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College classes?

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Anonymous

Are there any necessary college classes needed to be taken to become a member in the board game community?

Anonymous
College classes?

Yes, you need to take whatever courses will ensure that you get a good paying job that will leave you independently wealthy so you can retire at 35 and spend your time designing games!

All kidding aside, do you mean becoming a member of the board game design community? That has been covered elsewhere in this forum (namely here. Try the search feature, it's a great tool for finding simple answers like this!

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
My take

Of course there are no required classes, but there are some classes that will help you a lot.

Classes in writing are a must, a technical writing course would be even better. Writing a rule book clearly is one of the hardest things about designing games.

Math classes are a plus also. Classes that deal with probability and statistics are especially useful for balancing your game.

Depending upon your subject matter, history may be good to help you get a good background for whatever you might be designing games about.

Sciences are good also, clasess like Pyschology and Sociology can't hurt. You can try and figure out what people may like to play and how they may interact within given situations.

Classes in computers are helpful too. These days, a computer will probably be your most useful tool in developing your game.

That leads me to Graphic Arts classes. Having the ability to effectively communicate what you want your game to be like visually is invaluable.

And last but not least, business classes! If you end up wanting to sell your games, you're going to need to know a lot about the business side of the industry. Going in blindly may cost your dearly. This also holds true for planning your game from the start. You will need to know about how much stuff costs, how much to pay yourself, how much your game should retail for, your rights as a designer, etc. etc...

These classes just skim the surface too. Can anyone else recommend any useful college courses? (Hmmm I've almost got a whole curriculum's worth of classes right there, perhaps I should start a college? Do any of you guys need jobs as professors? =D )

-Darke

Anonymous
Re: My take

Darkehorse wrote:
Of course there are no required classes, but there are some classes that will help you a lot.

I don't want to speak out of turn, but I wonder if tailoring education to board game design is a wise idea. I'm sure lots of different people draw on different areas of experience and expertise in designing games, but I'm a little sceptical about making it an education goal. There's something to be said for the joke that becoming independently wealthy is probably more directly useful! While there is doubtlessly value to courses training people in technical or historical aspects of art, I wonder if this is something you can do for board game design... personally, I'd think that the wide range of views you can draw on from forums like these, the SAZ etc. are more valuable than one "expert".

Hm-- that may be controversial and is not intended as an insult to anyone thinking about such things. It's just something that's been niggling everytime I see one of these enquiries.

Best wishes,

Richard.

phpbbadmin
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Re: My take

Richard_Huzzey wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:
Of course there are no required classes, but there are some classes that will help you a lot.

I don't want to speak out of turn, but I wonder if tailoring education to board game design is a wise idea. I'm sure lots of different people draw on different areas of experience and expertise in designing games, but I'm a little sceptical about making it an education goal. There's something to be said for the joke that becoming independently wealthy is probably more directly useful! While there is doubtlessly value to courses training people in technical or historical aspects of art, I wonder if this is something you can do for board game design... personally, I'd think that the wide range of views you can draw on from forums like these, the SAZ etc. are more valuable than one "expert".

Richard,

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. I simply offered a list of classes that one might take to give them some skills to aid in designing games. Are you saying that these classes won't help them with game design? I agree, none are really NECESSARY to be a game designer. I could argue that 75% (with on the job training, it could go as high as 100%) of the classes you are required to take to get a degree for whatever occupation are also unnecessary. Sure, it's not a good idea to make it a career choice (but who knows really?) out of designing games since it probably won't pay the bills, but one could choose classes that might aid you in game design when choosing from a list of electives or among possible general education classes. Not sure what your getting at, especially with your reference to 'one "expert"'. Please clarify.

-Darke

rkalajian
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Joined: 12/31/1969
College classes?

The way that I percieved it is that getting a degree in board game design isn't a very realistic idea. Sure you can take classes that will help you out, but you should get a degree in something that can pay the bills.

As for the "one expert", I think Richard is trying to say the boards are bette resources of information coming from different people and different perspectives that just learning things from a single professor.

Am I correct?

Anonymous
College classes?

Yes, I wasn't intending to challenge Darke's thoughtful list of the sorts of skills that could be useful, but just the utility or wisdom of university courses tailored to game design. I'm slightly undecided on a number of points, and so I was just floating a discussion, but I am troubled by whether this is actually something to advise or not.

Regarding "one expert"-- yes, that was a reference to the fact that people offering such courses will be acting as instructors when most of the issues they cover are either ones to do with such individualistic creative processes that they would be challenged to 'infect' students with it, or oft-debated factual issues ("How do I submit a prototype?" "Should I bother with an NDA?" "How much testing is enough testing?") where I would argue multiple opinions are more useful than a "definitive" answer from "one expert".

I hope that clarifies what I meant- and apologies if, as I gather was the case, it seemed I was contradicting your post, Darke. I was thinking aloud regarding my doubts at the sort of thing the original poster, and others, considered. I remain concerned that a traditional academic context is unlikely to be very useful for board game *design*, as opposed to the study of board games.

Best wishes,

Richard.

Anonymous
College classes?

I will add that I'm glad my college didn't offer any courses specifically for board game design. I was very interested in film work in high school and wrote many screenplays as a result. I took a college course in writing screenplays and thereafter never wrote another. Once I had the process of how it "should" be done, I couldn't get myself back to the mindset in which I was able to write them. I was too focused on the mechanical aspects and not focused enough on the creativity needed. I have shunned any courses or seminars on board game design for the same reason, fear of paralytic overeducation.

That being said, I don't think that anything prepares you for the creation of board games so much as the desire to create them. Once bitten, you'll be hooked for life. The how-to's and all the necessary knowledge will come from experience, both as a designer and from life. Take whatever courses drive your imagination! Just learn what stimulates your creativity and follow that.

I think Darke's suggetsions are an excellent starting point (similar in fact to other posts along similar lines). More importantly, just create whatever strikes your fancy. Make it the best you can, then show it to as many other game designers as you can. Their feedback will teach you more about design than any college course. Then design more games and share them.

That's what makes this forum an invaluable resource, it provides unlimited access to so many designers that are all very willing to share their knowledge and opinions with you. Use the GDW!! Start looking over games and comments that have already been submitted. Then, when your game is ready for submission, you will get some great feedback.

phpbbadmin
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College classes?

Richard_Huzzey wrote:
Yes, I wasn't intending to challenge Darke's thoughtful list of the sorts of skills that could be useful, but just the utility or wisdom of university courses tailored to game design. I'm slightly undecided on a number of points, and so I was just floating a discussion, but I am troubled by whether this is actually something to advise or not.

Regarding "one expert"-- yes, that was a reference to the fact that people offering such courses will be acting as instructors when most of the issues they cover are either ones to do with such individualistic creative processes that they would be challenged to 'infect' students with it, or oft-debated factual issues ("How do I submit a prototype?" "Should I bother with an NDA?" "How much testing is enough testing?") where I would argue multiple opinions are more useful than a "definitive" answer from "one expert".

I hope that clarifies what I meant- and apologies if, as I gather was the case, it seemed I was contradicting your post, Darke. I was thinking aloud regarding my doubts at the sort of thing the original poster, and others, considered. I remain concerned that a traditional academic context is unlikely to be very useful for board game *design*, as opposed to the study of board games.

Best wishes,

Richard.

Richard,

Ahh it all makes sense now. I agree that a curriculum based upon Game Design would not be a good idea. In reality, there isn't a market to currently support such classes. There's barely a market to support curriculums in video game design, and that is a multi billion dollar industry. If a college did offer such a curriculum, I think they would be setting up their students for failure.

-Darke

Anonymous
College classes?

Darkehorse wrote:
Ahh it all makes sense now. I agree that a curriculum based upon Game Design would not be a good idea. In reality, there isn't a market to currently support such classes. There's barely a market to support curriculums in video game design, and that is a multi billion dollar industry. If a college did offer such a curriculum, I think they would be setting up their students for failure. -Darke

Yeah- a lot of posters seem to have been asking about things such as this, so I was speaking generally on this as an idea. I'd argue that the world's best novelists may have read an English degree (studying historical and/or contemporary literature) but few will have spent ages on "how to write your first novel" classes-- these things seem a bit forced and, if I'm not too cynical, a way to make money from people's hopes. This said, I'm not specifically attacking the classes people offer on BG design as useful points of departure, but concerned at 3 or 4 posters recently who seem to feel they'd need to find (or tailor their own degree, in a modular course) a degree that will make them a game designer.

Hope that's even-handed!

Best wishes,

Richard.

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