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HELP - Looking for Game Design Workshops in USA

AroneStudiosAroneStudios Posts: 89Member, PRO
edited February 2013 in Miscellaneous
Hey Guys... has been a long time...

Well, I quit my regular job as Graphic Designer here in Brazil to focus all my strength on Game Designing.

And to begin this new phase, I'm planning to make a course abroad.. in the USA more specifically. I'm going to be there for 3 to 4 months.. ... I'm looking for workshop all over the internet.. but I failed to find the right one (2 or 3 months tops, something intensive and affordable too)... I was thinking some kind of summer course.. or.. easter course... I'm pretty lost here... never been in north america before, i thought, maybe you guys could give me a hand and point the right direction.. I would be very pleased!

well, I guess that's it for now..

Looking forward to your answers..

thank you all, thank you very much!

I'll leave my skype id and mail below just in case.

mail: aronestudi[email protected]
Skype: guenther.gabriel

Comments

  • AroneStudiosAroneStudios Posts: 89Member, PRO
    Nothing? ;)
  • AroneStudiosAroneStudios Posts: 89Member, PRO
    up
  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Posts: 5,577Member, BASIC
    Wish I could help but I'm afraid I don't know of a single game design workshop or class in my area.
  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,907Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef
    In North America, we like to sleep until at least 8am (your post was at 4:57am). ;)

    I don't have a specific recommendation but if you check out Cal (UC Berkeley) and Stanford's websites, you might find course offerings related to Game Design.

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  • AroneStudiosAroneStudios Posts: 89Member, PRO
    @jamie_c Thank you anyway ;)

    @tatiang oh.. sorry... I didn't realised it... it's 3 pm in Brazil.. thank you for the help... i'll bring the post up later then ;)
  • RPRP Posts: 1,990Member
    edited February 2013
    Guild Hall in Plano Tx has a few programs for game designers. They are well known, but lengthy.

    http://guildhall.smu.edu/

    Honestly you are not going to find many offerings other than a basics (very basic), or into into game design for a time span of 1-4 months (a semester). In many places you won't even scratch game design, but rather just get started on prerequisites, like art history, math etc.


    There are summer camp programs such as what USC offers:

    http://summer.usc.edu/general/summer_seminars_videogame.shtml
  • AroneStudiosAroneStudios Posts: 89Member, PRO
    @RP thank you for your help...
    I'm not after a college/masters degree right now... I live in Brazil.. I'm 25 and wanting to expand my mind, knowledge and to meet new people... by doing some specialisation workshop....

    I'm a bachelor in Graphic Design... graduated in 2010.. so.. maybe I would not fit the Summer camp's Requirements.. that's high school students, right?..

    and the search continues ;)..

    wish me luck!
  • RPRP Posts: 1,990Member
    edited February 2013
    Not necessarily. They are just summer courses held at some of the universities for people and students that are interested game design. Your best bet may be from a community college, in the past I have seen application specific classes. You may be hard pressed to find a course on game design that is not locked into the regular school semester system or require longer than the duration you seek. Most of these workshops and night courses take place during the summer when the campuses are closed to normal school schedules. Also, most places are pushing a 2 year program minimum.

    May sound odd, but you may be better off with a video tutorials or some online based course. Don't bother with the online college programs (even they claim to offer an introduction course etc.), they will milk you for $ and ask you to take asinine prerequisites that are not accredited anywhere else.
  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,907Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef
    edited February 2013
    I think @RP's advice is absolutely right, but if you want to do a bit more legwork, I would suggest contacting a school like this: http://www.academyart.edu/game-design-school/index.html and asking what they suggest you do to enhance your game design background. Since it's a design school and not just a tech program, they would probably have a great sense of how you might bring your graphic design skills to bear on this new career.

    Some schools in the U.S. are so large that contacting an admissions director and getting individual feedback is impossible, but once in a while (especially at smaller schools), you luck out and find someone willing to talk to you about your goals, needs, etc.

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  • KnightStarKnightStar Posts: 162Member, PRO
    Heyas -

    I've been around the block in the Game Industry for 20 years now, starting out as a Game Designer, and I've seen the rise of the Schools that promote Game Design. Truth be told, depending on what you want to do, you're likely not going to find what you're looking for at a traditional school. A majority of the school programs out now really teach LEVEL Design vs. traditional Game Design; teaching users how to use Unity, the Unreal Editor, and a ton of scripting language primers, with a recent attention to the Mobile space. What's often lacking is Game Design Theory and Philosophy (i.e. understanding what makes something fun, understanding risk/reward concepts, etc.).

    As someone that's hired Game Designers (and developers for that matter) at Publishers and Dev Studios like Activision, THQ, etc., I've often found stronger candidates are folks that have actually built mini-games, test levels, used level editors, etc. and can explain what they made, why they designed their creations the way they did, and what they were expecting the end-player to experience in play. If you're looking to learn Game Design, the best suggestion I can give you is to do two things -

    1) Play a bunch of the really popular games out there on the medium you wish to Design for (i.e. PC for PC games, Console titles for Console games, Mobile for mobile games, etc.) and pay attention to elements beyond the game itself. Ask yourself a bunch of questions also, as you play - as in why did they place that power-up there? Why are there X bad guys here in stead of Y? Why do I get an upgrade now vs. later?

    2) Build things. Use Game Salad, Sim City level editors, Star Craft editors, etc. and learn their tools and build levels. And when you're done, be in a position to be able to speak to your creations. Explain WHY you created what you build and how you expect the player to react.

    While you will likely not be creating the next Call of Duty, Mario Galaxy, Angry Birds levels with your creations, you'll be wrapping your head around the concepts of what it takes to make a game. And as such, should you apply to work with other Game Developers, you'll be able to bring to the table a better understanding of making games and Designing games to be fun.

    Good Luck!

    - J
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