On November 4, for the second consecutive year, we took part in the biggest urban gaming festival in Bulgaria – Sofia Game Night, which attracted the attention of passionate gamers and industry professionals. ARC Academy was an active participant in the festival, organizing three exciting events that made visitors immerse themselves in the world of gaming and artificial intelligence.
The event dedicated to “AI and the Future of the Game Industry” piqued the audience’s interest with an engaging lecture and motivating discussion. Dobroslav Dimitrov, chairman of BASCOM and BRAIT, co-founder of Imperia Online, presented the interesting aspects of the current topic – how society accepts artificial intelligence, the differences between AI and the human brain, what ChatGPT is, and how to use it. At the beginning of the lecture, he mentioned, “Nobody knows anything when it comes to artificial intelligence”.
The discussion on the topic continued with the participation of Ivaylo Koralski, moderator of the event and co-owner of the indie studio Kyodai, Nikolay Dimitrov – Director of the Game Programming Program at ARC Academy and Technical Director at Gameloft Sofia, and Simeon Patarozliev – Freelance 3D Artist, who shared their impressions and perspectives on the application and impact of AI in gaming. In the end, everyone agreed that the proper use of AI can lead to many opportunities for the gaming industry’s future.
“Video Games – From Passion to Profession” was another discussion that brought together industry and education professionals and parents. Evgeny Tenev – Lead Game Producer at Creative Assembly Sofia, Ana Ivanova – lecturer in Computer Graphics, Sculpture at PGII “Prof. Nikolay Raynov” and founder of 3DSculpStudio, Milin Dzhalaliev – co-founder of ARC Academy, Hristina Georgieva and Anastasia Zheleva – alumni students at ARC Academy and Concept artists at Gameloft Sofia. They gave information and guidance on what working in the game industry is like and how to prepare young talents for a successful career in this field.
Milin Dzhalaliyev shared more information about the Academy and the areas it offers – Game Design, Concept art, 3D Art, Game Programming and VFX & Animation, as well as the game industry worldwide. He also talked about the Preliminary course for the academic year 2024/2025, which helps applicants, through additional classes, to improve basic skills, get feedback from the lecturers and meet their future classmates. He also clarified that 84% of ARC Academy graduates go on to work in the creative industries.
Evgeny Tenev and Ana Ivanova explained to the parents what the roles in a studio are, what skills can be acquired from the games and how children can prepare themselves. He gave the example of strategy games that develop critical thinking, observation, others – teamwork skills. Christina and Anastasia, as ARC alumni, talked about their impressions and experiences during the learning process. The meeting ended with positive impressions from the parents, who received valuable information about the opportunities for children’s development in the field of gaming.
The students from the Class of 2023 – Martin Chernogorski, Maya Panova, Martin Ehijanov and Panayot Nikolov, together with their mentor Evgeny Tenev, talked about “How to develop games at ARC Academy?”, presenting their projects Mesozoic Meyhem – an endless runner game in which a cute dinosaur saves his egg and Actia – a 3D puzzle platformer whose magical main character fights corruption in his world. They shared the stages they went through in creating their video games and the satisfaction of the finished project. Throughout the day, visitors to the exhibition area had the opportunity to play their games.