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Old 11-09-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
erdirck
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Hello,

I have been programming for about 2 years now off and on. My portfolio can be viewed here: www.csbriggs.com.

Anyway, I have created games in XNA. I am taking a Java class right now and doing ok with it. I wrote some programs and just finished my latest game, Azteroid Warz in Java. I have been looking for a job for a few months and have had some interviews, some phone calls, but no luck yet.

I want to get a job doing programming whether it is gaming or not so I can broaden my search. As you can see from my portfolio, I have mostly games. I want to know what I should do next? I am studying Java now, and I think that is the right direction. But I do not know what I should do next with it.

Some job postings get very specific to what they want, and is different for each job. For example, one job has "Event handling using MVC Architecture" I don't know what that is but say I did learn it, and the job is no longer available. I could of spent that time learning something else maybe getting a job. What is the most productive thing I could be doing right now based on my portfolio and skills? Thanks..
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
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You need to find a focus, jumping haphazardly from one track to another is not a good idea, work in any industry requires commitment. Saying that, you seem to be heading in the right direction if you want to work programming games.

Learning C++ and scripting languages such as lua or python would help tremendously in your job search. It should not take you too long as your already familiar with Object Oriented Programming with C#, C++ is not very different from C#.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:48 PM   #3
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Decide exactly what area of programming you want to get into. If it's games, become proficient with C++ and then pick an area of game programming you would like to specialize in (AI, gameplay, engine, etc).

If Bethesda is the only game studio in your area, apply there and if you don't hear from them you're going to have to move to a city that has more studios (Austin, SF, LA) if you want to continue your pursuit in game programming.
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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ok, thank you, i have a lot to think about
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:38 PM   #5
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According to the post above about "Theory & Practice - Your Skills & Using Them To Get Into The Industry", the "C#/Java (Prototyping, Tools Programmer)" would best fit what I am doing now.

Should I still do C++? What kind of things would a tools programmer be doing? What kind of things should a tools programmer's portfolio should include? Since my portfolio already has Java/C# work, is this a good way to go for me?
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erdirck View Post
According to the post above about "Theory & Practice - Your Skills & Using Them To Get Into The Industry", the "C#/Java (Prototyping, Tools Programmer)" would best fit what I am doing now.
That's cool, although after a quick glance at your portfolio it looks like you enjoy making the actual games!

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Originally Posted by erdirck View Post
Should I still do C++? What kind of things would a tools programmer be doing? What kind of things should a tools programmer's portfolio should include? Since my portfolio already has Java/C# work, is this a good way to go for me?
Yes, you should still study C++. It is a core skill because it is an industry standard. Other languages, as you mentioned, are useful for prototyping, scripting and the development of tools. However, these languages are considered semi-core skills in the article. They are useful.

Tools programmers create tools that are used in games development. Please refer to the IGDA's Breaking In Section.

Personally, I would perhaps start to experiment with 3D graphics in XNA and make a few great games. Then I would look into C++/DirectX/OpenGL. If you want to get into tools programming, I also suggest looking at how you could make modding your favourite game a little easier. What kind of tools would be useful?

On the topic of your website - looking pretty good - although what's with the scaled PNG files? You may want to consider converting them to JPEG and upload the correct sizes. As a general rule of thumb, never let browsers scale images.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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That's cool, although after a quick glance at your portfolio it looks like you enjoy making the actual games!
Yes, but as ndimucci said above and from what I hear from others, I need to specialize in an area of game programming?

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Personally, I would perhaps start to experiment with 3D graphics in XNA and make a few great games. Then I would look into C++/DirectX/OpenGL. If you want to get into tools programming, I also suggest looking at how you could make modding your favourite game a little easier. What kind of tools would be useful?
I knew 3D was the next thing to do. I started doing 3D graphics with Java because I lack Java examples in my portfolio, right? If you think XNA would be better, I would be glad to go back to that.

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On the topic of your website - looking pretty good - although what's with the scaled PNG files? You may want to consider converting them to JPEG and upload the correct sizes. As a general rule of thumb, never let browsers scale images.
Yeah, I scaled the images down myself so they can fit the frame I put them in. Perhaps I could hyperlink it to a full size image?

Thanks
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:58 AM   #8
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Yes, but as ndimucci said above and from what I hear from others, I need to specialize in an area of game programming?
This is correct. However, gameplay programming is also a specialisation. The process of implementing game rules and features specified by the designers.

Although it is important to specialise, that doesn't mean that other topics are to be avoided. So long as do you have a focus, it helps to understand a little about each discipline. This is especially important for communicating with other developers, understanding the impact of your code (where applicable) and being flexible in the team.

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I started doing 3D graphics with Java because I lack Java examples in my portfolio, right? If you think XNA would be better, I would be glad to go back to that.
Whichever you are comfortable with. I really like XNA GSE but that's my personal preference.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:11 PM   #9
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Whichever you are comfortable with. I really like XNA GSE but that's my personal preference.
So employers do not mind if you use XNA or Java? As long as you know the concepts of 3D programming?

If this is the case, I will go back to 3D in XNA because I too like XNA a lot better.

As for my portfolio, I will change my portfolio so all projects will be in one section and not divided up into Java and XNA because it looks like I lack Java experience when it's really programming experience I am trying to show.

In my old portfolio, I have included a number of levels I have created using the Unreal Editor. Is this at all worth putting in my current portfolio as a programmer?
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:38 PM   #10
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So employers do not mind if you use XNA or Java? As long as you know the concepts of 3D programming?
It depends on the employer.

If they are using Java, then they will expect Java but if they are using C# then they will want people who code in that that. There are other languages such as python that are used frequently too. However, this will almost certainly be completely eclipsed by C++ for most programming roles at the moment.

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Originally Posted by erdirck View Post
As for my portfolio, I will change my portfolio so all projects will be in one section and not divided up into Java and XNA because it looks like I lack Java experience when it's really programming experience I am trying to show.
I think it is fine the way it is divided by language at the moment. You can focus on presentation later down the line.

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In my old portfolio, I have included a number of levels I have created using the Unreal Editor. Is this at all worth putting in my current portfolio as a programmer?
If you're not applying for a role in level design or environment art, then I wouldn't showcase them. Although if an employer is looking for someone who can demonstrate enthusiasm or familiarity with unreal then it might be useful to mention them.
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