Adventures in game design schooling

People still often contact me via e-mail regarding their dreams of working in the Japanese game industry and though I try to help out as much as I can, I am not always able. But it is gratifying to know my cynicism isn’t putting everyone off the prospect. Game design, it seems, is most people’s dream job and many readers have no previous game industry experience, which leaves me at a bit of a disadvantage in the whole agony uncle arena.

To those people I’d like to recommend reading Andrea Rubenstein’s blog about her Herculean efforts of entering into a game design school in Japan. She has written of her experiences on the Game Career Guide website, as well as her blog and it’s an interesting read. By the look of things she will start in April of next year, so I hope to be reading her insights of the actual program itself.

I have only ever dealt with Japanese graduates of a few select schools, in Tokyo, and know little about what goes on in there. I have also witnessed the mass recruitment drives, where in the first few months of the year hundreds of similarly suited young turks take a week long test to see who of them can be part of the select group of new hires. I am very curious to read Ms. Rubenstein’s views on the matter as she lives through them. I wish her the best of luck!

Note that this is a genuine recommendation, and not mere lip service because she lists this blog on her “resources” page; apart from a lake of bile I can’t really imagine what kind of resource I’m offering, but I am grateful for the link nonetheless.


  1. The Games Academy Game Design course in Germany really gave me a bad impression at the Games Convention 2006.
    For one, it's expensive. Like 900€/1300$ per month expensive!
    The course runs for two full semesters and other courses can be entered afterwards, skipping straight to the second semester.
    Students have to form a group and make two projects.
    The first one is always a extended clone of a simple existing game, like Tetris or Frogger. As the second project, they are free to make everything they want to.
    At the GC 2006 they showcased both kinds of projects.
    One game was a straight Frogger clone with slightly broken gameplay. Their plot was that Private Brian B. Quincy had to bring sausages to the base so the BBQ could start. The additional area, a field with enemies, wasn't much of a challenge, especially because the player could walk diagonally and just race trough this part. Another addition was a highscore list. They got 18 out of 20 points for their project.
    The original projects were for the most part quite broken as well.
    One group didn't even get a programmer and thus made a RPG Maker game. The extern artist they hired made good artwork, but for some reason the assets used in the game itself were ugly. I still think that the town with the same clock tower repeated every 10 tiles was funny.
    Another group made a fighting game in a post-apocalyptic setting. One fighter could have been Dhalsim's illegitimate daughter. The real fun "side note" (It really went like "by the way...") was, that they had to restart development at one point!
    Yes, they put themselves in a dead-end and had to redo everything. Of course no tutor even hinted (or could hint) them at their mistake and the eventual results.
    I may add that students aren't allowed to publish their projects commercially, probably to save the academy's and maybe the student's face.
    So at least when students start their second project there, they all pay the massive tuition fee mostly for access to the development tools and gathering some like-minded people, but don't even have certain positions like programmers guaranteed.

    To me, people could learn something from the other courses available there, but the game design course doesn't seem to be worth that much money.
    I learned more from working in a small group.

    I'm certainly interested in Andrea Rubenstein's entries about how they handle it in Japan.

  2. Western game colleages are a mixed bunch. I've heard both good and bad things about them, but all in all it seems things are slowly changing for the better with more actual industry people moving into lecturing (as opposed to having teachers with no experience whatsoever).

    One of the main interests I have in Ms. Rubenstein's blog is that it's probably the first outsider look inside a Japanese school, so that's very exciting. I have seen portfolios of artists coming through game schools and they just look like art college portfolios.

    Arguably no school can prepare you for the "real world". I think almost all useful skills are learned on the job, but that may change with better teachers in the future.

  3. ガーデニング 初心者Thursday, April 16, 2009

    ガーデニング 園芸 サフランガーデニング 園芸 シオンガーデニング 園芸 シュウメイギクガーデニング 園芸 スパティフィルムガーデニング 園芸 スミシアンタガーデニング 園芸 トリカブトガーデニング 園芸 ハマギクガーデニング 園芸 パンパスグラスガーデニング 園芸 フウセントウワタガーデニング 園芸 ホトトギスガーデニング 園芸 ミセバヤガーデニング 園芸 ヤツデガーデニング 園芸 ワレモコウガーデニング 園芸 冬花壇、冬の花(冬のガーデニング)ガーデニング 園芸 エリカガーデニング 園芸 カゲツガーデニング 園芸 ハボタンガーデニング 園芸 マッソニアガーデニング 園芸 境栽花壇ガーデニング 初心者ガーデニング 園芸 寄せ植え花壇ガーデニング 園芸 毛せん花壇ガーデニング 園芸 沈床花壇ガーデニング 園芸 揃えておきたい用品類ガーデニング 園芸 木ばさみガーデニング 園芸 剪定ばさみガーデニング 園芸 刈り込みばさみガーデニング 園芸 剪定のこぎりガーデニング 園芸 脚立ガーデニング 園芸 熊手ガーデニング 園芸 ホースガーデニング 園芸 外国の庭園についてガーデニング 園芸 イギリスの庭園とガーデニングガーデニング 園芸 イタリアの庭園とガーデニングガーデニング 園芸 フランスの庭園とガーデニングガーデニング 園芸 ドイツの庭園とガーデニングガーデニング 園芸 中国のガーデニングガーデニング 初心者ガーデニング 園芸 初心者 用語集ガーデニング 園芸 初心者 ガーデニング用語ガーデニング 園芸 初心者 ガーデニング用語ガーデニング 園芸 アーチガーデニング 園芸 アーチ仕立てガーデニング 園芸 アプローチガーデニング 園芸 アルカリ性用土ガーデニング 園芸 アンプル剤ガーデニング 園芸 暗渠排水ガーデニング 園芸 行灯仕立てガーデニング 園芸 赤玉土ガーデニング 園芸 浅植えガーデニング 園芸 あずまやガーデニング 園芸 油かすガーデニング 初心者ガーデニング 初心者 用語ガーデニング 園芸 生け垣ガーデニング 園芸 忌地ガーデニング 園芸 陰性植物ガーデニング 園芸 陰樹ガーデニング 園芸 一番花ガーデニング 園芸 一年草ガーデニング 園芸 一年枝ガーデニング 園芸 育種ガーデニング 園芸 移植ガーデニング 初心者