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Feature: 'Toe To Toe With EA Chicago'

In Gamasutra's continuing tour of Chicago area game studios, we speak to GM Kudo Tsunoda at Fight Night Round 3 developer EA Chicago about boxing training for designers, and why some of the best next-gen developers come from outside the game biz.
In Gamasutra's continuing tour of Chicago area game studios, we speak to GM Kudo Tsunoda at Fight Night Round 3 developer EA Chicago about boxing training for designers, and why some of the best next-gen developers come from outside the game biz. In this extract, Tsunoda takes on the latter issue, discussing how EA Chicago staffs its projects: "The EA Chicago GM's views on hiring are particularly interesting: “We’re always looking to hire people with good brains, and who can learn fast.” Often developers don’t want to hire people with no game experience. “But I’d much rather have someone who can learn and adapt and can figure stuff out, then somebody that has ten years of doing something the same way and that’s their only experience.” Tsunoda thinks when you define how games are played on the next-gen consoles, it can be better to have people who “don’t have the baggage of trying to make next-gen games the way we make current-gen. People have a way of doing things, and they tend to apply that to a new situation.” “We’ve hired tons of people from the movie industry, from advertising, from different kinds of creative fields that aren’t games,” Tsunoda explains. “And the perspective they put on how a person experiences a game versus how they play the game has just been huge, defining how next-gen games are played.” This is why EA Chicago has a mix of experienced developers, fresh students, and people from other industries. “But that’s the thing that’s been most interesting to me,” Tsunoda says. “The value of people who don’t necessarily have the legacy of having made games for ten years. And bringing them into the situation, and getting a new and fresh perspective on what games should be."" You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic, including plenty more commentary from the ever effervescent Tsunoda (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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