Epic Games invests in higher education

Epic Games collaborates with British university to open game development facilities.

Epic Games collaborated with with Staffordshire University in England to open the Epic Games Centre, a fully equipped space for use by students in the university’s games design courses.

“There’s a lot of talk about the need for the industry to get more involved with the academic process and have a greater input into how games design is taught," European Territory Manager at Epic Games Mike Gamble said in press release. "This collaboration will enable Staffs students to have a direct link with Epic and a direct line to the heart of the industry. In turn, Epic and its developer partners will have access to these world-class facilities along with a new generation of game makers totally immersed within the world of Unreal Engine technology.”

The partnership is set for two years and will have Epic provide hardware, teaching time and access to software and key personnel. The Epic Games Centre will also host Epic Developer Days for professional Unreal Engine users, with the first events starting this spring.

"We've no doubt that this collaboration will make our courses more attractive to potential students and provide us all with a new dimension of awareness about how the industry works and evolves,” Dr Bobbie Fletcher of Staffordshire University said.

Written By

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

Discussion

26 comments
Creed02
Creed02

I always wanted to be a game designer.. guess my time has come...

prylum
prylum

I'm planning on going to this Uni in September as well. During the open day, they were on about this 'big surprise, which I didnt expect it to be reported by a website like GameSpot nor did I expect the surprise to be this big, the game centre seems pretty amazing

skateryanboarde
skateryanboarde

Tempting, but it's in England, and UTD probably has a better program anyway.

Barighm
Barighm

Meh.

Grad Student: "I'm trained to make video games! I'm a great game developer now!"

Real Pro: "Do you know why players need to spawn within cover or why there should be lots of spawn points on the map?"

Student: "Huh? You mean I can't just program the gun to shoot the guy?"

Pro: "Next please."

Yeah, there is a reason why these companies require minimum 10 years experience and at least one AAA game shipped.

brok
brok

This is great and everything, but like others I think they should also be investing in another Unreal Tournament...

fillup0
fillup0

As somebody who is in games design in university, I wish they'd bring this to my university. The computers we use right now are god awful.

quakke
quakke

Epic Games you should be investing on "Bringing back Unreal Tournament 99"..

chechak7
chechak7

very nice idea and effective 

Dark_Mits
Dark_Mits

Uh, while I LOVE video games, otherwise I wouldn't be posting here, this is no different than having any company open a laboratory of their own with their own name and logo in a university. I don't know what the situation is elsewhere, but in my country universities are still not privatised and there is no fee to attend any, just have good enough grades to be eligible for them when you finish senior high school.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@Barighm Note: I'm on one of these games design courses, and they don't teach you one thing; you're taught many things but not absolute specifics. You're not taught how to simply program a dude firing a gun, but instead you're taught many other things other than that.

It REALLY isn't like you assume it is.

skateryanboarde
skateryanboarde

@Barighm You're an idiot, if you think that's how these programs are taught. At my university, we're taught to explore different play styles and mechanics in every design and development course. They literally start you on making board games and move up from there.

Our undergraduate program requires you to take a semester-long course, that is basically one long project, before you're allowed to receive your degree. You learn how to organize and manage a project collectively. You're required to present your progress on a weekly basis until the final submission/presentation. Your project is expected to be of professional quality, and the use of any copyrighted material or intellectual property of others results in a failing grade.

You're mistaking a university level student with a trade school level student. Even then, I'm sure the trade school students aren't THAT under prepared. Not to mention, we can still do more than you're capable of. So, move along, asshole.

hypergamer14
hypergamer14

@BarighmDo you see the problem with that??? If every developer needs 10 years of experience and at least one AAA game the industry would block itself. There wouldn't be anymore developers because the companys take only developers that fullfil that requirement.

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

@Dark_Mits I don't know what country you are from but in North America University costs tens of thousands of dollars and that's IF they accept you.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@skateryanboarde So you have to study 10 years in your unnamed university and by the end of the course you need to release atleast one AAA title? You are brain dead if you beleive yourself.


Any fool knows why you need multiple spawnpoints. You are an idiot if you need university for that.


Also game might have different flaws, that no dev vetrean can forsee. Those can only be detected in focusgroups and large beta tests (not even alphas). If you didn't know that you should ask your snob professors for refund, because your education is shit.


there's only one thing that real devs needs is - a talent. It like an orgams - hard to fake, impossible to hide. You can't learn talent in university.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@skateryanboarde I think he was more talking about how University doesn't really equate to experience. The rest was just exaggeration.

Which he is right about. It doesn't matter what course you do or what you do, you will always turn up in your first job at the bottom of your respective pile. University is just an expensive piece of paper as far as that goes.

Most people go these days so it makes getting a job easier and they can have a three year piss up.

Problem is most people do it these days which devalues it.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@Def-Trex@Dark_Mits Yeah, this is where linguistic confusion steps in.

Usually, when a Brit refers to 'university', they're referring to the equivalent of a 'college' in American terms. And while this isn't always the case, it usually is.

welterdude
welterdude

In the UK (where this collaboration is taking place) nearly all students pay around £9000 a year which is probably around 15000 US dollars.

But most people qualify for an interest free loan which is paid back in very small installments after you have a steady job.

Obviously you have to get accepted first though based on grades and stuff, sounds pretty similar to me.

RevengeNegative
RevengeNegative

@Dark_Mits In Denmark one will always have to pay between 35 to 55 percent of their total income in taxes (amount depends on income). Therefore we have free tuition at the universities (students above the age of 18 are also granted ~$1000 a month in 'educational support'). But, what I really came here to say was; my study are also cooperating with IO Interactive - which i think is cool :D

mr_nee
mr_nee

@DanielL5583 The biggest mistake 20-year old grads make is hunting a top jobs. They should live with their parents and do internship - pay is experience and having to pay for education any more. If you are good - in 3 months you will land a job. That's how I started, I am good at what I do so I had a steady salary increase every 6 months.


If you really beleive in yourself I recommend a riskier path that will pay better if you're half as good as you think you are. Don't take any job at all. Make your own indie dev studio and apply Lean start-up approach to you're game development.

ValedictorianXD
ValedictorianXD

@Dannystaples14 @DanielL5583  

That entirely depends on the school and the industry in question now, doesn't it?I doubt that you have attended a video game design school because those are the farthest thing from cramming for an exam. The education is synergized so you need to remember how everything worked in the last class if you expect to pass the next class. I doubt you work in the industry like I do because, if you did, you would know that video game development is very much like attending a decent game design school, such as Digipen. Those students probably do 10x the amount of work that any other regular school has students do and because of that, most of those students get hired before they even leave the school. Also, having 4-5 games under your belt within four years before leaving helps quite a bit, especially when your game is good enough to be a finalist in gd competitions.


I will give you some credit though. Game designers tend to get very cocky, in general, but graduates are definitely at the top of that peak when it comes to excessive ego. That being said, that ego is somewhat justified. Looking at Digipen again, it has very impressive alumni games. I don't think many game developers out there can say they worked with Valve, much less gave us the masterpiece that was Portal. We're in a new generation of game design now, with new blood coming in each day and old blood heading out the door.

@Barighm 

Your comment has no relevance to accredited game design schools but you did strike the nail on the head in reference to those sham schools that became very prominent in the 90s and early 2000s. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/tighten-up-the-graphics-on-level-3  

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@DanielL5583 True but it is very structured experience. Most courses are modular. Real life isn't modular. Real life isn't cramming for an exam and then forgetting most of it in the pub the following week.

I mean there must be a reason people do degrees and things. There must be a reward somewhat from it but overall I think people overestimate their capabilities when they leave.

I mean student doctors work in hospitals, they work at bedsides and with actual patients. Yet they have to be supervised for up to two years when they leave.

Because working to modules and exams and essay deadlines is the exact opposite of what real life is like.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

@Dannystaples14 Problem is, university does equate to experience in the case of games design. You're making games and producing assets, programming, designing it all...it's still regarded as experience. Not that it's enough to get you a top job, but it's still experience.