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Old 05-07-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
cmjoe
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Exclamation I need some game career guidance

Hello. I'm a senior at a general business major and I'll be taking an internship either in the summer of Fall. Personally, I'm starting to doubt my degree because I just don't like it and I don't see how I could apply it to video game. I've been really interested in game art and some 3D environment programming and game design/game ideas but my classes and work kinda prevents me from learning these things.

I took some programming in Java but it was pretty hard and I probably just had a bad start because I never took programming. But, I'm still interested because I want to learn how it applies to video games.

I'm a bit lost. I like game art but I also want to learn more about environmental design and learning skill in game design because I always think about some game ideas and analyze by myself why this game is like this or that game is successful or not. Basically, alot of thinking of the games design and just for my knowledge and I go to forums talking about it.

So basically, I don't know where to start. Should I just buy some books and learn these things myself like one day is art, the other is game design, etc. Or what? Where can i go to learn more about these things I'm interested in? Is there a site that I can go to get a better idea of all of these things?
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:34 AM   #2
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Hi cmjoe. Firstly, I think you need to decide what you want gain skills in: art, programming or design. At the moment you seem to be doing a bit of everything.

With your problem programming, you may want to find out which language is easier for someone who has no programming experience to learn first of all. Then I'm afraid no matter how difficult it is the only way to improve is to stick at it. If you find you just don't like programming maybe it's not for you.
Although, having a basic knowledge of programming is good because it helps you to communicate with programmers it's not necessary to know everything about any one language. I've found a few tutorials and resoureces and listed them here if you're interested.

It seems that you are leaning towards a career more in games art. Again you'll have to decide what type of artist you want and can become: a 3D artist, 2D artist, concept artist? The are lots of free 3D modelling programs available on the net i.e. Blender and Maya PLE (which is great as lots of studios use maya) and free tutorials too. But it all about making a decision and streamlining your learning.

If you're interested in learning about game design I suggest you register for Ian Schreiber's free online game concepts course this Summer. You learn at your own pace while reading the blog posts each week and working from the text book. After this I'm sure you'll know if design is a good route for you.

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Originally Posted by cmjoe View Post
I've been really interested in game art and some 3D environment programming and game design/game ideas but my classes and work kinda prevents me from learning these things.
Lastly, I understand that you've got other things to do but if you want to make it into a role you'd much rather do then you have to find the time to work at it.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:45 AM   #3
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Pick one area. Research into the tools/software you need. Dive in.

For example's sake, let's choose programming:
Google Search for "Game Programming"

First three hits:
Wiki
GameDev.net
Game Programming Wiki

From GameDev:
For Beginners

From GPWiki:
FAQ for Games Programmers

That's the typical answer of how doing a little Googling can bring more information then most can post.

While Art and Programming are relatively straight forward to find resources, Game Design isn't and therefore is hard to point to a single resource to get all the information.

At the moment you are still testing the waters of each area:
Read: http://gamedeveloper.texterity.com/g...08careerguide/

If you are going to start off with programming, stick with Java since you already know a little of it and work your way through Thinking in Java including the exercises.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmjoe View Post
So basically, I don't know where to start. Should I just buy some books and learn these things myself like one day is art, the other is game design, etc. Or what? Where can i go to learn more about these things I'm interested in? Is there a site that I can go to get a better idea of all of these things?
Hmm... how about the "Getting Started" section of this forum??? Seriously, we may need more sticky threads there, but many of your questions have already been answered. This thread is a newer example, but read around in that section to learn more. You might also try the IGDA breaking in site.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Seriously, we may need more sticky threads there, but many of your questions have already been answered.
What would you suggest placing in the stickies? How would we encourage readers to use them as a point of first enquiry? Topics that could warrent a sticky would proberbly end up published on the main site as a featured article. Furthermore, in my experience, new members don't usually read the stickies and they serve to tempt other readers to bluntly instruct them to do so! Not very friendly or helpful at all.

In my personal opinion, we have many good people in this community who are very capable of pointing readers in the right direction. Allowing those individuals to get on with it and provide reccomend reading on a tailored and individual basis is one of this forum's strengths. Furthermore, we already provide an extensive list of related websites as well as the featured articles for anyone who would like to reasearch their area of interest. What would you want to see improved?
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:39 PM   #6
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Adrir, when I said we need "more sticky threads" I was thinking of turning existing threads into stickies... not trying to imply a lack of information.

Maybe what I'm thinking of is an idea for a featured article (if it isn't one already) or just a series of sticky threads. I would like to see a per-discipline Breaking In FAQ that collects a bunch of answers already provided in the Getting Started area. In other words, what are the key steps for a designer/programmer/artist? Which schools/degrees are best for designer/programmer/artist or does it even matter? Which books? I know each person's specific path varies, but there are some common questions/answers and web links (e.g. Sloperama) that come up time and again.

I don't know how we encourage readers to view these posts, just think it might be easier to send them to an FAQ than re-posting all of the links/references we know off the top of our heads
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:28 AM   #7
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jwalters does have a point and it would be handy to have a 'base' answer then add any individual details on top.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jwalters View Post
...when I said we need "more sticky threads" I was thinking of turning existing threads into stickies...I don't know how we encourage readers to view these posts...
This is what I'm a bit weary about. In my experience, people tend not to read through stickies. Especially when there are a lot of them! Also, with the volume of articles we have on the main site, is it really worth it?

On the other hand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalters View Post
I would like to see a per-discipline Breaking In FAQ that collects a bunch of answers already provided in the Getting Started area. In other words, what are the key steps for a designer/programmer/artist?
...this is an absolutely fantastic idea! This has never really occured to me. I think having an FAQ in each section would be brilliant. Of course, we would also need a general FAQ too for people who don't really understand what they want to do.

Instead of accumilating more and more sticky threads, we'd only need a few stickies spread across the forum. Each would contain a series of questions. Along with each question, there would be a brief answer and links to specific resources relevent to the topic. These resources could be useful threads, relevent articles or interesting websites.

Is this something close to what you mean?
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:07 AM   #9
cmjoe
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Thanks for the help guys.

I took some time to think and I put a list of reasons why I want to learn the things I want. Maybe I can get some directions (including the ones you already gave me) on where I can learn these things.

When it comes to video games, I would like to create my own characters and environments for a video game. In fact, I really like drawing, graphic and creating cool characters ever since I was in 8th grade but I haven't drawn or had an art class for like 6 years. I was always interested in art but I would like to be more focused on creating video game characters or just random cool characters. I just picture some stuff in my head therefore, I thought that learning how to use graphic art or graphic animation software or learning how to draw would help me express my graphic ideas.

I want to learn some game design and study more of it so I could basically learn how to design a game.

I actually want to learn how to mod games because I think its a great start to creating your own game while using existing stuff in the game your moding.

I want to learn how programming is applied to games and then learn it. One time this student (now graduated) who is a software programmer was explaining to me how programming works in a video game. For example, when you press the A button, this character does this, etc. I want to learn more about that. Like how programming is applied in the games. Do you guys know a site that explains this? Because the first time I took programming was Java. I never took programming before and I thought programming was very visual. Furthermore, all I knew about programming in the video games was that it was used to create video games but I never knew how it did that. Eventually when I took Java programming I realized that it was nothing I thought it would be.. All I did was put a bunch texts for the computer to run which sometimes I had no idea what it was doing. I had to go to tutors every time. It wasn't visual or anything I thought it would be. When I look back, I think that's what made me not do so well in programming because I expected it to be in a different way. I pretty much didn't know what programming really was or how it applies to video games but if you guys can show me a place that explains both of these things I would appreciate it.

So basically I think this is why I'm interested in all of these things I mentioned. Come to think of it, I guess I just like to be well rounded:from character, game and programming design. It seems alot but is it possible? Should I start simpler or could I do all of them and just learn slowly?
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Come to think of it, I guess I just like to be well rounded:from character, game and programming design.
Well rounded people don't get employed. Specialists do.

I will answer your other questions/points at a later date but I am in the middle of something at present. However, the following questions is important as it will affect the advice given. How old are you?
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