Put yourself in this scenario: You're a game design student, your life dream is to become a game designer. You've spent hours-upon-hours learning about game design and mastering the tools to develop games. You've earned your degree and finally land an interview with a company that you're eager to work for. You're confident and think you are prepared, but suddenly you are asked a question you can't answer..."Why was Pokemon so successful?" You freeze. You've never played Pokemon, you don't have an answer.
The David Perry Challenge
David Perry is a game development industry veteran with over 100 titles under his belt. He's seen the above scenario played out "time and time again" over the years. He has sat in on many, many interviews and noticed a common pattern that "students don't have a really good background on playing the games that matter in the history of the game industry." Unfortunately, more often than not, this lack of knowledge costs them the job.
"Part of the job of being a game designer is you have to study what's out there, and work out what worked and what didn't" says Perry. He continues to explain that students tend to play the games they like, they don't play the games that were most successful. While writing his book, David Perry on Game Design, Perry thought "a lot about game design and students, and how they can use the games and the knowledge out there to get jobs in the industry."
He then came up with a game analysis challenge for aspiring game designers and developers. You can see the details of ‘The David Perry Challenge' here. The goal is to help students think critically about game design in the context of the industry, past and present. It's important to note that knowing development tools and being able to make games is imperative to becoming a game designer. The intention of the challenge however, is to "arm students to the teeth" regarding historically successful game mechanics in preparation for the interview and career at large.
The best part about the challenge is that it's open to anyone, and everyone that finishes will receive a personal recommendation letter from David Perry himself! As a sponsor of ‘The David Perry Challenge' design3 will also be offering a 6 month membership to all who complete the challenge. Perry is serious about helping you land a game design job in the industry. Are you game?
About David Perry
David Perry, or DP to his friends, is one of the most well known veterans in the video game industry. He has worked on many popular games, including titles such as Earthworm Jim, MDK, and Enter The Matrix, to name just a few of the over 100 games David has developed or programmed. He was the Founder & President of Shiny Entertainment, Inc. for over 12 years before it was bought by Atari. Now Perry is the CEO and co-founder of Gaikai, a company that's developed a cutting-edge video game streaming technology that allows any PC game or application to run in any browser with just one click.
design3 (Design3.com) was launched in July 2010, offering thousands of award-winning, streaming video game development tutorials to students, studios, hobbyists, and aspiring developers. design3 is also an emerging media content provider with hundreds of exclusive game industry interviews and behind-the-scenes videos.
Chelsea Larson-Andrews is the CMO for design3, the premier game development e-learning portal. Chelsea loves online marketing, social media, mobile games and yoga. Please follow her on Twitter @design_3.