In a recent interview with Krome Studios, our very own James Pinnell unearthed an interesting comment regarding a guaranteed way to score a juicy job in the games industry.
GL: And finally, do you have any suggestions for budding game designers on how they should get started?…
Fergus: I get asked this a lot, <laughs> by parents, friends, and heh, I always disappoint the children. <laughs> Because, “how did I get in?”, it was a complete accident, you’ll never get in that way, forget it. When I mention engineers, specifically, you always see their faces fall, I say, “You want to be a Games engineer?”, you can earn a fortune, you’ll never be out of work, go and get yourself a first class Maths and Physics degree.
GL: I can imagine people thinking, “Well that’s not fun!”
Fergus: Exactly. So go and get a M&P degree because, you know, they are always looking for that. Artists – go and do a fine art degree. I mean, because anyone can use Max or Maya (graphic design software), you can learn that, but you couldn’t teach me how to sculpt. Either I can sculpt or I can’t. So you can refine that ability, like if you can animate, go to animation school; games studios would much rather hire somebody who is three years older with a fine arts degree and a module of 3D graphics in it. Or somebody who has been to one of the big animation schools. As opposed to someone who has sat at home, played lots of games, and learnt a bit of Max or Maya. I mean, I can do both, but I’ll never be an expert.
Again, I think people forget that Artists here, should be Artists first, then people who do art for games second. Whereas if I said “Look, if you want to be animator for Pixar”, go to animation school. You’d accept that without question. Game Design, though, is always the hard one. It really is. There are courses out there, I can’t say if they are good or bad, I haven’t had much experience with them. You could take the Q&A route, or the Associate Producer route.
So there you have it, if you get yourself a first class Maths and Physics degree, you’ll get yourself an instant job… Although gaming might not be the best use of such a degree.