View Full Version : Guildhall at SMU to graduate first class
11-24-2004, 09:12 AM
I haven't posted anything about Guildhall at SMU recently ... but the school is about to hit a major milestone. The first class of student game developers will be graduating on December 11th, 2004. If you are local to the Dallas area, or in convenient driving distance from the Plano, TX campus, you might want to consider stopping in to view the "Show of Games" featuring the work of all the students currently in the school. This will include both the team projects (game mods like Dark Territory which was a finalist in the recent Make Something Unreal contest ... educational division) and individual Focus Projects where the students focus on a single project related to their course of study (level design, art for games, programming).
I hope to see some of you there. For details, check out the school's web page at: Guildhall at SMU (http://guildhall.smu.edu)
Artist, Ensemble Studios
Guildmaster for Guildhall at SMU
---------- the press release ---
The Guildhall at SMU "Show of Games"
Features Reviews of Nearly 70 Student Projects
The Guildhall at SMU invites you to attend an open review session to check out the games and other projects produced by the program's nearly 100 enrolled students. The Guildhall at SMU "Show of Games" will be held from 2 p.m. — 9 p.m., Friday, December 10, at the school's facility on the SMU-in-Legacy campus in Plano.
Since the program opened its doors in July 2003, thousands of potential students have inquired about The Guildhall's unique approach to game development education, and dozens of professional game developers from across the country have gotten involved with the school.
The "Show of Games" is an opportunity for potential students and industry professionals alike to get a firsthand look at what Guildhall students are producing in the program and to learn more about why they should consider attending the school. Eight original 3D game demos will be available for play on giant screens. These demos use a variety of engines, including the Unreal 2003, Fakk 2/Quake 3 and Torque. Student development teams will be on hand to discuss their work. Sixty additional specialization-specific projects will also be on display, demonstrating individual student's skills in art, level design, and software development.
For potential students, all school faculty and staff will be available to answer questions about the program's one-of-a-kind curriculum, enrollment requirements, financial aid, and more. Guildhall students, those who have just begun their 18-month tenure at the school as well as those about to graduate will be available to answer questions about why they chose at attend The Guildhall and to talk more about their experiences at the school.
For all industry professionals the "Show of Games" is a great scouting opportunity to check out Guildhall students and hand pick future employees from among those preparing for graduation. Those developers already affiliated with the program will also be providing Guildhall students critiques of their work — the school considers this kind of direct input from game developers a valuable element of the education process. Other industry pros from studios across the country are encouraged to come get a closer look at school and find out how they can get involved.
11-24-2004, 09:51 AM
This is really cool, Paul. Congrats to all the students that are graduating and kudos on a great program that's hopefully here to stay for a while.
11-24-2004, 11:12 AM
Wow Paul, the world as we know just became a better Earth. /images/graemlins/smile.gif
This really is awesome news. Unfortunately I'm all the way up in Canada and wouldn't be able to make it. This thread made me smile when I read the news though.
11-24-2004, 11:47 AM
I am happy and sad at the same time.
The world is finally starting to take the video game industry serriously. Anything that moves people past the stigma that video games are for kiddies is a good move in my book. I am happy because the industry is slowly moving toward a set of standards and this will help it get there.
The video game industry is growing up. As if it wasn't hard enough to get into the industry before. Now it is one more industry that you need to blow wads of cash and time on college level classes to get into. Soon tallent and skill will not be enough to get someone in. Just like other industries you will need the "I'm a cool guy" piece of paper before HR will pass your demo reel on. =(
In the end I guess it turns out to be a much bigger push in the positive! Happy for ya and the Guildhall! I know if I ever find myself sitting on a huge stack of cash and free time I would move down there and sign up =)
11-24-2004, 12:24 PM
No piece of paper is ever going to substitute for talent. I've seen the professors at the school work wonders with some of the art students, but they still had to have creativity and art skills. Likewise, I've seen some students come into the program with nothing but wishful thinking and not do well at all.
What the school does provide is a directed, focused approach to learning the tools, concepts, production processes and potential best practices that will make the student a better competitor in job market.
Ideally, every student comes out of Guildhall with one or more job offers. Realistically, many will have to struggle just as hard as others without school training to find jobs because they didn't bring enough of their own talent to the table to be trained.
I usually tell the incoming students that the degree doesn't guarantee a job at the end. Their skill and motivation to succeed will determine whether or not they go from school to studio without a gap in between.
11-24-2004, 12:50 PM
This is really great. It warms my heart to see young people following their dreams.
When I heard about the Guildhall I was skeptical originally.
I've seen a number of schools where the "student reels" looked more like an example of what NOT to do, rather that the end product of specialized professional training.
When I visited and considered going to Gnomon3D in Hollywood, I was rather surprised at how poor some of the graduating student reels were. Some were really great, but many didn't appear as if they had developed anything besides familiarity with a toolset. Very little development of artistic talent & imagination seemed to have taken place.
Don't get me started on what I've seen come out of places like those Art Institute schools, and Full-Sail.
Anyway, I suppose that is the case with any institute of higher education.
Good luck with Guildhall, and its first graduating class Paul!
11-24-2004, 01:41 PM
Im glad by this new and wish all involved good luck over the coming weeks.
Acturally guildhall sounds like a very appealing place if not special place to go if you happen to be from the US or Canada. What i think is good is taht they seem to be more reliable than most companies ive spoken to here in the UK....I sent the GH an email quite awhile ago asking some questions,just general questions and what I got I wasn't expecting...on rainy afternoon here in the middle of the UK,none other than a phonecall straight from Dallas,not just an email....that is what I call service and take my hat off to the effecienty of the place.
In responce to Vig I for one really hope the industry doesn't go that way,I can see it is but I feel its ok at the moment,as long as you have talent and skill you can survive without the fabuled piece of paper.
I am acturally at that Y road in my live,games is where I wanan go and I must decide wether to take the educated university route or do as ive been doing and on the most part educate myself....Id rather educate myself for various reasons. I prefure having a short sharp kick up the arse than a drag of a university course,ive been on serveral intensive trainning and max related/photoshop related short courses which I love...becuase the kick is what they give me but also an open chance to ask for help and questions,they are exspensive for 1,2 or 3 days yes but I feel i can get more out of them then i would at university.
I feel at uni id be more into the social aspect,meeting people and havign a good laugh,which is of course unmatched,but being able to drink as much beer as you can isn't gonna get me a job at the end.
Follow the courses up with practice,practice,prcatice crits and anymore probs arise come to polycount,need motivation? check out some cottages....etc etc...also every course comes with a certificate on completion,they oviously don't add up to a degree but the mere fact you have done them shows dedication to the cause.....and if I am still here next year,pondering my big break,im off to university,wether I like it or not.
Again goodluck and congratulations to all involved.
11-25-2004, 12:37 AM
VERY glad to hear that Paul! I didn't mean to sound so negative before, I wasn't trying to run down Guildhall. Out of all the game art schools out there, I would have to say it sounds like Guildhall is taking the right approch. I hope other schools take notes on what you guys have put together.
Even if the industry does move toward hiring "people with paper" atleast we have direct approches like Guildhall that cut out the fluff and give us the meat we need. I have to give you guys huge props for taking the direct approch. I am sure your students and the companies they are going to work for thank you =)
11-25-2004, 11:44 AM
Dont blame full sail blame the students. The lead modeler from tippet graduated from full sail and many other graduates over the years have landed jobs. Full Sail is a technical school it's advertised as such, plus they have an accelerated program. They teach the students how to use the tools to create art, not how to be an artist.
They also do not require anything but a high school diploma to enter. This in my opinion is both good and bad. It's good because it gives a lot of students who wouldn't have had a chance elsewhere to earn a degree and explore a possible career. It's bad because you get a lot of bad reels from kids who dont care with a few very good reels in between.
I got my money's worth at full sail. I entered barely knowing how to model and I exited knowing how to model, uv map, texture, rig, animate, composite, and use particles. Anybody who says FS does not teach you anything is full of shit.
So while FS may not produce the most artistic students after it's 14 month program it does give them everything they need to become great artists, it's up to the kids to have the drive and determination to become great. How good were you after a year of 3d, I'm guessing probably around the quality of most fs students. Would you rather have a bunch of good lazy artists who dont work hard or would you like to have very determined hard working students who have great potential and strive to reach it?
11-25-2004, 07:55 PM
by chance anyone know if there are night classes for the Guildhall?
11-25-2004, 09:16 PM
I accualy had the pleasure of talking to david najjab on the phone about guild hall (Uncle was good friends with him in college). I really wish I could go there I just don't have the funds to pull it off. Mabey I'll save up and go back into school for a while. We'll see. Congrats on such a big milestone hit paul. Great news /images/graemlins/smile.gif
11-25-2004, 10:29 PM
Foehammer: Guildhall at SMU is self-contained program, not an ala carte selection of classes. Classes meet 5 days a week, and some evenings. All students within a cohort and discipline have the same classes at the same times.
I was thinking if I don't land something by my birthday to go to a school for gaming. I said I'd go anywhere in North America... going to check out their site for 'importing' students.
Found info. (http://guildhall.ecsrv.smu.edu/faq/general_faq.htm)
[ QUOTE ]
Q. What about international students?
A. As a large private research university, SMU is definitely equipped to accommodate international students, and we can help them secure the documents required for them to enter the United States as students. SMU International Office site
[/ QUOTE ]
Or just click here (http://www.smu.edu/international/).
11-27-2004, 11:59 PM
Thanks for the heads up Paul. I'll try and be there!
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