Track back about 6 years ago. The professors of UAT were receiving feedback from alumni’s employers on how their students were doing in the industry. The feedback that they were getting was great. The employers were saying that the students had great skills in all of the areas of their field. The only negative feedback we were getting was on our students ability to work with other departments or other skills. To remedy this our professors of the game department came together and created a class dedicated to bringing together students of all of the game degrees together to not only build collaboration skills, but also to give students a way to create and possibly complete game projects during a class. This class is now called our Game Production Studio class.
Fast forward 6 years later, and here we are today having all game students working with each other on games, and even working with clients. This is a great step for the students here at UAT. Just throughout my time here at UAT the Game Production Studio class has evolved and has been the cause of more student games getting out onto the market. Having a game out in the market, whether or not the game made money, is great for students who are looking for a starting position in the industry. Not only this, but we are graduating more and more students who excel at collaboration and know how they fit into their industry. I tell people on tours that having these collaboration skills also prevents students from having a culture shock when they get into the industry. Students who leave UAT are more prepared to handle group situations and are more willing to work together with others.
Students can also benefit from this class by gaining and polishing their presentation skills. One of the things that most people don’t realize about this industry is that no matter who you are or what profession you’re going into, you’re going to have to present or pitch your ideas. You’re going to have to present your progress. Last semester in the Game Production Studio class we had a couple industry guys come in and look at our student projects and give feedback to the students. These guys have gone around the country to go and pitch their game idea to students as well as give feedback to students on their current games. After our review they had mentioned that our students pitching and presentation skills were above average in comparison to the other places that they had gone.
Last but definitely not least another skill that our students can walk away from the Game Production Studio class with. This skill is learning how to research. This class is very unlike any other class. The class opens with the professors giving some updates to the students and then the rest of the class is dedicated to students working with one another. One of my favorite things to talk about on a tour is that no matter where you go, and no matter what field you are going into. You will never know absolutely everything about your field. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, sometimes you will get that one bug or glitch that no one else you know has ever encountered. So what can you do about this? How can schools help you find the solution even if they’ve taught you everything you needed to know? The best way to do this is to teach students how to do research. I personally think this is overlooked by most schools. Most schools want to tell their students that “yes, you will learn how to handle and fix any problem” when this is false. What they can do though, is to teach you how to react when you come across something you don’t know the solution to. They can teach you how to efficiently do research that can help you fix or correct the rare bugs that you may stumble upon. Since the Game Production Studio class is all about students working on their own, students can put this knowledge of research to use and research the issues they are having. What the best part about this is, is that we do have professors here. We have professors here throughout the whole class and even professors who you can email at any time. They are there to help you with the things you don’t know, or to help you with the research so you aren’t wasting your time.
That’s all for today!