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Old 08-09-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Trying to Educate Myself About the Industry

Hey everybody,

My name is Dom. I am 25 and currently living in Japan (working as an English teacher) in order to gain some fluency in this beast of a language. My original plan was after I gained the proper level of proficiency, I could start applying for jobs as a translator for some Japanese game companies and try to climb my way up the corporate latter that way. I have even talked to/gotten some advice in how to do so from some guys out here, such as Dylan Cuthburt from Q-Games.

However, translation, as much as I would like it, is not something that I am ultimately gunning for. What I would really like to do is get into design or production in some way. I am also thinking that perhaps I would like to be a bit more hands on in the creative process and actually get into developing in some sort of way. But, I am afraid that since I have already gotten a degree in Japanese and don't have any programming or (real) artistic ability, that option is probably not in the cards.

So, lately I have been racking my brain wondering what my options are and if there are other alternatives for me outside of translation. But, as I was thinking about this I realized that I really don't know much about the industry's jobs and what a lot of them entail. I feel that if I could educate myself on these jobs (outside of just programmer, artist, designer), perhaps I can find something that would be the proper fit for me and I could start making steps in that (proper) direction.

So, my question is: How do I go about doing that? I feel that there is a great amount of information online, but it is all so clustered together that it is quite overwhelming and rather confusing to me. Plus, I am a bigger fan of having open dialogue with a person that is informed on the subject, not just reading an article as articles can't answer questions.

I am even considering going back to school, if necessary, but I don't want to just throw my money away at something I don't know much about. I also wonder if it is even necessary for me to do so. What I really need is a sense of direction so I can have more of a direct purpose or goal instead of just always saying "I want to work in the game industry."

I know this question is rather vague and probably difficult to answer as a result. But, I guess I am just wondering what kind of resources there are out there for doing so and if there is anyone out there willing to lend some advice about this. Any and all feedback would be really appreciated.

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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Default Being your own worst problem

Originally Posted by Domikaze View Post
I feel that there is a great amount of information online, but it is all so clustered together that it is quite overwhelming and rather confusing to me.
That's your trouble -- you're allowing yourself to be overwhelmed and confused by a lot of straightforward information. If you can learn Japanese, you can cut through the cluster.
Start by devouring this website right here.
And read my site:
And read
Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.

PLEASE do not use this website's PM feature to contact me.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info! I will definitely check these sites out!

Your site looks quite extensive. Would it be alright if I sent you a message later on if any questions arise?

Also, I am not quite sure what you mean by if I learn Japanese I can cut through the cluster. Would you mind clarifying? Sorry.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:46 AM   #4
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Translators typically are also public relations because they deal with the press a lot with the person they're translating for. I don't think it's the best position to start in because it's a rather experience-oriented position. If you aren't experienced with speaking in public, other dedicated translators will.

I think back to Ryan Payton who was not only a translator, but a "western liason" for Kojima. Ryan knew a lot about game design, so he was able to add to the team, communicate, and do PR work.

The key for good development is communication. You have an edge of being able to speak either languages. Looking into the game side of things is a good start if you seriously want to be in the industry. And one thing to note, you don't need a degree in programming or art. As long as you keep drawing or programming games, you get good at it. Try to make some small games or get involved in small projects. You'll get a better idea of it then.
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