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Old 10-08-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
mapacible
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Default Pursuing my dream job.

Hi guys! You've probably heard this story or a variation of it. When I was a kid, I loved reading fantasy books and playing RPGs. I love experiencing stories from any type of media (books/games/movies) and I figured it would be swell if I become a writer or to make RPGs. I've never really pursued it since I didn't think it was a viable option for me.

Back when I was just right out of college, I discovered RPG Maker XP and for a few months, it was like my dreams have been answered. I realized I am a bit of a perfectionist in all aspects of the game: gameplay, sound, user interface, graphics. I was able to modify the default gameplay and user interface to my satisfaction by self-studying the software's own Japanese programming language (Ruby). The problem is that I am no artist and it frustrated me a lot that I cannot make the scenarios I have in mind come to life with the default sprites and graphics of the software. About a month after graduation, I got a job. I got busy with it and I was frustrated with my game's cinematography so my fledgling game was put on hold.

Now, I am a computer programmer (three years and counting). I'm currently 24 and I feel like I'm experiencing some sort of quarterlife crisis. My current job seems to be one of convenience since I find it easy to program/design for a consulting company but there is just zero passion in it for me! Just a week ago I rediscovered the game that I started three years ago and it reignited my passion for game making. After a lot of thinking, I have finally decided to pursue my original dream job to become a game designer. I've read a bit of the articles here on how to get started and I think I'm going with Sloper's "DIFTI" path.

I've thought of some rough plans on how I'd go about doing it. Here are my current plans:
1. Research (first I've got to take in everything I can find in the net regarding game development and what it takes to be a game designer)
2. Re-learn C/C++ (I'll enter the industry as a developer since I'm already a cobol/java programmer, I'll just sharpen my C/C++ skills)
3. Build my portfolio (I'll probably learn more html and go make an awesome website, then I'll build some flash games to showcase my design principles. I'll also do some MODs of some popular games and create other types of games just to show that I have range)
4. Apply as a game developer.

How long do you think this would take? Any comments/suggestions what more I should do?
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:13 AM   #2
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What are you trying to break in as? A programmer or a designer?
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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Only you can say how long it'll take. Dedicating yourself 8 hours a day of studying C/C++ and general game design will make you prepared to submit resumes and portfolios faster than if you only dedicate 8 hours a week.

Also, just remember, most developers only last an average 5-6 years in this industry before burning out. You'll be surprised how often I hear of people losing their "passion to make games". Not trying to stop you, hell it's not stopping me, but just keep it in the back of your mind.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndimucci View Post
most developers only last an average 5-6 years in this industry before burning out. You'll be surprised how often I hear of people losing their "passion to make games".
The plan is to go indie before that happens!

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrir View Post
The plan is to go indie before that happens!

That's why I've decided to go with a traditional Masters in Computer Science instead of going to The Guildhall for level design so I can go the indie route Indie development seems much more appeasing then working at a AAA studio.

Also, who knows what the future holds. It's no secret a programmer in this industry gets paid A LOT less then if they worked for Financial Company A writing mundane programs in C#. I'd rather have a masters and skills that is applicable to virtually any industry then just one specific industry. Which is another reason why game schools and game specific degrees are so dangerous. The average developer only lasts 5-6 years in this industry (That's why a junior programmer can become a lead in such a short time). That'll leave you in a very tight and dangerous position when you try to find work in another industry with a "game degree".

But I don't want to side track this thread too much
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #6
mapacible
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My plan is to enter the industry as a developer and then eventually transition to designer once I have enough experience working in a game company.
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapacible View Post
My plan is to enter the industry as a developer and then eventually transition to designer once I have enough experience working in a game company.
I assume you mean programmer as a developer is anyone that works on the project. In our case, that also includes Artists, Designers, Programmers, Audi Engineers, QA, etc.

I am not 100% sure about the Flash part of 3 as I rather see more C++ experience if you are going to apply as a games programmer.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:03 PM   #8
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LoL Map trust me I feel you on the quarter life crisis thing It's a terrible feeling really. I'm only 25 and have done a few years of Networking with various people and companies but since I was 13 I wanted to be in gaming. It's been a life dream of mine to become an Independent developer eventually.
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