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Old 07-27-2008, 10:31 PM   #1
jekul
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My name is Luke and I live in Nebraska. I am 22 years old and have really been putting school off. At first I didn't really know what I wanted out of life. Though now I have seemed to find inspiration, the tv show LA Ink. I ended up asking myself what I really wanted to do in life. Video games was the answer. After going through the five main aspects of the industry I have narrowed my search down to Design.

The plan right now is to work for a year (also probably head to some community college to stay on insurance) and then after that I would really like to move. I would like to move my attention to actually getting a degree and getting headed in a rather straight line to a good career.

So my questions to you are these.

1. Is there a decent game design focused program anywhere that is also an accredited school? I have piddle footed the college that I did go to away so the gpa is either low or even non-existent.

2. I would like to kinda keep my brain going for design stuff. Any suggested books or design problems I should be putting time into? I noticed that Game Career Guide does a weekly design problem which i'll look into. For books right now I am reading Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster and The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design by Flint Dille and John Zuur Platten.

Thanks for the help,
luke
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jekul View Post
Is there a decent game design focused program anywhere that is also an accredited school? I have piddle footed the college that I did go to away so the gpa is either low or even non-existent.
There is a good list of schools available here on GameCareerGuide that can help guide you to which would be most suitable for you.

If you want to be a designer, you don't neccessarily need to go to a game school.

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I would like to kinda keep my brain going for design stuff. Any suggested books or design problems I should be putting time into?
There is an excellent Designer's reading list at GameDev.net.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the links. The last two were great reads. So it looks like a tradition school is for me.

Though for my second question in the original post. Is there any steps I can take to prepare myself?
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:35 PM   #4
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Read some books, make some levels, join a mod team, find some programmers to make some games or learn a game making software package, and follow as much advice about preparing for your career as possible!
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:46 AM   #5
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I was looking around and ill probably do a programming degree. Just ordered a python book.

For level designing is there any new-user somewhat-friendly programs to design with?
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:52 AM   #6
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Out of interest, why would you want to do a programming degree if your goal is game design? You don't need to be a programmer to break into games design.

With regards to level design, if you like RTS games, most of them come with map creation tools which are pretty easy to learn. I used to do alot of modding for Starcraft back in the day and I was about 9-10 years old at the time. So it must be pretty intuitive!

Alternatively, you could do levels for Quake or CounterStrike since they seem to have quite active communities. The Source Engine also comes with dev tools you might have fun messing around with.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I was looking around and ill probably do a programming degree. Just ordered a python book.
Wait do you want to be a programmer or designer? Because the two are drastically different.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:57 PM   #8
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From everything I've read it seems to me that there are two major influences in design. Okay some maybe three now that I think about it. Writing being the first one. Though from what ive read you dont get hired as a designer in the beginning without making an entrance elsewhere. The next two are programming and art. Designers need to know how to get points across to both fields. So i choose programming. I'll use this as a stepping stone into design.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:42 AM   #9
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Its also good to start in some lesser kind of activity (ie. Level Design) which should be enough for your experience. Although, programming and art will help you as well.

Last edited by toyoka : 07-30-2008 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The next two are programming and art. Designers need to know how to get points across to both fields. So i choose programming. I'll use this as a stepping stone into design.
Alright well I wouldn't recommend it unless you know that you enjoy programming. But I would suggest you learn a lot of scripting (Lua, Python etc.) since that would actually be a better way to get in and shift to design.
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