Sergio Chiraz’s decision to move from Montreal to Toronto to study Video Game Design & Development was about more than higher education – it was a pursuit for his own enlightenment.
“My experience allowed me to develop a keen appreciation for the art and business of the video game industry, evolving my creative fascination to realization,” said the 25-year-old Toronto Film School graduate, who was recently named valedictorian of his class.
“Since my graduation, I continue to live a life of perpetual learning and routinely interact with veterans of the industry.”
As program valedictorian, Chiraz has this message to pass along to his fellow graduates: “Well done everyone. There were quite the few hurdles, but we still made the best out of it. I look forward seeing your names in the credits.”
Chiraz recently sat down to reflect on hus time at Toronto Film School, his passion for video game development, and his plans for the future. Here’s what he had to say:
What brought you to Toronto Film School? Where were you in life when you decided to continue your studies with us?
At that point I was looking around for potential places for schooling (for the same subject). What I liked about TFS was that it wasn’t hard to get in – especially with a background in programming, there were no arbitrary restrictions or additional two to four semesters to get into a program.
What made you decide to pursue your passion for Video Game Design & Development?
Odd to say, but it boiled down to someone telling me to ‘give a try’ and, well, here we are.
What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at TFS?
In actuality, there are quite a few things that were taken. I’d say planning, creativity and improvising are the hallmark of any given project. Especially patience since things will rarely go as planned and your work may never be used. The capstone is a great culmination of these aspects.
What are your plans after graduation both immediate and long term?
Current plans are to get settled back in Montreal (so far, so good) and then continue to enhance my knowledge and experience in graphics programming, which is the programming branch I wish to pursue a career in.
If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
Best advice I could provide is the following: Forget the notion that playing games is the equivalent making them. Once you get that out of your head, things will be much clearer and easier. Be creative. Just because something is taught, it doesn’t make it law. Lastly, and most importantly, be patient.