Aspiring video game creators in Winnipeg can soon learn how it's done at the University of Winnipeg, which is offering a Serious Games Certificate program this September.

The part-time certificate program will help students learn how to develop video games and more, including virtual interactive environments for educational and training purposes.

The 204-hour program, which will typically take about a year to complete, will involve eight required courses that cover skills such as story boarding, level design and game-based learning.

The Serious Games Certificate program means graduates of Sisler High School's game design and development program can stay in Winnipeg to further their studies.

Raman Brar

Sisler High School student Raman Brar says the University of Winnipeg's Serious Games Certificate program will give her an option to further her studies close to home. (CBC)

"In the past couple of years, we've probably lost four or five [graduates]

who have gone elsewhere — to Toronto or Vancouver — to continue their studies just because the programming to continue to develop their skills wasn't available here," said Bernard Alibudbud, a game design teacher at Sisler.

Raman Brar, a Sisler student who is learning to write game code, said it will be nice to have an option to continue her studies close to home.

"It does give you a little more inspiration to continue this," she said.

"It's a lot more convenient rather than moving to Vancouver or Toronto or something like that."

Current Sisler students who are taking the game design program there will be able to earn some credits toward the University of Winnipeg program, according to officials.

Officials in Manitoba's new media sector say they hope the program will keep more Manitoba game developers and designers in the province.

The U of W is developing the program in partnership with Project Whitecard Inc.