Earning a Master’s Degree with SAE in Teaching for the Games Industry: Matthew Dyet

SAE sat down with Matthew Dyet, MA/MSc Professional Practice in Creative Media Industries alumni and Games Industry Lecturer at SAE Perth, to talk about his experiences with the course and his final project.

What made you want to do a master’s at SAE?

I knew when I wanted to find a place to study that I wanted the opportunity for it to be a bit more self-directed, as I’d already been in the games industry for some time. I wanted a course that would allow me to undertake research on a project I was passionate about.

Can you talk me through your final project? What inspired it?

The final project I developed was a game to teach games industry leadership practices. It’s been an idea I’ve had for a long time, but was inspired in the form it took in my Masters from my experience at game studios and the way their leadership often did not know how to balance the needs of the staff with the needs of the project.

Matthew Dyet and a group of students

What were the three biggest challenges you faced during your master’s? And how did you overcome them?

Academic writing, identifying relevant research, and providing a meaningful structure to my own research. All of these things were resolved by my lovely mentor, Marija Lelicanin, who helped me to take my writing to an academic standard.

What were the three most rewarding moments you experienced during your master’s?

The formative research, the viva voce, and the book publishing deal. My formative research involved interviews with games industry practitioners, and the outpouring of support I received from the industry was lovely – as were the people I got to speak with. At the end of the project, sitting down and discussing the viva voce with my examiners and getting to share everything I’d learned. Finally, taking the formative research and pitching a book to Routledge that was then accepted for publishing, I loved the look on my mentors face when I gave her the news.

A frame from Matthew Dyet's final project

How do you think doing a master’s degree at SAE will help your future career?

As a teacher, the benefits of the masters speak for themselves. But it has given me the opportunity to expand my professional network and become a global expert in an area of research that has been left untouched by other academics, and opened up doors to expand that research in a way that could benefit others all over the world.

What skills did you learn through your masters at SAE?

I was a confident writer before I took my Masters, but I have absolutely learned another style of writing I previously had little experience with. I also got to learn a lot more about games programming by virtue of my final project.

What advice would you give to students for making the most out of their masters at SAE?

Be ready to be self-motivated, go in with intent, know your subject, and focus in on that driving question. I have no regrets about making a game, but the question that informed it was actually the more interesting part of the research. I set out to make a game about creating better games industry leaders, but I found that the question of just what sets a better games industry leader apart was absolutely more interesting, and I have barely scratched the surface of that question. If I could go back, I’d have done less game and more about that question.

What would you say to someone considering applying for a master’s at SAE?

It’s a challenging but massively rewarding experience, and one that I’ll never forget. Pick something you care about deeply, and you’ll have the opportunity to become the expert at that thing.

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