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Old 04-27-2008, 08:22 PM   #8
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Hi --

First of all, congrats on graduating.

Second of all: relax!

You will be just fine. I was in a similar position as you are when I graduated from school -- I wanted to work in games and I had no idea how to get there.

You know what didn't help me get a job as a designer at a AAA game developer? An ivy league degree.

You know what did help me get a job there? A friend. And a willingness to take a shit entry level job.

So stay in touch with your friends. Stay playing games, and stay passionate.

And, just as others have posted here: you need to forget about the money. You aren't going to make lawyer money. You aren't even going to make paralegal money. Just forget about it. If you are lucky you will start at 30k. If you are lucky! Unless you are a sick programmer -- then more like 70-ish, depending on the studio. But it sounds like you are a soft-skills kinda guy, so you need to hack those expectations down to size my friend.

But if you succeed, you will get to work in a field you care about. It's also a field that that has a lot of possibility for smart people who are willing to take risks.

Frankly, we are living in the dark ages of game development. It's still all about the technology -- ideas are cheap and easy. You sound like an idea guy. Read this as: get in early before ideas become more valuable. Think about what this field looks like in ten years: do you want to be a lawyer looking in, or a bootstrapped dev with four titles under you belt?

Don't be so down on QA, either. At the right studios, smart QA guys become designers and producers every day. My executive producer? Started in QA. My associate producer? Started in QA. My lead designer? Started in QA. The smartest young designers on my team? All started in QA.

Buck up, get ready for some tough times, shitty hours, some ego checks and some bad pay and you will do just fine. If you can't handle that, I suggest you pursue law school -- god knows that I often I wish I'd been an investment banker or doctor like all my college friends. But that feeling passes the moment I remember I'm smack in the middle of my generation's version of rock and roll.

Oh, and learn python, perl, MEL or even C. It will make you stand out from the legions of creative folks who don't know the basics of programming. And make a darn game or two!
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