In this latest feature for Game Career Guide
, Steve Swink, independent game designer, former Neversoft artist and current Art Institute of Phoenix game and level design teacher follows up his recent feature
on transitioning from game industry professional to being a teacher, this time focusing on what to do once you are hired as an instructor.
In this excerpt, Swink address the importance of using existing games as examples for how to better illustrate points to students, particularly noting the games he cites during his class on level design:
“For whatever topic you're going to teach, there are going to be some amazing examples of how to do it brilliantly out there. Quickly capture a list of your personal "masterworks" in the relevant area - pieces of work that make you step back and go oo-ooo!
For example, as I was prepping for my level design class, I started by writing down a list of games that I thought had particularly excellent level design, getting as specific as possible if I could remember exactly where in the game those levels were and what they were called. Metroid Prime, Counterstrike, Super Mario Kart, Half-Life, and so on.
If you're going to be teaching a 3d modeling or art class, crack open images.google.com and start tracking down games you think are particularly beautiful or well executed, gathering a directory of ‘example' screenshots. And, while you're at it, write down what you think are your personal best pieces of work in the field. These, besides giving you a nice mental refresher on topical experience, will be extremely useful in establishing credibility.
Finally, make a list of people in the field who you consider expert. Who created these pieces you've listed? Is it possible to get in contact with them? Is there anyone local who might be interested in guest speaking?”
You can now read the entire feature
, including more strategies for preparing curriculum for classes focused on game development education (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).