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Old 09-05-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
Jmitch
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Lightbulb Thinking about pursuing a career in game development..

Hi, my name is John Mitchell. I found this site a few days ago and have since been reading all of the good information it has to offer. I'm 25 years old, I have a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with minors in Psychology and Philosophy from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. At the time I was going for something different majoring in Criminal Justice, even though it wasn't really me. Gaming has always been a passion of mine and I've been thinking about pursuing a career in game development.

I originally thought that 25 years old was a pretty late start to embark on an entire new career path, but reading a lot of Tom Sloper's articles it seems like my criminal justice degree might be more useful than I thought. I have no experience or schooling in any aspect of game development. I'm not sure what I'd enjoy, but I think I'd have the least interest in the programming side of the industry. The only somewhat relevant work experience I have is working 2 years at GameStop.

That being said, I have a few questions that I'd appreciate receiving opinions and advice about. Is it feasible to get an entry level position in the gaming industry with the education I have or is further schooling necessary? Living in central New Jersey my options are limited, but Camden County College has a 2 year degree program titled Game Design and Development that I could probably complete in a year or so after credit transfers.

My other issue relates to my location, central New Jersey. Reading Mr. Sloper's article regarding game studio hotbeds, relocation seems to be a foregone conclusion for me. I'm pretty close to my family and don't have nearly enough money saved up to just pick up and move in hopes of landing a job in one of the studio hotbeds. I'm already 25 and I'm not sure how old I'd be by the time I did have enough money to move, so I'm torn. Thank you in advance for any advice or information given regarding my questions or anything else you feel would be relevant to me.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
tsloper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmitch View Post
1. Is it feasible to get an entry level position in the gaming industry with the education I have
2. or is further schooling necessary?
3. Living in central New Jersey my options are limited... Reading Mr. Sloper's article regarding game studio hotbeds, relocation seems to be a foregone conclusion for me. I'm pretty close to my family and don't have nearly enough money saved up to just pick up and move in hopes of landing a job in one of the studio hotbeds. I'm already 25 and I'm not sure how old I'd be by the time I did have enough money to move, so I'm torn.
Hi John.
1. Yes.
2. No.
3. So it'll take time, and you're not sure you even want to move. Sounds like you need to make a decision grid, but you have lots of time to make it. Have you looked at http://www.gamedevmap.com and http://www.gameindustrymap.com?
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Last edited by tsloper : 09-05-2010 at 04:06 PM. Reason: Moved the question mark outside the url tags
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:57 PM   #3
EvilLlama
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New Jersey has an IGDA chapter. I'd suggest joining and going to some of their events to get to know the companies in the area.
http://www.igda.org/new-jersey
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:30 PM   #4
Jmitch
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Thank you for the fast responses. The links were very helpful, it looks like I have a chance at landing a job without moving far after all, at least at first. Would the best step from here be to keep reading up and try to self-teach myself as much as possible? I saw that lesson #56 has some good programs for aspiring game developers, such as Game Maker.

I'll attend any IGDA meetings that I can, although it looks like I just missed the annual picnic I'll also keep an eye out for any job postings even though I remember reading in one of Tom Sloper's articles that most positions are filled before they ever reach the point of being posted. It's all pretty overwhelming right now. The information is all here and well organized, but it's a lot to take in at once. Thanks again for the advice and links.
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