Talking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra feature
, Blitz Games art director John Nash has been discussing the state of training in the game business, suggesting that developers have "yet to truly recognize and embrace" continuing education.
In the introduction to his piece, which explains the internal 'Blitz Academy' set up at the UK-based developer behind the Burger King Xbox games and titles in the Karaoke Revolution
and Spongebob Squarepants
franchise, Nash explains:
"The games industry is maturing - fast. The technology playing field is leveling and the old days of game engine wars and outsourcing one-upmanship are dead and buried.
The golden partnership of effective production pipelines and innovation is and has always been the key to chart topping glory. The only question is, how do you achieve both within the pressure cooker of the production environment?
Staying on any cutting edge requires people to learn and adapt on a moment-to-moment basis. Formal training using standardized educational structures is the key to building effective production processes and fostering innovation.
Though this may sound obvious for an industry that relies on continual training, we have yet to truly recognize and embrace the techniques and benefits that training affords other more mature entertainment industries."
Later in the article, he particularly comments, regarding training programs that are well-planned and carried out:
"An effective training program is a proven productivity multiplier that brings with it a number of amazing additional benefits.
By integrating a strong training ethic into the culture of a game studio by designing an effective program, gaining buy-in from all levels of management and rolling out the program with an appropriate level of importance is paramount.
The risks are numerous, but then again so are the rewards. Your studio will make better games, but ultimately training is the key to maintaining your competitive advantage over your competition irrespective of the IP or technology platform on which you are developing."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, including lots more detail on the costs, risks, and benefits that Blitz saw in implementing training in their studio.