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Old 04-26-2008, 08:42 PM   #1
Implode
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Question Unsure what to go for in the game industry

I have always wanted to in the video games industry but I'm not sure what I should go for.

Programming: Not really into it and plus I'm horrible at math.
Modeling / Arts: Not really into it either.

Those are basically the two basic jobs I see in the video games industry but I know there's more.

I was wondering what you guys think I could be well fitted for and tell me of some other jobs in the industry (ask questions to get a feel of what I like / whatever).

I'm in high school right now and I'll be in here for 2 more years.

People always say go for what you will really love and I don't want to make a mistake and go for some other job I won't enjoy for the rest of my life but like I said up there, I need help choosing what to go for as I'm afraid there isn't any jobs for me?
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:38 AM   #2
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Well I don't know what you'll enjoy but here's a list of a few different roles you could consider (remember that you won't be able to jump straight into all of them as an entry level job).

QA Tester - You play the game over and over, looking for bugs & checking that existing bugs have been fixed. Not as much fun as it sounds, overtime requirements often pretty high (many testers will tell you of nights they slept at the office), and pay is usually poor. Good for entry into the industry.

Programmer (Gameplay, core technology, porting, tools, AI ... there are lots of variations) - Requires a knack for programming. Well paid, with lots of fields that you can aim for depending on your skills. Eg. if you don't know how to write graphics engines, you can just handle the gameplay logic etc.

Producer - Your job is to manage the workload, overseeing the game's development, and making sure everything is running on track. Tends to require a lot of phone calls, e-mailing, and deciding which things will be cut in order to meet the deadline. You also get most of the blame for just about everything that goes wrong with the game.

Designer - Here you sit in your office, playing the latest PS3 and X-box 360 games. Occasionally you wander around the office bouncing your game ideas off other people. You're also usually the person who reads through game proposals from external developers & decides whether they're worth while. I guess you write the design document too, but as a programmer I'm never allowed to see them.

3D Artist - Responsible for creating the 3d models, often in Maya or 3D Studio Max, you don't necessarily have to be good at texturing, just at creating high quality, but still relatively low polygon models.

2D Artist - You create the textures & backdrops for the game & models. Photoshop is a favourite program here.

Animator - Here create the animations for characters & objects, ready to be attached the the 3d models. The only people allowed to "Play" with the motion capture equipment.

Level Designer - These guys create the levels of the game. A good stepping stone for designer positions, since you have to consider how the structures & pickups you place will affect the flow of gameplay. Also easy to get experience with in the modding world.

Sound Engineer - They create or find the sound effects & music for the game. Note that it can be very difficult to get a full time job as a musician for a game developer, they generally don't need you the whole time, so this would be more of a contract / freelance role.

Sales / Marketing - You're the guy who deals with selling the game, getting advertising out there, bringing in money, and of course making promises that the game will do certain things without consulting anyone in the technical department who know very well that it would take several months to add that feature. You get to use phrases like "How hard can it be? It's only code!" and "We've promised it now, so you have to deliver it!"


Look at the list and let us know which is the most appealing one for you, then we could give you more information.

Everyone else feel free to add more to the list if you think of them.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:15 AM   #3
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Claxon's list is pretty complete but, being one, I had to make one addendum:

Writer - In terms of working in-house this has the tendency to get lumped into Design, but since Claxon's description of a Designer was obviously tongue-in-cheek, I'd like to elaborate a bit just so you have a clear picture. The duties of a game writer often include but are not limited to: working with designers to develop the overall story, writing dialogue, providing support materials, website copy, and documentation. Right now most game writers work off of contracts. Only a handful of developers currently hire writers as permanent staff members but this number is steadily growing.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:07 AM   #4
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do you think you could post more information about 3d and 2d artists and more in-depth things about designer. ive been wanting to design games for about 10 years and im going into senior year of high-school and theres no help from guidance at my school for this area. i dont know much about requirements for these careers and im really looking into 2D artists, 3D artists and from that vague description of designer im very interested that to. information in those 3 areas would be grately appreciated.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
do you think you could post more information about 3d and 2d artists and more in-depth things about designer.
What specifically do you need to know? The summary above sums it up pretty well.

More information: http://www.skillset.org/games/career...cle_2768_1.asp
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

You'll probably find lots of pre-emptive answers here. As for information about 2D and 3D artists, yes, we'll need to know more to help you. But I'll go out on a limb and assume you want to know:

Quote:
What kind of experience you need to get a job as a 3D modeler, texture artist, technical artist, SFX artist, concept artist, rigger/animator...
Generally it's going to come down to your portfolio / demo reel. Education is great, but not the only thing there is. Experience in a team setting will generally set you apart from all of the other applicants.

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What program is 'best'.
It depends. People used to say 'Max is for games, Maya is for art', but you have to also add in the fact that many studios are now using ZBrush or Softimage XSI. The good news is that once you learn one you'll have an easier time learning the others.

As for 2D programs, Photoshop is usually the standard for textures, with the exception of those studios using programs that let you paint directly onto the model. For concept art, I prefer Corel Painter or Art Rage.

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What you should include in your portfolio.
This, again, depends on the job you want. Generally you're looking to have a demo reel with only your best work. Go for quality over quantity, but try and provide a diverse range of work.

Quote:
What the average entry-level artist is making.
Generally anywhere from about 30-50k depending on who you are, where you're working, your level of experience, your job title, etc.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:18 PM   #7
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Which positions can you jump into? I know for some you have to have some experience like you said "A good stepping stone for designer positions"

What about Producer?
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:53 AM   #8
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If you want to start in a production position, I suggest looking for Associate /Assistant Producer roles. They are entry level jobs, though you may find it easier to start in testing. Like I said producers generally need to know what goes on during the development cycle of a game, so testing is often a good place to get experience in how things work. It's not essential, but it would help your chances of landing the role.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:10 PM   #9
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thank you for the help. what would be the best thing to study in college for 2d and 3d art design.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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Honestly, I don't know. I would try asking at the 3DBuzz forums but I be guessing, (Digital) Art and Design. If you want to do 3D work, maybe you can find a course that is more specific to 3D modelling.

Also, talk to a careers councilor.
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