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  1. 1. Industry as Publishers, Universities as Developers Dr. Mike Reddy University of Wales, Newport
  2. 2. “Oh the Cowman and the Farmer should be Friends” Or… why the Games Industry and Academics should be closer… …but not too close! Turn on your MOBILES! Txt 0797******* to comment
  3. 3. 24/7 Summary 24 seconds: START…! 24 seconds: STOP! 7 words: “I need land… …Don’t fence me in!” Dean Martin, adapted song lyric from “Don’t fence me in”
  4. 4. Cowman/Farmer conflict Publishers… Developers… • 95% about profit, with as • 95% about turn over, with little risk as possible little chance for profit • Ruthless in culling “no • Most products under starters” and elitist in development do not make choosing dev’ partners it to final production • Understand developers • Or fail in the market make bad games and place, with 1 in 4 (?) willing to give advice successful AAA titles • Want to own the • Intellectual Property lost Intellectual Property to the money men • Have very tight deadlines • Have very tight deadlines and changing markets and changing platforms
  5. 5. Cowman/Farmer conflict Industry… Universities… • 95% about recruitment, • 95% about turn over, with with no scope for risk little chance for profit • Ruthless in culling “no • Most student under- starters” and elitist in graduates may not make choosing graduates it to final employment • Understand academics • Or fail in the recruitment make bad courses and place, with 1 in 4 (?) willing to give advice successful in getting a job • Want to control the • Course Content lost to Curriculum (e.g. Skillset) the vocational focus • Have very tight deadlines • Have very tight deadlines and changing job needs and changing pressures
  6. 6. Some things to ponder… Should we count as success the students who decide NOT to go into the games industry, as well as those who successfully get gaming jobs? Is it the job of a University to fill short-term recruitment problems? How do we square team work experience against traditional individual assessment?
  7. 7. How Industry could harm us Liverpool sculptor Arthur Dooley, on questioning the 60s plan to destroy rows of terraced houses, and the destruction of whole communities – AD: “Did the locals mind?” Archtect: “No. Consultations had taken place and the residents had raised no objections at all.” AD: “Well, There's no-one as easy to rob of their culture as those that don't know they've got one.” There is an often invisible culture to Academia
  8. 8. Games Degree? Trip Hawkins, founder of EA, 3DO and Digital Chocolate: • First ever games graduate with a degree in “Strategic and Applied Game Theory” From Harvard! The ultimate generic course with bit of games content thrown in What do WE want from a Games Degree? • Employer? Employee? Life-long Learner?
  9. 9. A Job Advert? Game programming/artist wannabe wanted: • 0 years industry experience • No portfolio to speak of • Must be incapable of eye contact • No ability to work in a team necessary. No, NOT likely is it? So, how do we best prepare graduates for the industry?
  10. 10. A Quote on Assessment Student: "Professor Einstein, the questions you put on this year's final exam are the same ones you gave us last year.“ Einstein: "Yes, I know, but last year the answers were different.“ Newport (and others!) emphasis is focussed on portfolio development and LOTS and LOTS of inter-disciplinary group work Over ¾ of degree is Games specific, but…
  11. 11. Skillset? Standards are good… …and the more there are the better! Any system is better than none… …but only just! How many people here are Game Developers? Ex-developers? Christians?
  12. 12. Søren Kierkegaard 1811-1855 Father of Existentialism and severe critic of Denmark Church & Danish Culture Championed the concept of ‘becoming’ by constant doing.
  13. 13. Image References
  14. 14. “Don’t Fence Me In!” Games development is a valid method for increasing motivation and a useful educational resource for teaching ‘hard’ disciplines Industry requirement for key Transferable Skills allows slow moving HE institutions to be leveraged into looking at new learning and assessment techniques Academic Freedom is the best route to wider social acceptance and cultural penetration Does a Virus really understand Biology?