Students earn Radical praise

January 27, 2005, vol. 32, no. 2
By Terry Lavender

Document Tools

Print This Article

E-mail This Page

Font Size
S      M      L      XL

Related Stories

Ian Gipson, a game programmer with Radical Entertainment, was impressed with what he saw when he visited Jim Bizzocchi's fourth-year game prototype class at SFU Surrey in December.

Gipson was one of six people from the Vancouver-based company to review final game prototypes developed by the students in the interactive arts and technology course. The prototypes, which were developed by teams of students in the class, included first-person shooter games, strategy games and sports simulation games.

“The good projects were very good, and indicated that the students involved had a good understanding of what it takes to make a game fun and addictive,” Gipson says. “This is a trait that gets lost at some of the commercial schools, which are heavily geared toward art creation - students study 3D modelling, and Photoshop, with an eye toward dropping into low-level jobs as animators or modellers. This university course gives the students a higher-level experience. They all had some art skills and some programming skills, but they were focused more on the big picture.”

Gipson feels students in Bizzocchi's class are well positioned to compete for jobs as game designers. A game designer, he explains, “specifies what features will make a game fun and engaging on the whole and hashes out what micro level details will really contribute to adding the polish to a game. Mixing some programming, art skills and game design theory (along with a healthy appreciation of games) really gives a person a leg up in the design area. “

He cautions that the students will face a lot of competition in the highly desired field. “There are few courses that prepare a person for this career, but what I saw the other day indicates there are some bright stars that could emerge from SFU Surrey.”

Search SFU News Online