Do-It-Yourself Game School

16 Jul , 2014  

DIY Game School

While there are many ways to learn Game Development, I firmly believe that ‘Game Schools’ are an increasingly attractive option for many people. This having been said, they aren’t for everyone, and even if you would like to attend one, unfortunately they aren’t available to everyone.

One of the most common requests I’ve received is for advice on what to do if a Game School isn’t a realistic option. This is the case for many of you, whether due to financial restrictions, geographical restrictions, or other factors such as age.

I’m going to try to give you some starting points for self-directed learning. I’ve known a lot of developers who are self-taught, so it is certainly possible to do, but there will be some big challenges ahead.

I’ll start by providing you with some tools and techniques to structure your learning, and then give you some tools and resources to start you off with Game Design, 3D Art or Programming.


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Industry Interview: Navid Khavari, Narrative Designer

11 Jun , 2014  

Navid Khavari, Narrative Designer at Ubisoft Toronto

Since starting the blog, the single most common role that people have asked about has been ‘Narrative Designer’. Unfortunately I’m hardly an expert on this subject: this blog is really the first ‘writing’ that I’ve done to any extent, and so I decided to seek out some professional help.

Fortunately, I’m surrounded by talented individuals, so I went straight to the amazing Navid Khavari. Navid is a Narrative Designer here at Ubisoft Toronto, who is currently working on Far Cry 4 in collaboration with Ubisoft Montreal. I worked closely with Navid on Splinter Cell Blacklist, and was blown away by his ability to keep track of so many different threads, updating all of the departments constantly and revising the story on the fly due to restrictions or changes that came up. Truly a masterclass in ‘plate spinning’. Additionally, Navid is an all-around great guy and I’m so happy that he has graciously agreed to answer some questions for you all.


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Who Exactly Makes Games Anyway?

13 May , 2014  

Image of two kittens showing down in eternal combat.

One of the most common requests I’ve received is for an overview of what the typical roles at a game studio are, and how this changes in studios of different sizes.

Here’s are my 3 goals for what you should learn by the end of this article:

  1. What are the common roles in game development
  2. How those roles are added and changed as companies grow from small independent studios to major AAA developers
  3. The ultimate fate of Kitten Kombat.

I’m going to walk you through the growth of a fictional company, ‘Arrow Knee Games‘. Keep in mind game studios come in all shapes and sizes, and the amount and types of employee can vary drastically. While this particular company is completely made up, it is based on a composite of some of the studios I’ve worked at before – from tiny 5 man indie teams, to mid-sized studios like Relic, and all the way up to giants like EA and Ubisoft.


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