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Old 04-25-2009, 10:56 AM   #11
yaustar
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and yes, it was the multitude of "scam sites" that led me to believe such a thing existed.
Can you post links to the sites that told you this misinformation please? (This is just for personal information).

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However, since it is volunteer work, does it count as industrial experience that is resume-applicable (towards a Junior Designer position, 4 years from now), or is it just nothing more than a bunch of writing exercises?
It won't count as industrial experience and it is for 'exercise' reasons but also to gain exposure and build up a portfolio. I wrote an article on my blog which got picked up and published here on GameCareerGuide.

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Where should I start? Volunteer work like previously described? Try and land a Reviewing spot somewhere?
I am confused myself, do you want to be a designer? If so, just go ahead and design games. Board games, computer games, card games, pen and paper games, etc. Learn a secondary skill such as programming/scripting (which is extremely useful for a designer), learn to level design using tools.

Do what you can to demonstrate your passion for games, write about and create them. Also consider joining a team (perhaps a mod team) to help build up your portfolio and demonstrate teamwork.

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Should I start with teaching myself C++? (It just so happens that my father is a Programmer; but not for Video Games. But he has all the books for all the Languages.)
You can do but as a designer, scripting languages such as Python and Lua would be more useful although this is completely up to you.

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How exactly should I go about getting at-home experience into proper formation of a "Design"?
That is assuming that there is formal definition of a games designer, which there isn't. Designers on different teams at different companies do different things. While fundamentally they design games bur what they do on a day to day basis can be very different.

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I intend on double-majoring in order to get the most out of my money ($30,000 a year isn't easy), in Computer Science, and English.
That seems fine.

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However, I'm starting to re-think my college due to this experience. This fall I will be starting out at Moravian College, however wouldn't it benefit me to attend a college of the Arts & Design?
Do you want to do Art over Programming and English?

The problem is that the designer is such a catch all role that there is no distinct education router towards unlike all the other disciplines that exist. Additionally, it is virtually impossible to enter the industry as a graduate designer with no industry experience. Usually they come from other roles in the company such as a programmer, artist, QA, level designer, etc.

Read: http://gamedeveloper.texterity.com/g...08careerguide/
http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

The wisest move for you is to do the course you want to do and enjoy and make up some of the slack yourself.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:08 PM   #12
Ownaholic
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Originally Posted by yaustar
Can you post links to the sites that told you this misinformation please? (This is just for personal information).
I've sent you a PM instead; this way nobody can click on the links and be misled as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar
You can do but as a designer, scripting languages such as Python and Lua would be more useful although this is completely up to you.
Thank you, I'll look into buying some language books for these; or more information on them in the least.
It might not be very easy to teach them to myself on my own time, but I'm sure it can be done.

Thanks, I briefly read and already bookmarked them.

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Originally Posted by Gshonk
...start making levels, get a game with a tool set and make levels. Examples: Unreal Tournament, Never Winter Nights (Probably your two best options), Little Big Planet, Warcraft 3, Far Cry 2, The Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Half Life 2. All of these come with robust tool sets that allow you to craft your own levels and eventually even mod. Modding is another one, look around online maybe you can find a mod team to join.
Strangely enough, I used to do this all the time for Starcraft and Netstorm.
I like that mod team idea, perhaps I'll look around and try to find one.
I've never played Unreal Tournament, but I've seen it, and I'm sure it would prove to be a very nice place to start scheming up designs.
Halo 3's Factory would be good as well, if only you could physically edit the maps themselves and implement a storyline.

@ Toyoka
Thanks for the suggestion, but I recently found out that Ian Schreiber is running an online college-level course on Game Design for free; You should consider it as well.
http://www.gamecareerguide.com/forum...3476#post13476

-----------
@ Everybody
I'm beginning to understand what you've all been saying to me, in relation to the "gaining experience" portion.
Like I wrote above, I'm going to be participating in Ian Schreiber's online course this summer, which I'm sure will greatly help me advance in terms of how to find my own style and being psychologically prepared.
I'm going to organize myself a tad bit and throw together some previous things I've written. I'll also get started on learning those languages, as well as doing some map editing and modding.
I'm also going to do some brainstorming and come up with a boardgame or two on construction paper; then make a base prototype. (As described in one of yaustar's links)

Thank you all so much for helping me understand a gist of how to gain some on-hands experience; that in fact, there is no defining way of doing it. (This, I like)

I understand that nothing I do now will be anything like what I will be doing whenever I land an actual Designing job 4-5 years from now, but creating ideas will be worth-while.

I'm also going to be creating an online portfolio, which I'll post in my signature once it's done; as well as putting together a skeleton resume to add in things in the future.

It's going to be a long road from today to the day I land a job, but as you can tell, I've been recently confused as to what I wanted my career to be, but since I've always enjoyed being creative, and I've always loved video games, I'm sure now that Game Design (In all of it's job descriptions) would be right up my alley.
Therefore, I'm going to attempt to get some non-industrial experience so I can consider myself a hybrid in all of the game design aspects.

I'll be hanging around the forums from now on, I love this place.
Thank you all so much for your guidance!

On another note, we should consider moving this topic to a different section and renaming the title. =]
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:14 AM   #13
Jaccident
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Originally Posted by Ownaholic View Post
The dreamer in me wants to be a Designer (I've got a million ideas and always find flaws in already produced games, and I love writing), then eventually a Producer.
Those are two completely different disciplines I'm afraid and it's very difficult to be both, you can be one and do a bit of the other but to do a ful turn around switch is fairly unlikely for all but the best people. TBH as a producer I find life is solely about censoring the designers as if they had their way every title would take a year longer than it should be. Whereas the designers I work with are always popping out ideas.

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However, the reality hits me and I figure the best thing to do is to just try Programming; it's the dirty work that the majority of the gaming population don't want to do.
That's not even nearly true unfortunately and if that's your opinion of coding you'll never succeed. I live with one of our coders and the guy really does go home and code in his free time. Why? Because he loves it, the same way I love writing schedules, because that's the way we're wired.

What I'd say to you is right now you are unemployable, it's the fact of it. But that's no bad thing, life experience is incredibly important if you want to get into games as once you're in you'll find it difficult to acquire any. I became a producer at 20 and I do sometimes wish I hadn't rushed in. Also in testing you sit at a desk next to the same guys day in day out, sometimes for years, and having some patter is a really good way to not go mad. In addition testing takes years to go from Tester to Developer, you need to become a Testing Lead/Manager (or both, some bigger places have both) before anything else and the respect and affection og the other testers is important in that role.

Unless you live right next to a developer you're unlikely to get work experience or a job while still in Uni, but get involved in some projects outside of Uni, people develop games across the web all the time and that's a great "in" you can exploit, TA/Cadets (I think it's called ROTC over there) is another good way to prove you have motivation, discipline and leadership (incredibly important for any one wanting to become a Producer.

Have a very serious think about whether you want to work in a developer or a publisher too, both offer testing opportunities but a worlds apart. It's much easier I'd say to get a job at a big publisher however it is also more difficult to advance.

Lastly (and only cause I thought it might stand you in good stead for the future) learn the industry language, it's "in-house" not "in-home" for example. A lot of what you've written sounds more like a fanboy writing about the industry than someone who wants to live and breath it. It's great getting language like that in CVs (and indeed bug reports sometimes) but only for the comedy value. For example I was recently asked to increase the resolution of the 3D by a tester.

CV Advice:
Sack that blogger rubbish in, get on www.linkedin.com and get a nice html or flash website up (not hard at all, especially for a budding programmer) and get a CV on that. Use a nice simple template and keep it (at this stage) down to 1 page. If you need hosting speak to you university IT department, they often have webspace for students to host university projects etc. and they most likely will no object to your CV.

Any questions PM me, I'd me more than happy to help you out with making yourself attractive to companies.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:21 PM   #14
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In my opinion you should go back and rethink what you're trying to accomplish here. You're all over the map.

QA and Producer are the only two that are in the same field. On occasion Designers or Programmers can become Producers if they have the right business skillset, but more often than not, they became Designers or Programmers because they fit a certain mold, and that mold does not lend itself to Producer.

I had the chance to meet many young, and not so young, people at GDC the other year and a lot of them were like you. Grand game designs on 20 pages of paper, ideas on how to improve games, all these things you're planning to do. Talk is cheap in this business. People want to see results. Take what you've written and apply it. Do you know they have sorting piles at GDC? There's the "Call Back" and then there's the trash can. At first I thought this was awful to do to someone, but after I started looking over resumes, these guys are doing it to themselves. At least 80% of the resumes we received went directly into the trash.

If you want to be in the design field, as others have suggested, pick a toolset and start learning. Unreal Editor seems to be the most prevalent these days. Get involved with a mod.

I couldn't recommend you for QA. Your grammar is severely lacking.

Last edited by CollisionBlock : 05-04-2009 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:35 PM   #15
Adrir
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Originally Posted by CollisionBlock View Post
I had the chance to meet many young, and not so young, people at GDC the other year and a lot of them were like you. Grand game designs on 20 pages of paper, ideas on how to improve games, all these things you're planning to do. Talk is cheap in this business. People want to see results. Take what you've written and apply it.
Have you seen many aspiring designers that demonstrate more traditional games like pen-and-paper roleplaying, card or board games in their portfolios? How common is it to see (or read about) flash mock-ups, video prototypes or even small programmed/scripted video games?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CollisionBlock View Post
Do you know they have sorting piles at GDC? There's the "Call Back" and then there's the trash can. At first I thought this was awful to do to someone, but after I started looking over resumes, these guys are doing it to themselves. At least 80% of the resumes we received went directly into the trash.
Would you be able to provide us with some hypothetical examples of what would qualilify for a resume/CV to be thrown in the trash? Where are 80% of aspiring designers going wrong? Is it simple resume stuff? Are individuals not including portfolios? It would be awesome if you could share with us!
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