One of the things that has been hugely apparent over the last five years of running and developing this project has been what a good education in game art and design could have done for me. Not to mention having a degree in general.
When I was laid off from my job as VP of Sales and Marketing at MTD, I had a really tough time finding another job that didn’t just want to pay me $10-12/hour. This was because the job environment has changed pretty dramatically. Most–if not all–companies now require you to have at least a Bachelors degree. It is also simply cheaper to hire someone right out of college (paying them less) than to hire someone older with a lot of experience. Sadly the prospects for graduates in 2013 don’t look much better. Read Article on LinkedIn
I also found that one of the challenges I had while working on this project was that I could have led and done more work myself had I had the knowledge and background a game design degree would have given me. Yes sure, I can learn on my own from all the internet resources out there but formal learning would have made the pain in the process a lot less grueling and production a lot more well, productive. I also know I may have been taken more seriously by investors, had I had more professional knowledge and experience behind me. These are the primary reasons for my going back to school.
I know I have learned a lot on my own and through my team members and as a result have a pretty good foundation to stand on with regards to moving into the formal learning arena. By going back to school, I will not only have a degree (which I can use) but also have knowledge that will boost my self-confidence and equip me with the necessary tools to take this project into the next level. Matching the new knowledge with my marketing and sales background, my drive and everything I have learned so far, I am confident that the goals of this project will be realized.
I took a look at several other schools that offered game programs, but AI is the only one that offers all the elements I need (eg. Art and Design). The Art Institute is also already familiar with this project and is letting me present it to my fellow students in the program. I will also be able to skip some classes based on the work that has been done on the project. Of course, this relates mostly to the work I personally did and not that by my team members. I will also have some great networking opportunities at the school with students and the companies in the region in our field.
Yes, I am a little afraid of what the future may carry for me as well as the inevitable debt load caused by going back to school but am optimistic that it will work out. At the minimum, I will have a richer base of knowledge and from a really good school.
I plan to write often here about my experiences and how I can apply it to Project Planet Postmoderna. So follow me and join me on my ride.