my degree, my advice would be to follow your passion and choose a field that truly excites you. Embrace a growth mindset, be open to continuous learning, and stay curious about the latest trends and tech in the industry. Seek practical experiences to complement your theoretical knowledge and build a strong network of connections within the field. Develop a diverse skill set that combines technical expertise with essential soft skills. Stay organised, manage your time effectively, and seek guidance and support from professors and mentors. Above all, stay motivated, set goals, and remember that your degree is a stepping stone towards a fulfilling career in your chosen field.

How do you combine school work with your own creative work?

Combining school work with personal projects requires effective time management and prioritisation. It's important to establish a schedule that dedicates specific blocks of time to both academic responsibilities and creative projects. Usually when you get home, you’re pretty much done and you just want to kick up your feet and watch meme compilations…

Project from Anes' Rookie Awards 2023 entry

What personal projects are you working on at the moment?

Right now i’m slowly learning Autodesk 3DS Max, as that’s what i will be using during my internship at Cloud Imperium Games!

The Scene

The first thing you see when you walk outside your school?

When stepping out from TGA, the first sight that greets you is a row of modest apartments, nothing particularly remarkable. However, just across the street, there stands a prominent training facility, which boasts a well-equipped gym, a refreshing swimming pool, and a variety of other amenities, making it an ideal choice for an invigorating post-school routine!

Tell us a bit about the Neighbourhood. What is there to see and do?

The neighborhood of Västra Hamnen, where TGA is located, is a cool place with lots to check out. If you go more towards the heart of Malmö you've got the historic stuff like Malmöhus slott (castle) and the central square called Stortorget, which is surrounded by cute buildings and cozy cafes.

If you're into nature, Malmö has some awesome parks and green spaces. Kungsparken is a nice park near the city center where you can take walks or have a picnic. There's plenty for art lovers too! Moderna Museet Malmö and Malmö Konsthall are these rad places where you can soak up some cool exhibitions and get a taste of the local art scene.

When it comes to food, there are all kinds of restaurants serving up international cuisines and local treats. Check out the streets of Möllevången they're filled with shops and multicultural dining spots. Malmö's got a waterfront area and a beach too! Take a stroll, relax by the sea, or hop on a boat tour to see the city from a whole new perspective. There's always something happening in this neighbourhood, whether it's live music, theatre shows, or just hitting the town for a fun night out. So yeah, Malmö has a little bit of everything for everyone!

A mandatory stop for anyone new to your city:

If you're new to Malmö, you've gotta make a beeline for Lilla Torg, it's an absolute gem! This adorable square in the city center is like something out of a storybook, with its cute cobblestone streets, vibrant buildings, and cozy vibes. Lilla Torg is packed with awesome restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can get a real taste of the local food and drinks. it's a really nice spot to go take a “fika” with friends and soak in the lively atmosphere of Malmö.

Your school is great, but you wouldn't mind a bit less:

Hmm, that’s a good question. The school is great at taking feedback from the students and applying that feedback to future courses of game projects, you can’t really complain about much. You’re so focused on your assignments and game projects that you kinda forget sometimes you’re at school, it all feels like a job in the industry.

The unofficial uniform of your school is:

Oversized hoodies with a side of a hefty 32 oz insulated water bottle to ensure maximum hydration, pretty much.

What clubs or extra-curricular events are offered at your school?

There’s always some party committee for holiday events, I’ve seen people stay and play DnD at school after hours.

How would you describe the school community?

A very supportive tight knit community! Everyone is there to learn more, give and take feedback, and help each other!

A common myth about your school is:

I guess the big one is that the students crunch, all the time. This is all very individual, there’s no reason to crunch, because the school curriculum is realistic for all students to go through without crunching. But as creative people you tend to push everything to the max and sometimes forget that you are here to learn, not to make perfect, senior level portfolio pieces.

A massive night out for students at your school is likely to be:

Probably a night out at Kappa Bar. They have student prices every Tuesday and you can rent out consoles at your table to play switch or ps5 while you drink beer with your good friends!

The Superlatives

You won’t find a better place to eat than at:

DINÉ Burgers. This is my all time favourite burger restaurant and if you ever get the chance to eat at DINÉ i’d recommend the Truffle Burger, you won’t regret it!

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen at your school is:

Someone using xNormal for baking instead of Substance 3D Painter or Marmoset.

One thing you’d never change about your school is:

One aspect of TGA that I would never change is the emphasis on game projects. It is what truly sets TGA apart and makes it a unique learning experience. This hands-on experience is invaluable in preparing us for the dynamic and collaborative nature of the industry.

By actively participating in game projects, we develop a deep understanding of the importance of teamwork, effective communication, and the iterative process of game development. It is a fundamental aspect of our education that equips us with practical skills and prepares us for the challenges and demands of the real world.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing changed is:

If there's one thing I wouldn't mind seeing changed about my school, it would be the availability of more modern and updated facilities and resources. While the current facilities serve their purpose, having access to current gen workstations, better equipment, and upgraded learning spaces would greatly enhance our educational experience.

Someone gives you $1M to pimp out your school. You use it to:

If someone handed me $1 million to pimp out my school, here's how I'd make it awesome. First things first, I'd hook every student up with their own Wacom Cintiq tablets. And let's not forget about the workstations – I'd deck them out with the latest components, making sure they're ready to handle any artistic challenge that comes their way. Oh, and standing desks? Absolutely, because who wants to sit all day when you can stand while you work… I mean it’s nice sometimes.

Now, imagine walking through the halls and seeing digital displays showcasing the incredible artwork and projects our students create. It would be like an art gallery on campus, inspiring everyone who walks by. And speaking of walking through the halls, let's give the whole place a total makeover with a fresh, fun, and thematic design. We want our school to be a place where creativity flows and imagination runs wild!

But you know what really sets our school apart? It's the educators. I'd use a big chunk of that money to bring in the absolute best educators in the industry and a big pay check, which they deserve.

What are you hoping to get out of the internship?

I'm really excited about my internship at Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) and the countless learning opportunities it offers. My main focus is to fully dive into the industry and soak up valuable knowledge from experienced mentors. I'm thrilled about the chance to have guidance from experts who are always open to answering my questions, no matter how small they may seem. My ultimate goal is to absorb as much knowledge as I can and grow both personally and professionally throughout this internship.

How do you see this internship supporting you in reaching your goals?

This internship is a crucial stepping stone towards achieving my goals. By being part of this internship, I will have the opportunity to gain invaluable industry experience, learn from seasoned professionals, and apply my skills in a real-world setting. This hands-on experience will provide me with practical insights, enhance my technical abilities, and deepen my understanding of the industry dynamics.

Moreover, this internship will allow me to expand my professional network and establish connections with professionals in the field. These connections can be instrumental in opening doors to future opportunities and collaborations.

Additionally, I believe that working alongside experienced mentors during the internship will offer me valuable guidance and mentorship. Their expertise and insights will help shape my career path, offer valuable advice, and provide me with the necessary support to navigate challenges and make informed decisions.

Overall, this internship will provide me with the platform to learn, grow, and gain the skills and experiences needed to propel me towards my long-term goals in the industry.

Where do you see yourself after graduation?

After graduation, my sights are set on working in the industry, no question about it. Whether it's right here in Sweden or across the globe, I'm ready to embark on a journey fuelled by my passion. I have a strong drive to contribute my skills and knowledge to make a meaningful impact in the field.

My name is Anes Sabanovic, a passionate 3D artist specializing in prop creation, committed to crafting exemplary work that leaves a lasting impression. I thrive on perpetual learning, embracing tech innovations, and optimising workflows for seamless efficiency.

You can find Anes on The Rookies | LinkedIn | Twitter | Website | Instagram | ArtStation