Interdisciplinary Game Projects: Opening the Graphics (Back) Door with the Soft Skills Key

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The Eurographics Association
Project-based Computer Science (CS) education was introduced at Delft University of Technology more than 10 years ago, and its instructive and motivating potential has steadily increased. Among the projects offered, the second year Games project has justly become the integrator course par excellence of the Computer Science BSc curriculum. Recently, a pioneer, campus-wide course Building Serious Games followed up on that success, making MSc students face the new and exciting challenges of serious game development. More importantly, these projects bring most students for the first time to work together in a realistic and interdisciplinary game development team, involving fellow students pursuing a variety of other degrees, at other faculties or even at other schools. Since we set up such collaborations, all parties have witnessed a considerable leap forward in their students' soft skills, including communication, self discipline, mutual appreciation and team management. We describe several game project features that we have developed and exploited throughout the years, often in collaboration with experts from numerous Dutch game studios. Among other goals, we seek that our students experience the contribution of the various disciplines involved in the development of a computer game, and acquire a nononsense view on the real game industry, which turns out to value more the personal soft skills of new applicants than their elaborate graphics programming abilities. Our experience is that a streamlined collaboration in interdisciplinary teams is a very powerful catalyst that significantly raises the proficiency level achieved by students of all curricula. As to our own CS students, the volume and depth of the computer graphics expertise acquired in this process is incomparably higher than we could possibly have expected.

, booktitle = {
Eurographics 2011 - Education Papers
}, editor = {
S. Maddock and J. Jorge
}, title = {{
Interdisciplinary Game Projects: Opening the Graphics (Back) Door with the Soft Skills Key
}}, author = {
Bidarra, Rafael
}, year = {
}, publisher = {
The Eurographics Association
}, ISSN = {
}, ISBN = {}, DOI = {
} }