Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Game Producers Say Good Things

I am collecting as many sensible industry opinions as I can to support the way that we teach. I worry that it is too easy to confuse an education that prepares people for a long term future in the games industry (which isn't the norm, by any means) with the immediacy of software skills. So it is heartening to see Peter O'Brien, a producer at Bizarre Creations, talking much sense in a round table interview at

Two things that warmed my end of academic year shellshocked self were his general statement about where he came from and what was most valuable about his educational background:

I trained as a 3D designer; the aim was to create ‘real world’ Products such as furniture, social space, kitsch objects or sustainable products. However, the most valuable lessons formed around design thinking; the why, what, who and why again. [My emphasis]

And his summary of the softer skills needed for a role in design:

Designers: This is a tough one. Key components are communication skills, problem solving skills. An ability to express oneself clearly is crucial. How do you show how you think? You don’t need code to make a game. Knowledge of fundamental design rules/history/principals is essential.

Yay -- go Bizarre. He sounds like he could be teaching on our degree. Communication. Problem solving. Clarity of expression. Knowledge of fundamentals. I like this man.

I wonder if I ever met him and missed the opportunity to talk to him? I used to attend IGDA gatherings when I worked in Liverpool, and the Bizarre crowd made up a fair proportion of the throng. I would probably add communication, communication and communication to his list of necessary skills, but we have just emerged from the bloodbath of the big year two demo build projects.

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