Learning Teamwork by Developing Video Games Online
Dr. Jan Storgårds & Filip Bovin
Edufication, Tutors Finland Oy (TUTORS), Cambridge Gamechanger ltd (CADGI) and Cyperdelic joined forces and developed a new kind of learning concept targeted at future games industry professionals.
The idea of an intensive six-week bootcamp arose from a tangible need in the games industry. Teamwork skills are one of the most important working life skills from the point of view of employers. Young professionals often focus more on mastering technical skills, but lack of effective teamwork skills and professional communication skills might cause problems in working life. The main goal of this course was to give the participants the opportunity to learn essential teamwork skills and to take on different roles and responsibilities in a multicultural team.
The first test group completed the GameTeam.Dev online course in the summer of 2022 and the results were excellent. The main goal of the course was to create a good and safe atmosphere among the course participants to bring out their unique skills and enable their professional development. They were given creative teamwork tasks to learn about each other’s strengths and know-how, as well as how to lead a team. Students were divided into teams with predefined roles: producer, project manager, designer and developer. Teams had to ideate and lead a game development project just like they are done in professional video game studios. All five teams presented their plans to the group and received feedback from other participants and course mentors.
The participants, who came from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, got to learn first hand what teamwork is in the games industry. They had to plan the project, keep track of resources and deadlines and work together to solve any problems that might arise during the course. The teams also changed and developed as the course progressed, so that they could better serve the goals set for the project. The students gained a lot of experience using several programs related to game production, such as Krita, Blender, Unity and Visual Studio, the programming language C#, and MS Office programs and programs that facilitate teamwork. Working in a multicultural team was one of the key things that those who completed the course learned. The course ended with a presentation of the finished games and a feedback session. As part of the learning experience, students were also given the opportunity to invest virtual currency in the most promising game projects.
In addition to the course director, Filip Bovin from Tutors, and the academic director, Dr. Jan Storgårds from CADGI, the students gained a lot of insight into the games industry through expert lectures. The guest lecturers were James Shepherd (IVGC, Cypherdelic), Dr. Jeremy Sosabowski (AI), Reidar Wasenius (creativity), Henri Vass (Web3, NFT), TJ (web3 Unity game developer from the USA) and Ukko.fi representative Saana Sarmela, who talked about light entrepreneurship in Finland.
The students described the course as a unique opportunity to learn teamwork skills and game development. The group dynamics were so good that the students worked together even outside the course program. In addition to this, a good team spirit helped to manage pressure and made it possible to meet tight deadlines. Several students said that they formed friendships during the course and that they continue to keep in touch both on a professional and personal level after the course.
The journey of the course participants to become experts in the games industry did not end with the end of the course, as the course leaders have together with the students founded the GameTeam.dev alumni community on Discord. The alumni community offers an excellent opportunity for networking and learning new things from professionals in the games industry. The aim is to find companies in the games industry as partners in the community, which can increase the professional skills of students through, for example, expert lectures or development projects, and on the other hand, they may find a skilled workforce among the alumni.
The course leaders are currently preparing the next implementation of the GameTeam.Dev course. The next round will start on January 16th, 2023.
More about the GameTeam.Dev acceleration programme:
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