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Ernest Adams, world renowned games design consultant & author, talks to Game Careers

Ernest Adams, a game design consultant and formerly a programmer, talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany. Ernest  is a freelance game designer, writer, and professor, working with the International Hobo Design Group. He has served in the game industry since 1989, and is the author of four books, including the university-level textbook “Fundamentals of Game Design, Second Edition.” He was most recently employed as a lead designer at Bullfrog Productions on the Dungeon Keeper series, and for several years before that was the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL football line for Electronic Arts. Ernest is also the founder and first chairman of the International Game Developers’ Association and a popular speaker at conferences and arts festivals around the world. His website is at His advice to games designers looking to join the industry as a first job:

“Cultivate an interest in everything. Absolutely everything and anything is useful to a games designer, whether its history, architecture, literature, art, computer programming is a useful skill even for a game designer (you don’t have to be a hardcore one), the ability to draw is a useful skill for a games designer. Learn to think, and play a lot of games… to see how they work, take them apart and think about them. Nowadays it is difficult to get a job at a large company without a college/university degree. A university degree will really help you. There are good ones and bad ones, you need to do some research to see where you are going to go. If you don’t have a university degree, a lot of companies will put your CV in the bin.”

His advice on choosing a university course: “The breadth of the program is good, if it concentrates only on programming its not a great place for a games designer to be. If it concentrates only on Art/animation then its not that good a place for a games designer to be. its better to be in a place that offers all the talents that game development requires because that way you can sample a little of each.” See the full clip here:


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