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Old 11-09-2009, 06:59 AM   #11
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That said, when things improve next year (a good first step would be finding a decent job), hopefully I'll be dropping in on meetings. I'll be the exceptionally quiet guy in the back who's first words will likely be a terrible pun
Well there is always the train, or you can post on the Chapter forums and see if anyone is coming from there that can give you a ride.
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:33 PM   #12
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I want to get into game design and have began drawing maps and concepts for games since I was 11. I have been gaming since I was 6 and can easily tell why a designer chose to do something in a game.
Hi, Pup. I totally dig your passion for game design. Heck, the ability to respond to this thread is one of the bigger reasons I signed up XD. Here's a bit about me. I'm currently a student of Computational Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology--which apparently, to huge names like EA and Blizzard, means game design (yay!). I've had the enormous pleasure of meeting the awesome people behind some of my favorite games, and I've received a very interesting impression. Personally speaking, the biggest two factors that can get you noticed in game design are experience and passion.

On a resume, extensive experience from the shoes of a designer and developer--I'm talking mods as much as actual programming--is huge. The level editor included with games like Warcraft 3 and Neverwinter Nights are really close to what actual designers are using in the office, and experience with toolsets reflect well.

Don't belittle these projects. As a game designer, you're not trying to showcase mad programming abilities. Your emphasis should be on making a game feel and play sweet. The levels should be immersive, the narrative should be memorable, and the gameplay should be addicting as mess. That's all your job (https://jobs.ea.com/about/roles/role.aspx?id=6). It doesn't matter if you make it from scratch or with the aid of a RPG creator designed for the task; if your players aren't able to stop playing, that's what matters.

As for college, definitely go to it. College verses independent learning is the equivalent of power leveling verses solo grinding. While you can pop open a book on game design and flip through it, specialized college courses ensure that all the skills are learned and applied. That said, it's important to note that you almost have to be able to learn independently; in the real world, game companies aren't going to be spending resources on teaching one employee how to do something when they can easily just fill the position with another.

And the last thing about experience, knowing how to program (or how to think like a programmer) may not be essential on paper but it's a huge boon--not to mention that programming is dangerously fun. Everything, literally everything, you will need to start using Java and C++ (and so forth) can be found free online. The basics include downloading an IDE (integrated development environment), getting the language library, and googling tutorials and instructions to the language.

Which leads very well into passion. If you take the initiative to do what you love doing, it'll definitely show. Be confident in yourself. Why are you still reading? Go do something! XD
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:40 AM   #13
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Thanks Yip. Sounds like you have a great passion for game design too :P .

I never really understood the hate towards programs like RPGMaker. Sure, it's not as complex or open as other things out there but it still allows you to make a game, with all of it joys and hurdles attached-just on a smaller(and thus admitingly easier) scale. I do know that alone won't help though and thinking it would, would be very stupid.

From the EA requirements it sounds like I'm doing the right thing for a job in game design, but everyone else seriously interested in the field is probably too! I really need to check into programming. I've tried to get into C++ and downloaded everything needed but it's just so daunting to do it alone with only an online tutorial to learn from. Plus, the tutorials I found all expect some form of basic computer programming knowledge, which automatically isolates me as I know nothing. Do you know of any good books or sites for absolute beginners trying to learn C++?
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:13 PM   #14
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I really need to check into programming. I've tried to get into C++ and downloaded everything needed but it's just so daunting to do it alone with only an online tutorial to learn from. Plus, the tutorials I found all expect some form of basic computer programming knowledge, which automatically isolates me as I know nothing. Do you know of any good books or sites for absolute beginners trying to learn C++?
If you want to be a designer, then you don't really need hardcore knowledge of C++. Any good ammount of experience with any programming language will benefit you. Due to the freedom and flexibility of C++, I know alot of beginners get caught up on silly problems. Also, it's very easy to pick up poor practice or unknowingly create bugs that might not make themselves obvious.

I would reccomend starting with a language such as Java, Python or C#.

This is down to personal taste and comfort though. I know a lot of people that were very happy starting with C++ right off the bat. The text Thinking in C++ is a very good free resource.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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I'll check that site out but I want to stick with C++. I've read several times where people say they learned a different language and when they tried the dominant language in game development, C++, the had many bad practices and found it hard to unlearn what they did with the other language.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:32 PM   #16
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I'll check that site out but I want to stick with C++. I've read several times where people say they learned a different language and when they tried the dominant language in game development, C++, the had many bad practices and found it hard to unlearn what they did with the other language.
Haha, you shouldn't be scared of learning! That--independent education--is actually a very critical ability in this industry, in my humble opinion. Compared to most established media, video games are a dauntingly new and experienced developers are still figuring out what works and what the media is capable of. Take video games a mere ten years ago and compare it to modern games. Nobody would have dreamed of World of Warcraft, Crysis, or the Wii. Developers had to create severs, engines, hardware, and features that draw an ever expanding audience. If you plan to enter this rapidly-changing world and sit at the frontier of digital technology, you cannot be afriad of learning and adapting.

I've looked into Python, C++, and Java, and I fully agree with Adrir. Python is definitely the most approachable and gives you the fundamentals: how to think like a programmer. Java is relatively easy as well but requires a bit more patience. And then, well, C++ frankly scare me. XD Although it is definitely more powerful, the language is more abstract (is that the right phrase?) and almost masochistic to take a crash course in programming on if you don't understand the basics. Also, I believe most colleges start you off on Python or Java.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:53 AM   #17
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I'll check that site out but I want to stick with C++. I've read several times where people say they learned a different language and when they tried the dominant language in game development, C++, the had many bad practices and found it hard to unlearn what they did with the other language.
The opposite is far more true and frequent. C++ is a language that assumes the programmer is always right even when they are not. It allows you to do operations that are known to produce undefined behaviour such as overrunning arrays and not complain unless something REALLY goes wrong. It also isn't the most terse of languages and full of odd little behaviours + pitfalls.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:16 AM   #18
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I'm not scared of learning- I'm actually really curious- but still never got into programming. I'll start now with python and I'm sure when I get the hang of it I'll love it.

Thanks for your help everyone.
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