If you can predict what will be, you can decide what to learn – Yan Garin, Ecole Intuit.lab
Gaming is one of the most exciting industries in the tech sector, playing a vital role in entertainment, design, culture and education. It is also one of the fastest growing industries. Game Development and Design are sought after and popular courses online and in institutes, but what other skills are required to break into this industry?
According to Yan Garin, Country Head, Ecole Intuit.lab,“learning software is not at the center of learning”. There are a number of platforms that allow, even children, to design games. The challenge with skilling in the gaming industry is nurturing creativity and keeping an open mind to problem-solving and finding gaps within and outside of the industry.
The gaming industry can be very unpredictable. This can be observed, not only, in the frequency with which trends go in and out, but the inability to predict the trend itself. This is due to several factors involving:
1. Diversity in Audience
The gaming industry target demographic started out as young, Caucasian men, according to Garin. It has now expanded across countries, gender, ethnicities and age. Everyone participates in the industry to a certain degree, whether it be playing puzzles on one’s phone or streaming online. Gamification has also expanded the audience base, being used in education, marketing, businesses, etc.
2. Inconsistencies in demand
“Gamers are easily bored” states Garin, stressing the demand for new products and updates. Engagement is key. With the diversity, there is a vast range from easy to complex products in the market. Some ways in which gamers have shown these inconsistencies were:
Quality of graphics: Gaming like most visual entertainment was expected to see an increase in graphics quality. In the era of High Definition (HD) video, Minecraft took the industry by storm. Showing that the graphics did not matter to gamers as long as the content was engaging. Consequently, variation in graphics and games that offer different visual experience have also done well.
Consoles driving gaming industry: Like graphics, the prediction, according to Garin, was that consoles would become more complex and powerful. However, the smart phone came in, which was, “less powerful than console, but you have them with you all the time” states Garin. Another trend that was unpredictable.
Under these circumstances, Garin emphasises the importance of soft skills in education. “You should be extremely curious about what is happening in tech, explore the devices, its good to have good technology, but what can technology bring to the table to make your idea more exciting?” he states, at the same time adding, “You don’t want to be the victim of the technology, just because the technology is available does not mean you make something out of it.”
In his own institute, Garin explains how every step of design is taught. Students work with clay to design characters and objects, understanding 3D before digital. The next step is concept art, before designing low polygon 3D models, then simple 3D concepts, and so forth. Providing students a 360 degree understanding of design, and developing concepts. The most important skill, however, is creativity.
“We want all students to be creative, to explore new things and make games that are not repetitive of what has already been done.” Concluded Garin.
The challenge of skilling is to know what skills are in demand and will be useable for the foreseeable future. As Garin states, “If you can predict what will be, you can decide what to learn.” Creative thinking is the strongest skill for an artist, the same extends to the gaming industry. While aspirants may need to stay vigilant about technological developments, it is their softskills that need to be nurtured.