Deciding where to head next?
Bit of background: I've got dead set goals to become a level designer as my profession, potentially trying other things or growing beyond that in my future. I've done some level design work for Mechwarrior: Living Legends but have taken a temporary hiatus from the project due to schooling.
Currently am studying Visual Communication (basically graphic design) at my local community college and graduate with an associates in the spring, with the only two classes left I have to take being a portfolio development class and a capstone.
Now that that is out of the way I'm rather uncertain of where to head next after I earn my Associates, and am looking for insights from people who ran into a similar issue and what they decided to do.
The dead-set minded self really wants to to actively persue modding work, level design work, and personal game design work after I graduate to help build my portfolio directly in the manner I want, instead of continuing with schooling (which has nothing to do with game design). I currently have an enjoyable job as a pizza delivery guy part-time that pays well enough to make me financially stable during this period.
The more over-arching minded self really wants to continue with my education and get a Bachelors in Visual Communications at the local university. Cost isn't an issue - my dad works there so I get 80% off (which makes it about the same price I pay now at community college). I also really want to experience a real college enviornment, get out and personally develop myself through social and professional connections via this way.
There are problems in my head with both sides of the coin though.
If I take route one, I only have an Associates to my name which immediately disqualifies myself from employment with some places and makes it hard to get through HR on others. I also miss out on experiencing the social connections with a wide variety of people, and a great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop myself personally through clubs of interest, being involved in school related things, etc. My idea isn't to go to drunk parties - I'm talking about actually interesting things like joining an outdoors club (I'm a huge fan of outdoor recreation but since I graduated HS I know literally NO ONE who does too!). Or becoming apart of a game design club I know they have.
If I take route two, I pursue my bachelors and get involved with the school. However, my focus of study is in graphic design. Which while interests me, doesn't get me where I ultimately want to go. This wasn't a big deal early on in college when my coursework wasn't anything crazy, because it allowed me to easily balance in some game design a level design with my coursework. But this past year has really kicked my butt with workload - I simply have had no real time to invest in doing any level design work and I imagine it'll get worse with the latter years in college. It's also an issue of more money I'll have to spend, etc.
Basically, I'm primarily concerned with my portfolio development if I go for route two - It simply won't be a strong portfolio for level design or game design in two years as it would be if I did route one. This is because I would have to spend most of my resources on building a graphic design portfolio and getting that Bachelors.
So any advice from anyone who might have "been there?"
Do you reccomend I take route one where I focus on doing level design and game design work that interests me to start building my portfolio NOW, but sacrifice the batchelors and valuble life experiences?
Or do you reccomend I continue with my education where I focus on getting my visual communication degree while getting the college experience I wish to have, but continue sacrifice the progress of my portfolio development and focus I wish to have in the end?
Last edited by KorJax : 03-21-2011 at 12:04 PM.