Here it is – the last part of the DSGA FAQ, at least until I get enough similar (or entertaining) questions to update. This time, it’s questions that didn’t slot into a neat category:
Q: What happens if a student is hired during their time at the Academy or decides to leave?
A: We expect students to commit to the entire nine-month program. However, we recognize that circumstances may arise where a student must (or chooses to) leave. If that occurs, the student’s stipend will, of course, end and the remaining students will experience one of the unfortunate realities of actual development—the departure of a member of the team. Project rescoping can be a learning opportunity, one we hope not to experience but will be prepared for in the event it arises.
Q: Is it okay to take time off during the school year?
A: The Denius-Sams Gaming Academy will be rigorous enough that taking time off will not be possible. All University holidays will be observed, of course, though students will be able to work through them, if desired and/or necessary.
Q: Terms like “Boot-camp” and “Navy-Seals” are used to describe the program on the website. Does this mean there will be a “barracks” or will team members be responsible for their own housing?
A: Unfortunately, there won’t be any barracks or team housing arrangements (though that’s a great idea!). Each student will have to find a place to live on his or her own. The $10,000 stipend paid to each student on a monthly basis, and the lack of tuition charges, should take some of the sting out of this. Frankly, anyone who can’t find an apartment probably isn’t going to succeed in a leadership position on a game development team!
Q: WIll the team project ship to the public on a real platform?
A: The hope is to reach a genuinely shippable level of completion and quality. However, that depends on the quality of student work, which is unpredictable. Also, bear in mind that a shippable product can be less important than the knowledge gained from challenges and failures. If we can ship, we will ship. At the very least, we will get extensive playtesting from “real people” outside of the program throughout development, with intensive testing as we near completion.
Q: Does the program plan to send students to any major conferences? (GDC, Blizzcon, Indiecade, D.I.C.E., SXSW, PAX, E3?)
A: It is unlikely, though not impossible, that students will have time to attend conferences during the program’s nine month duration. This could change based on project progress. It is possible, even likely, that some teaching staff will attend some of conferences listed to do student outreach for classes seated in years two, three and beyond.