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morgendonner 04-27-2012 03:27 PM

Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
Hello everyone,

I'm happy to find this website, I hope it can be the help I need.

I went to college and graduated with a bachelors in mechanical and aerospace enigneering. My gpa is ok, but complimented by a great deal of extra-curriculars. after graduating in spring 2010 I started working as an engineer for a year. In July 2011 I quit my job because I was not happy with it. since then I considering many next steps including engineering grad school, another job, or an mba. After a lot of self examination I decided I wanted to pursue a job in videogames. I always thought of it as a dream job but considered it unrealistic. I've now decided to make a real go for it and do my best.

I'm a bit lost as to where to go next though. I'm fairly artistic, and as my engineering background would suggest I have a strong background in project management and critical thinking. I have some understanding of programming but not in the sense of anything substantial, nor do I have particular interest in programming. Within engineering my specialty was 3d design and cad work.

I've been trying to teach myself Blender but I'm not sure how worthwhile q pursuit this is.

What is my best step from here? Do I need to go back to school for another degree? Can I just start applying to jobs? Should I focus on making some levels using game engines or something and then apply? something else entirely?

I did read some of the intro articles on this site and found them informative but I would love to actually get feedback from other people. hoping to hear back from anybody who can shine some light on my journey.

thank you.

tsloper 04-27-2012 05:18 PM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by morgendonner (Post 28269)
1. I went to college and graduated with a bachelors
... after graduating... working as an engineer for a year.
2. I quit my job because I was not happy with it.
3. After a lot of self examination I decided I wanted to pursue a job in videogames.
4. I've been trying to teach myself Blender but I'm not sure how worthwhile q pursuit this is.
5. Do I need to go back to school for another degree?
6. Can I just start applying to jobs?
7. Should I focus on making some levels using game engines or something and then apply?

1. Perhaps you've heard that the longer you're out of work the harder it is to get hired?

2. Terrible reason! Think of a better reason to tell interviewers.

3. Okay. Doing what game job exactly?

4. It's worthwhile if you enjoy it. If you enjoy it, you shouldn't have to ask if it's worthwhile.

5. No. You don't.

6. No. You can't.

7. Yes. Exactly.

morgendonner 04-29-2012 10:21 AM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
I am not quite sure what job would fit me best. I think my best quality is that I love to learn new things and this has made me into some what of a jack of all trades. Certainly I would like art to be involved, I consider myself good but I've never received formal training for it and I know I'm not as good as professional artists. I think coming from my engineering background and previous job, I have a really good project management skill set.

Production sounds like an area that would be a good fit, but from what I've been reading it is the hardest thing to just jump into, and the most limited in terms of quantity. So with that in mind I would probably look at something along the lines of a designer to start, but I would certainly like to incorporate my art and 3d work as well.

tsloper 04-29-2012 03:44 PM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by morgendonner (Post 28277)
I am not quite sure what job would fit me best.

Then you're stuck until you read more about the game industry, search your own soul, and make a decision.

Types of jobs - http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson7.htm
What's your passion - http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson40.htm
Making a decision - http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm
Switching careers - http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm

Destin Bales 04-30-2012 08:22 PM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
Yes, the very first step is understanding your options and choosing a starting point that you can be passionate about. IMO it has less to do with what you can do already, and more to do with what you are dying to do for a living.

Here's my walkthrough that you may find helpful: www.ineedtomakegames.com

Best,

Destin

morgendonner 05-01-2012 08:41 AM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
Thanks for the replies so far everyone.

I have another question. Right now I've decided I would be best served to get myself a job just to make some money and be doing something productive.

My question is this - Are there any logical middle ground jobs that could help me parlay into video games? I would say in terms of jobs that appeal to me within video games, I think production sounds to be my sweet spot. I think my personality fits very well to somebody who gets involved a little bit with everything and project management. I know that this however is a job is usually hired internally and few people start out in production. So I would say game design is the spot I'm most interested in starting in.

Are there any certain jobs I should be looking at right now that I could springboard off of into the video game industry? Or would any mechanical engineering job work for now? Certainly that'll keep my task management and critical thinking skills sharp.

tsloper 05-01-2012 12:28 PM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by morgendonner (Post 28287)
1. Are there any logical middle ground jobs that could help me parlay into video games?
2. Are there any certain jobs I should be looking at right now that I could springboard off of into the video game industry?

1. Not really.
2. Take any job you can reasonably enjoy (i.e. "not hate too awfully much", since you really really hated your previous job). If you have trouble making decisions, I recommend using decision grids. http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm

solkar 05-08-2012 06:29 AM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
I find myself in a similar situation. I decided to create some demos form the scratch (because I'm quite fluent coding) to get a portfolio as game designer. I hope this way I can find a level/game designer job anytime soon.

Just wanted to give my support. Keep it up!

AR0717 06-11-2012 01:06 PM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
I'm basically in the same boat. I earned a bachelors in Business, have a decent supply chain job, but am looking to follow a dream. Some advice that's been given to me, read and join forums/communities, start networking. As far as playing around with engines, if you're really new to that stuff, look into modding. Basically, learn to deconstruct a game, and put it back together. That option of deconstruction/reconstruction could also give you some insight on what you like and don't like when it comes to working with a videogame.
All the best man

tsloper 06-11-2012 01:52 PM

Re: Coming from another industry, clueless where to start
 
This thread was finished a month ago. Closing.


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