Last year, we had 30 students. But this year, we’ve seen incredible growth, with almost 100 students from nearly 20 different countries joining us for courses in Game Development, Game Design, Game Art, Sound and Audio, and Project Management and Production. This remarkable growth shows how much people are interested in Unreal Engine, with an astonishing 1.8 applicants for each available spot. Our grand opening at the Estonia Resort Hotel and Spa Conference Hall on September 2nd was a big hit, with around 150 enthusiastic participants. The air was filled with excitement and happiness as we began this exciting journey together.
Maret Saluste, who leads the Full Cycle Game Academy, and Cristian Paez, who designed our courses, gave to all a warm welcome. They introduced our amazing teachers who will help us on this learning journey. Ari Arnbjörnsson, from Epic Games, shared inspiring words with us. He was excited about the growing gaming community in the Baltics and Northern Europe. Deputy Mayor Silver Smeljanski from Pärnu showed strong support for our mission, reinforcing our belief in what we are doing here in Pärnu. CEOs Marten Palu from Gamecan and Thomas Abraham from Clever Cities Group took the stage. They talked about our academy’s vision and how it can make a big difference in the gaming industry.
Following the greetings and networking sessions, we engaged in an insightful panel discussion about the Game Industry and the Unreal Engine. Eerik Hannus, Gamecan’s recruiter, hosted the panel, featuring industry experts:
Cristian Paez: Full Cycle’s Curriculum Director and Lead Gameplay Programmer at Ubisoft in Barcelona.
Marten Palu: CEO of Gamecan and a mastermind behind several successful businesses, including AI.
Abhilash Ravindran: Gamecan’s Producer, a master at building high-performing teams in the gaming world.
Andrejs Rusinovskis: Head of GameDev Estonia and Head of HR at Ringtail Studios, a familiar face in the game-related meetup scene.
During the panel discussion, we dived deep into some fascinating topics. We explored the incredible world of the Unreal Engine, the exciting challenges and rewards that come with a career in gaming, the advantages of learning on your own versus following a structured educational path, and the complex art of mastering AI.
After the opening ceremony, everyone got a first look at our new and high-tech classroom, where our exciting learning journey begins. In the evening, Full Cycle Game Academy hosted a delightful Welcoming Party at Pärnu Rannahotell. There, attendees enjoyed tasty snacks and drinks, made new connections, and celebrated the beginning of this amazing adventure.
The first day of the Full Cycle Game Academy set a great tone for what’s to come. With amazing mentors, industry knowledge, and a practical curriculum, Pärnu’s gaming future is looking bright and full of promise!
Event is supported by EAS project: Development of support structures for the creative economy 2019-2023
Project goals: Mediating international contacts, acquiring the knowledge needed to compete in the global market, increasing export capacity through the creation of business-friendly contacts, participation in foreign trade fairs and the organization of business-oriented conferences, raising the field and market awareness, increasing the sustainability of companies and linking the potential in the creative economy with business through events focused on increasing the knowledge and experience necessary for business.