The Mirror’s Edge: Creating a dynamic games course that reflects industry practices and manages student expectations

Richard Hurford, Adam Martin, Jessica LaCombe

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    Industry simulation is an essential part of an undergraduate games student’s education. It has been outlined by The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) as essential to developing graduate skills for the workplace. This paper highlights the importance of simulating industry practices within a games degree program, bringing attention to the need for cross-course collaboration and to provide a dynamic environment that reflects industry practice. This paper presents a case-study highlighting methods for maintaining student engagement and enhancing project management skills, as well as showcasing techniques for managing student expectations and preconceptions of their individual responsibilities.

    The study focused on providing small-scale projects, where students worked in cross-course multidisciplinary teams of between eight and twelve students. Academic staff have acted as executive producers for each student team, reinforcing the professional context of the project. The module has used a live-brief provided by a games industry professional or an external competition, which allowed for creative interpretation by students and challenging them from a game design perspective. The conclusion of this study shows that including cross-course collaboration between students and providing a structure mirroring industry practices has been essential in preparing students for a games industry career.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-44
    Number of pages16
    JournalComputer Games Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


    • Games education
    • Course development
    • Collaboration
    • LIve-brief
    • Design based learning


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