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A Day In The Life At The GuildHall

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the busy-workday-is-an-understatement dept.

Programming 37

Gamasutra has a great feature up, looking at a day in the life of Tony Basch. Tony is one of the folks currently attending The GuildHall, a directed course in game development at Southern Methodist University. Several big-name talents are associated with the place, and his writeup is an interesting look into one of these very new programs. From the article: "Kyle and I remain in the classroom to work on our individual class assignments. While programmers have their Minesweeper clone, the level designers (or LDs as everyone calls them) have 90 textures to do in seven days on top of their normal reading assignments, daily quizzes, and work from other classes. Personally, I wouldn't be able to survive such an assignment, so I give my respect."

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Did anyone else read this as... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14668914)

A Day In The Life At The Guild HELL?!

Sorry, it's early and I haven't had my caffeine yet.

Guild hell... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14669496)

...Is gay. You suck at FP'ing, man. You're not supposed to suck balls when you troll. Like this. Eat my dung like a dung beetle. Or Suck it. Always end your flame in...

I will xxxx your yyyy if I ever meet you., or
 
  GOOD DAY, SIR!

Re:Did anyone else read this as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14669799)

seriously, who thinks this is funny? how is this funny in any way?

im pretty sick of the "did you guys read the headline as X?" posts, where X is not funny or interesting in any way, yet they think it's witty.

well... it's not witty, or funny. stop it.

Re:Did anyone else read this as... (2, Funny)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670126)

seriously, who thinks this is funny? how is this funny in any way?

Did anybody else read that comment as "seriously, who thinks this is funky? how is this funky in any way?

LOLOMFGBBQ!!!11!1!!eleventy-one!!

(Make my funny tha P-Funny, kthxbye)

Re:Did anyone else read this as... (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670663)

Wow, did anybody else read this as ""did you guys read the headline as Y?" Now THAT's hilarious! I guess I'd better lay off the caffeine!

-h-

Re:Did anyone else read this as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670337)

Bleh, that's nothing. Didn't start school until past 11. I did a year at DigiPen Institute of Technology [digipen.edu] (personal reasons didn't allow me to go back). I remember one day in particular where I started my day by waking up at 7:15, so I could get outta the apartment by 7:45, so I could get to school by 9:00 (I lived 20 miles away). Class started at 9, I (and most of my class) was there until midnight. Then me and a bunch went out to Denny's for breakfast, didn't get home until 2.

Then I had to be back at 10 the next day (Saturday) because more projects were due (was a 22 credit semester, 7 courses, recommended load).

And we had to come up with our own Game Development Documents and Technical Development Documents and create our own game froum our own ideas.

Ahhh, good times.

It is nice to see another school that seems to be pushing students to become (hopefully) good programmers.

EA Sponsored? (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668972)

Given the hours this guy has to put into school, is it per chance sponsored by EA?

Re:EA Sponsored? (1)

ninji (703783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668991)

I thought EA underpaid people fresh out of college, if they will overwork and underpay the people making their games, somehow I can't seem them paying for people who arn't even employee's yet to be educated and learn the skills they need (and proably don't already have) to make their products....

Re:EA Sponsored? (2, Informative)

bigred9678 (782559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669995)

No its not afilliated with EA. I believe the one in Southern California is however. The Guildhall is owned and run by SMU and has a panel of "Guildmasters" made up local industry developers in the Dallas area that serve as consultants for curriculum and advisors to the faculty and staff. Also, every faculty member has some sort of industry experience.

Re:EA Sponsored? (1)

eudas (192703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670358)

it's funny because it's sad, and it's sad because it's true.

EA probably does sponsor alot of these programs, so as to ensure a nice "puppy mill" of programmers ready to be taken advantage of to replace the ones that are being burnt out and discarded.

eudas

Re:EA Sponsored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671784)

No, the Guildhall at SMU is not sponsored by EA. As another poster mentioned, there is a university program which EA is sponsoring, but it is not this one.

Guilds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14669007)

And guilds are obviously in every 3d mumtiplayer game? Marvelous. Cheers, dudes!

Something's Wrong Here... (-1, Troll)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669235)

If he spends so much time designing and programming video games, then how does he find enough time to spend with his girlfriend? Oh, wait.

You, sir, are a troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670505)

Dude. Hypocrite. How do YOU find time for a girlfriend spending all of your time on Slashdot being a total troll. You should get a life, be kicked in the balls, and then go to jail.
 
GOOD DAY, SIR.

I wonder... (0, Flamebait)

sm.arson (559130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669271)

... just how much Gamasutra gets paid for these little advertisements: "This program is really, really hard, but I'm glad I convinced my parents to pay the $24k/year tuition! You should get your parents to send you too!"

Re:I wonder... (2, Informative)

StandardDeviant (122674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670117)

Well, to be fair SMU is a respectable institution academically, and 24k/yr is their normal tuition rate (give or take; I'm not a student there but my significant other is). I imagine these folks are getting a good education for their money.

(SMU has a bit of a reputation as being a warehouse for the rich-and-dumb set of Dallas/TX society, and there are a high number of Greek-letter wearing, BMW-or-spanking-new-Mustang driving, 19 year old idiots on campus, but there are a lot of very serious scholars as well.)

Of course, the idea of paying 24k/yr tuition is ridiculous to me, as I racked up almost two hundred hours of credit across two major disciplines and a minor (chemistry, cs, and business) over the course of about six years' worth of (non-contiguous) time at UT Austin (which provides at least a comparable level of education) for less than 30k, and thought the ~2k I was paying for six hour semesters at the end was ungodly expensive. But then again UTCS wouldn't be caught dead offering anything as applied-science as programming or game design. ;)

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671151)

UTD is a much better school. We dont have to whore ourselves out with slashvertisements to get our name out there. We have real academics going on, not some silly game programming vocational bullshit.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14680759)

UTArlington ended up ok, but I sure as hell wouldn't recommend it to anyone, unless they're doing Nursing or working full time while at school.

writing classes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14669284)

interesting look, but god damn is he a bad fucking writer. stick to game design.

Wusses... (0, Flamebait)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669425)

"While programmers have their Minesweeper clone, the level designers (or LDs as everyone calls them) have 90 textures to do in seven days on top of their normal reading assignments, daily quizzes, and work from other classes."

How's the new order of things go? If you can't hack engineering, go comp sci. If you can't hack comp sci, go LD.

Wusses...

Re:Wusses... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669434)

While I wouldn't be as, shall we say, "harsh" as you, I do agree with your overall sentiment. This doesn't sound like anything that much more difficult/time consuming than anything I faced as a computer engineering undergrad at Penn State. It's college, it's not supposed to be a cakewalk(unless your major is business of course :P)

Wusses...Look Down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14669713)

"How's the new order of things go? If you can't hack engineering, go comp sci. If you can't hack comp sci, go LD."

Elitists snob. It's not about being unable to "hack" engineering, or computer science. It's about being able to hack LD, and the work that it requires. I bet all you "hacks" in comp. sci. or engineeering wouldn't be able to "hack" medicine, or vetinary science.

Re:Wusses...Look Down. (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670702)

bet all you "hacks" in comp. sci. or engineeering wouldn't be able to "hack" medicine, or vetinary science.

Or spelling. Hooked on foniks phuked u up.

Re:Wusses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670343)

You left out "if you can't hack it as a scientist, go engineering."

Game Development is hard (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669507)

I had three different classes in game development at MSU [msu.edu] through their Digital Media Art & Technology [msu.edu] program, and they were definitely the most difficult classes I had in school. Many a late night was spent creating models in 3DS Max and programming Director 8. I still dabble in game development, but those guys are definitely a different breed. I'd be interested in seeing the drop-out rate of these schools.

Re:Game Development is hard (1)

bigred9678 (782559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670054)

The droprate is actually pretty low. I know of only 1-5 dropouts per class and many of those left early to get jobs in the industry. They didn't just fail out.

Re:Game Development is hard (2, Insightful)

Jondo (693238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14670335)

Obviously you must aim really low.

Think about the teams of engineers and computer scientists who design and write for example 3DSMax and Director. I hardly think the effort required to write specialized commercial software even compares with the effort required to create something with it. Irregardless of how intuitive it is.

Grammar Nazis Take Note! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14670611)

Irregardless of how intuitive it is.

irregardless Pronunciation (r-gärdls)
adv. Nonstandard
Regardless.
[Probably blend of irrespective and regardless.]
  • Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

I know someone in this program (1)

Lemental (719730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669564)

We used to hang out all the time before he went in. Now I never even see him or hardly hear from him. It is as rough as it sounds.

Re:I know someone in this program (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14672179)

That's how the video game industry is. Sometimes it's endless days of darkness when you go in before the sun rises and leave after the sun sets. The only opportunity you have to see that mysterious light against the blue screen is during lunch -- if you leave the building to eat. Before I left Atari, I worked 12-hour days for 28 days straight. Had I stayed another day, I would've turned into a fast-moving, brain-eating zombie.

The Final Exam is to... (1)

gedavis (621618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669583)

...port the thing over to the PS3 platform in time for the system launch.

PS3 doesn't exist yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14671959)

Did you have any idea, how much the PS3 sucks? It's going to be so bad that it won't have any PS2 ports. It will all be USB. Consequenty, the IBM Cell processor will definitely take a *stab* at X-Box compatibility but will never stand up to the capabilities that it should have tried in its first release...I'd be careful if I were you on this one as we all know how well Sony works at messing things up. Sony, since the 80's, has made very horrendous vacuum tubes and does not know what it should make 15 years later. Panasonic knows. Panasonic made a great Nintendo X-Cube processor, and look where that landed them. In the deep end. Just like Scrooge McDuck. In the deep end of the pool of money that is. So if I were you, I would beware of these Japanese companies because some are good and some are not.
 
In conclusion, I would be extremely wary of spending the time to think up such a preposterous idea because we all know that the PS3 is going to flop because of the aforementioned cases that I have already stated. If you knew *anything* about electrical engineering, you would agree. I'm glad that you agree then.
 
So take a good look into the closet because you came outside of it a long time ago. Good day, sir. I wish you many blessings from the Japanese chip fairies.
 
  A.C.

And I'd do that in the evening after school (2, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669593)

as a teenager.

And my tool was DPaint IV, not some fancy Photoshop.

Per-pixel 'texture' editing, bitch. Dozens an hour. Sure, they were smaller (16x16 pixels) but I imagine they take the same amount of time in the end given the tool superiority and colour range available today. Why? because I wanted to, and then I'd stick them in the game I'd be writing at the same time. I'd only have a few hours to do it in. Level design would be done in a primitive editor, or by hand entering data.

In the end it seems like a pretty standard course in terms of work that has to be done. THey're paying $24k a year to learn 'creativity' though, and that's something that best comes naturally from someone who wants to do it. Artistic skill, likewise, can only be further developed if there's some to start off with.

Textures? Easy! (2, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14669742)

I just use all the bitmap files that came with Windows 95. Ahh, yes, nothing like a level made up of blue marble and fall leaves.

It's not all fun and play in video game industry (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14671501)

While programmers have their Minesweeper clone, the level designers (or LDs as everyone calls them) have 90 textures to do in seven days on top of their normal reading assignments, daily quizzes, and work from other classes. Personally, I wouldn't be able to survive such an assignment, so I give my respect.

It's nice to see a school program that gives a taste of what it's really like to work in the video game industry. I had the opposite problem when I working at Atari as a lead QA tester: working 80 hours a week and taking two or three programming classes to get out of the industry. Needless to say, my boss didn't think I was a "team player" since I had an exit strategy for regaining my personal life and make more money.

PR (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14672837)

This is quite obviously a press release to coincide with the recent magazine based ad campaign Guildhall has going on right now. Nothing more, move along.

Besides...do game companies actually hire from these places? Anybody can make a game...but it takes a good programmer to develop one.

Re:PR (2, Interesting)

arjantis (952986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14673262)

"Besides...do game companies actually hire from these places?"

Who knows about the press release, but they have hard stats on their placement that kill all the other schools. It's over 90% placement at the hardcore game companies. Check out where all their grads have gone to: http://www.guildhall.smu.edu/placement/index.htm [smu.edu]

Blizzard, NCsoft, EA, Bethesda, Raven, Factor 5, Ensemble, Gearbox... It's safe to say that the school is legit.
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