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thats why ballyfermot course is the best[/quote:78af4ecd98]

Heck I wouldn’t go that far! I would like to see greater co-operation between courses rather than greater competition. Its not college against college its Ireland against the world if we want to attract more jobs to the country.

Iv been in Ballyfermot a long time and I think its great. The cghnd games design course is great, but it is a DESIGN course. When it comes to programming we get the bare essentials so we can prototype gameplay mechanics and levels and communicate efficiently with programmers. Sure we can and do make games that work, all three teams in second year will have fully functioning prototypes to show at the diploma show this year that all look really well, but a lot of development time was spent on programming that we would have rather spent on design. It was one of the reasons our team didnt get through to dare. They felt we didnt have enough programming experience. Which on paper we didn’t, however we have been using our engine intensively for a year and we got pretty good results. It would have been great to have a programmer on board and the game would have been better for it, no denying that though.

The one criticism I have of Ballyfermot is that it doesn’t have a programming course to augment the design course. I’m not complaining about the programming experience in Ballyfermot its great to get a good insight into the hassle and problems that face programmers, and also to understand why they like the job. I think it makes us better at design. Programmers aren’t weirdo sado-masochists, their is definite satisfaction in it, not my cup of tea but i can see the attraction.
So as a learning experience and for preparing me for work Ballyfermot got it right, for portfolio preparation and getting me in the door it could have been better. Swings and round abouts. I just think having a programming course nearby would help the summer you leave the college. A couple of free months, designers and programmers who know each other…

The focus of the course in Ballyfermot is on designing levels, character design, gameplay types/mechanics and the cultural significance of the design choices. Thats not being arty farty one the last one. It pretty much decides who will play the game. Its about ways to play games. You can have the most technically advanced game in the world but if its not designed properly who wants to play it? Design is a skill that I think only comes with time and practice and its not easily quantifiable, that’s why i think there is a need for design based course AND development based courses. 3-4 years in college is not enough time for someone to learn both. An architect probably cant build a house with out a architectural technician and an engineer, just like an engineer probably wont build a house that people want to live in.

Ok so here is my two cents towards the debate on game education in Ireland:
I think the industry needs courses training people from college to fill roles in the industry. As a medium games are maturing and it needs to start specifically training people for roles rather that just hoping to pick up people with the necessary skills from other disciplines. I’m not saying that people from other disciplines cant make great games designers and developers but I think higher standards will be reached if people are specifically trained for it. Sure many courses haven’t gotten it right yet, but if dare to be digital is anything to go by the standard is rising very quickly. I think the industry needs to be more forward about what they like about graduates and much more specific in what they don’t like.
I think im done :oops: