In need of some guidance
Hi guys, Just found this site (it seems awesome), and decided to make an account and begin to get to know the community.
A bit about me: I am a senior English major, who, up until this point had been very interested in writing professionally. Recently, however, I realized that what I really want to do is develop video-games. There's a variety of reasons for that desire, but first and foremost, I think video-games pose a potential evolution for the art of storytelling. There's so much potential it just kind of blows my mind. I really want to be a part of that evolution, what ever that means.
This change of focus has caused me to toss my self into the programming deep-end, and I've finally hit a point where all I can really do is ask for advice. So here are just a few of the questions I've run into so far:
1. I'm working on developing a game for my senior project (I have the design, story, and some preliminary art done). What I'm trying to figure out now, is where, and with what tools I should develop the game. It's a sort of hybrid 2d action game and traditional adventure-game. I've narrowed my search down to XNA, Unity 3.3, and Gamemaker 8. I've been teaching myself C#, so the first two have the benefit of being based upon that language, but I am already mildly familiar with how Gamemaker works, and making a 2d game would be pretty simple. The game that I want to make involves many variables that effect many different parts of the game world (even between different levels), and while I don't know enough to know if I am right in thinking this, it seems like XNA or Unity would have an easier time handling those kind of complexities than gamemaker would. What do you guys think? Which framework/engine would you recommend?
2. I'll be graduating in about a year and a half (I'm taking a semester off) with a bachelors in English. What I'm trying to figure out is where I should go after that. I've strongly considered pursuing a comp sci masters after that (building upon both what I've taught myself, and the electives I can take between now and then), even though I am way more interested in game design than I am game programming. I feel like the extra knowledge couldn't hurt. I'd love to look into a game design degree, but I'm just not quite sure how that will help me in the long run. I feel like getting a comp sci degree, and reading up on game design on the side might be more useful. But that said, I really don't know what I'm talking about, so what would you guys recommend I look into?
3. Ok, so the education question is out of the way, but how about a first job in the industry? I live in North Carolina, and I noticed that Insomniac has opening in their QA department. Is QA a good place to get my foot in the door? Or should I (continue to) search for an internship, if there are any available? also, as far as non-industry jobs go, what looks best on a resume?
Well that's really long, my feelings won't be hurt if you didn't get through it all, but if you did, I would love it if you could give me some advice and a bit of direction! Thanks in advance!