The Cologne Game Lab
Founded in 2010, the CGL has been on an expansion course for the last few years and is one of the most renowned educational offerings in the field of game development in Germany. With an extended team of nine professors, including internationally recognized scientists and artists, the new location at Mülheim’s Schanzenstrasse was launched in the winter semester of 2015/16. On two floors at Schanzenstrasse 28, students and teachers in one Bachelor’s and three Master’s programs engage each other in the creation of virtual worlds and procedural narratives. In addition to PC games, AR/VR research, and smartphone applications, the CGL, an institute of the Faculty of Cultural Studies of TH Köln, even works on Film and TV formats.
Since 2015, the CGL has offered the Bachelor Program “Digital Games,” in which students can specialize in Game Design, Arts, or Programming from the third semester onwards. The spectrum ranges from concept development, artistic design, and sound to the economic aspects of starting a company, pitching concepts and prototypes, and seeking target audiences.
Since 2010, the CGL has offered the project-oriented, part-time Master’s Program “Game Development and Research.” In 2018 both the consecutive Master’s Program “Digital Games,” following the Bachelor Program, and the first Intermedia Master “3D Animation for Film & Games,” in cooperation with the ifs (Internationale Filmschule Köln), was launched.
Each year, a maximum of 40 new students are admitted to the Bachelor’s Program. The Master’s Programs altogether accept around 50 students per year. In 2019, the extensive expansion, including the addition of an MA “Digital Games” and an MA “3D Animation for Film & Games,” brought the total number of concurrent students to 250. During the last application phase, there were almost 800 applications vying for the available places. The institute has an international orientation; The language of instruction is English, and the students hail from 45 nations.
At our location in the rooms of the former administration building of the cable factory F & G on the Schanzenstraße in Köln-Mülheim, 250 students and 21 team members engage with one another in the creation, marketing, and theoretical discussion and exhibition of games.
In the open work loft, students can discuss and test a project with their peers, play games on various consoles during break period, or complete 3D renderings and exports in the modernly equipped seminar rooms and Computer Labs.
The institute extensively promotes contact between students and graduates and the practical side of the business. Well-known experts hold guest lecturers in our newly established auditorium/ cinema hall. Trips to trade fairs and festivals are also on the agenda. Once a year, CGL organizes its own international research conference on the art, technology, and theory of digital games, “Clash of Realities,” featuring contributions by internationally-known scientists and games scholars.
Our Research Team on the 4th floor regularly works with CGL students, involving them in projects including cooperation with Museums, the Goethe Institut, and even Universities or Game Studios.
Besides the working stations, the Computer Lab, and Auditorium, CGL students can use the library to rent films, games, and books, or visit the the Open Space in the North and South wings for project collaboration and presentations. In 2018, a kitchen was set up, where students can meet and prepare their meals, enhancing time spent reserved for on-campus project work.