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View Full Version : Game design schools in BC, Canada


PetterSundnes
02-22-2004, 05:47 PM
I am interested in studying game design in BC Canada and wondering if you have any suggestions of where to study and also where not to study? I currently have a bachelor degree in Interaction Design, but would like to expand my skillset into more advanced game and game-interface design (as well as game art in general).

These are the schools i have found so far:

- Art Institute of Vancouver
- Art Institute of Vancouver-Burnaby
- British Columbia Institute of Technology
- Capilano College
- College of Interactive Arts
- Computer Master Institute
- Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design
- Simon Fraser University
- SFU Surrey
- University of British Columbia
- Vancouver Institute of Media Arts
- Vancouver Film School

any thougths would be apreciated...



Another question for the ones already working in the industry: Is it so that the GUI of a game is made by the programmer or designed by a graphic artist in the team?

Personally I think the majority of games lack good interfaces and should be done by people who have experience with usability. An interface isnt about art nor the technology behind it...

MR BINK
02-22-2004, 10:56 PM
go to capilano if you can......

CLONEOPS
02-23-2004, 12:09 AM
Interaction design?
Could you describe the course for those of us who do not know.?
i live in vancover Bc and Emily Carr has everything from
basic art classes like life drawing ,to 3 year courses that take you all the way from the basics to mastering an art....
and has had some very unusual exhibitions.

Again i have to say it one more time visit any schools
annual gallery exibition and see what is produced by the
foundation,first year,second and third year students...
and see what the instructors are teaching the students is art or not.
What a good instructor can do is nuture talent.
Choose you instructors as carefully as you can your school.

BiTMAP
02-23-2004, 07:32 AM
Am i the only one who thinks that these "game design" courses are crap and count for nothing? really, I think the best way to learn game design is to make a mod or a game. Do it, thats the only REAL way to learn. At least, thats what i believe.

Dargon
02-23-2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by BiTMAP
Am i the only one who thinks that these "game design" courses are crap and count for nothing? really, I think the best way to learn game design is to make a mod or a game. Do it, thats the only REAL way to learn. At least, thats what i believe.

You're probably not the only one, but it doesn't mean you're right on this one.

Some of these courses are pretty crap. Some of them are mind blowing. But what holds most true is some will be useful for one person, some for another, and some for none.

Depending on what your background is, and how much talent you have, this can change which school you should choose.

I chose BCIT's 3D animation program, and for the background I had - a lifetime of drawing and 3 years in graphic design school, it was a really good choice, because it was purely technical, and that was good, because that was the only end I needed.

But if you don't have that artistic background, filled with illustration courses, colour theory and the like, then I'd go with another school.

I'd say CDIS probably has the best program, but VFS has a worldwide reputation - one that could possible open doors. It's the only school in Vancouver that has this. Outside of Sherridan, it's probably your best choice, for this reason alone.

Whichever shool you choose, it's what you put into it, is what you'll get out of it. I've gon to a few of the schools you've listed, and taught at one as well, and what I can say, 100% of the time, the students who really care, and put in everything (as well as having some talent at it) do really well. Those that expect the course to do all the work for them, fail miserably.

Just my 2 bits.

NeoNautica
02-23-2004, 11:51 AM
Look for schools that have teachers who have been in the industry. You'll get the most information from them.

PetterSundnes
02-23-2004, 12:47 PM
Thanks for all the feedback guys. There are several reasons for why I want to study again, and first of all it is to be within an environment where I can discuss ideas and improve my creative skills and create a portfolio aimed towards game design. Secondly I would like to see a job coming from it, working as a game interface designer.

At the moment I have a wide range of skills spanning pencil drawing, 2d gfx pixeling, 3d modelling and animation, shockwave3d programming, flash and php programming, as well as a profound understanding of interactivity and usability. My drawing skills are getting a bit rusty though and one of the main reasons I want to go back to the schoolbench again.

Gallery (http://www.petter.ms/index.php?path=Home/Gallery;level=1)

My education and current work is focused around usability, but it just seems impossible to get game companies even interested and respond to requests. Game companies end up hiring graphic artists for doing their user interfaces, which in turn end up as whacky graphics rather than a GUI working as a tool for the gamer. Perhaps the fact I am norwegian citizen currently living in Norway is a barrier too? All the hazzle of VISAs and such?

Game GUI design (http://www.petter.ms/index.php?path=Home/Game%20Design;level=1)

Dargon: going to VFS seems like the best option in terms of getting places, since my B.A. from Ravensbourne College (London) hasnt done much for me so far :) Perhaps I need to make my shockwave-havok-car-demo-game into a more complete game with a fully featured GUI to trigger off some interest?

http://rally300.com

Or perhaps I just flat out suck? :)

bentllama
02-23-2004, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by petterms
...since my B.A. from Ravensbourne College (London) hasnt done much for me so far

going to school, game design program or not, does not guarantee you a job or a healthy career start...it is your portfolio that gets you in.

game design is a tough field to break into. it is a vague field where a lot of interest lies nowadays...

get a couple mods under your belt, some game design docs and hit the streets...

if you are serious about getting into games, perhaps a change in locale would offer you more opportunites?

Zieroth
02-23-2004, 05:51 PM
If you have a degree, it'll be a hell of a lot easier being able to work in other countries. I know a number of people that their employers weren't able to get them into the country because they didn't have a degree.

bentllama
02-23-2004, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by Zieroth
If you have a degree, it'll be a hell of a lot easier being able to work in other countries.

present company included. :)

[hence the ""displaced" canuck"]

BiTMAP
02-24-2004, 05:44 AM
what if that degree is in a diffrent area then games? As i don't see many "game development" degree's falling into repituble catigories.

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