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View Full Version : EPIC president: degrees don't mean much


kaltek
04-22-08, 01:35 PM
Capps was part of a panel titled “How to Get a Job in the Video Gaming Industry” at the New York Comic Con this past Sunday, joined by Jason Schreiber, founder and president Power Head Games, Julianne Greer, executive editor The Escapist, and Joshua Ortega, writer for Gears of War 2. During a Q&A session, Capps was asked: “How important is a professional game developing degree when it comes to applying for a job in the industry?”

Capps said it meant little to nothing. “I would prefer someone who was classically trained in the arts from a four-year college or university,” he said. He went on to explain how it makes sense to hire a graphics artist who understands the most intricate and intimate aspects of 3D-modeling, shader and lighting effects and how to bring a character or scenery to life, instead of someone who received a video gaming degree and has nothing concrete to show for it.

http://www.thatvideogameblog.com/2008/04/22/mike-capps-president-epic-games-says-video-gaming-degrees-mean-little-to-nothing/

|MaguS|
04-22-08, 01:43 PM
Thats exactly why schools like Full Sail, Devry and all the other "specialty" schools are not as good as a standard university that would not only be cheaper but also give you a more well rounded education.

CaptNKILL
04-22-08, 01:44 PM
People have been saying that for years.

The proof is in all of the mod makers who now work for huge game developers.

JigenD
04-22-08, 05:24 PM
People have been saying that for years.

The proof is in all of the mod makers who now work for huge game developers.

Yep, true in both cases. Not just mod makers too, if you're a really inspired individual and you make your own game or application or anything like that.

I'm not even really interested in getting into the games industry, and I'm by no means a master, but I have several friends all attending or graduated from pretty good schools, yet they've only learned a fraction of what I know in their fields of study.

Basically it's up to the individual to really LEARN, I think most people know this, but I especially feel the 'paper' you get is worthless.

Badboy_12345
04-23-08, 02:28 AM
yeap school is worthless for some jobs
Its good for some to search for their first job but then after the first job the employeer doesnt even care what grades you got in school or where you went. He wants to know what you have been working with and how it went at your last job.

If an employeer has to choose a new student who has just finished some 4 year university and got top grades or someone who has actually worked with the stuff for 4 years they will choose the one who has actually worked.

I never went to college or university I got this job because of the stuff I learned myself.
I didnt waste 4 years of my life on college/university and have a dept :D

|MaguS|
04-23-08, 07:20 AM
I think people are misinterpeting what he means in the interview. He wants someone with a 4 year college degree, a "Game Design" degree is the one they are frowned upon. Unless you are one amazing artist and know your **** your still going to be second to someone with a college education.

He is basically saying that 4yr College > Game Design School.

JigenD
04-23-08, 09:59 AM
I think people are misinterpeting what he means in the interview. He wants someone with a 4 year college degree, a "Game Design" degree is the one they are frowned upon. Unless you are one amazing artist and know your **** your still going to be second to someone with a college education.

He is basically saying that 4yr College > Game Design School.

Well I assume he's talking about artists and such in the games industry too, you really should have some education if you're going to design character models or write music or stories... It's funny, you'd think only .001% of the game's industry actually went to college in these cases. So much bloom and brown. :p

jolle
04-23-08, 10:55 AM
So much bloom and brown. :p
The bloom and brown is usually added by the publisher.
They´re gonna go "how about we make this a bit more like [insert currently most popular title here]", even tho that is popular NOW, and your game is gonna be out in 1 to 2 years.
"We really think you should tone down the colors a bit, think Jericho here", next month: "we really think you should boost up the colors here a bit, think Crysis"..

Proven skill, creativity and experience working in a team, and personality, are things that seems most valued in the business(depends on the company obviously)
A piece of paper showing you completed "this education" doesnt prove nearly as much as a work sample or telling them about what part of "this really cool little game" you did.
Watching the Warren Spector lectures, or rather listening to them.. seems fairly consistent over most companies.

JigenD
04-23-08, 11:17 AM
The bloom and brown is usually added by the publisher.
They´re gonna go "how about we make this a bit more like [insert currently most popular title here]", even tho that is popular NOW, and your game is gonna be out in 1 to 2 years.
"We really think you should tone down the colors a bit, think Jericho here", next month: "we really think you should boost up the colors here a bit, think Crysis"..

Really? You got any proof of that? I thought it was hair brained developer decisions along the same track. All these companies would be better off using some logic. Say a game that's all purple sells 10 million copies, the game didn't necessarily do well because it's purple, but tons of games will try to mimic every single aspect of the game.

Proven skill, creativity and experience working in a team, and personality, are things that seems most valued in the business(depends on the company obviously)
A piece of paper showing you completed "this education" doesnt prove nearly as much as a work sample or telling them about what part of "this really cool little game" you did.
Watching the Warren Spector lectures, or rather listening to them.. seems fairly consistent over most companies.

Yea I see a lot of game industry job openings just browsing game sites and often times I see stuff like '5 years exp doing such and such (inside the games industry) required'.

six_storm
04-23-08, 11:26 AM
College is a joke period.

jolle
04-23-08, 11:47 AM
They tend to want "x years experience" or "worked on atleast X AAA titles", but if you can show something really cool I dont think most companies are really hard on that.
Obviosly if it comes down to two equally skilled people, things like that are easy deal breakers.
Without experience a internship is usually a good way to go, to get the foot in teh door so to speak, alot of people get jobs that way.. Or start in the QA department, I hear that can work out pretty good too.
EDIT: Although a reputable education IS prolly helpful, it tells them you have a certain level of skills within your field, but there are other things that it doesnt show, things that are also valued.. so you shouldnt discount a education, but its not a guarantee. /EDIT


About the publisher thing, they tend to want you to change your game to be more like a recent big hit game.
Speaking in generalities, alot of devs want to realize a vision, and the publisher want to sell alot.
I get the impression from hearing people talk about that, that not all of these people are gamers, they are just working to secure the investment they´re making, and securing a return on that investment.
"trying something new" is usually not part of securing that.
The phrase "Its really like talking to children" has come up talking about this.

For example, when Shafer was pitching Brutal Legends, someone suggested "Cant you do this about hiphop", since that is "hot" right now.
But sure, the blame cant be places squarely on publishers for the comon style of washed out colors and bloom, its a trend I guess.

These videos are pretty interesting on that subject:
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/usermovies/194137.html

methimpikehoses
04-23-08, 02:46 PM
I think people are misinterpeting what he means in the interview. He wants someone with a 4 year college degree, a "Game Design" degree is the one they are frowned upon. Unless you are one amazing artist and know your **** your still going to be second to someone with a college education.

He is basically saying that 4yr College > Game Design School.

That is exactly what he's saying.