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Old 05-29-2011, 12:02 AM   #11
ChristianModas
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There's a big difference between the questions you get asked when your resume successfully passed through the filtering phase, and getting your resume past the filtering phase.
The degree is essential for those who do not have work experience.
http://www.igda.org/games-game-march-2010
Just throwing out my opinions. Can't hurt anyone
There is more than one way to go about the same goal, but in your defense, you do have a lot of useful tips on those websites of yours.

If you do continue college, just make sure you find time to work on your portfolio. There is always time if its what you love doing. Not only will it help you learn and give you something fun to do, but it will help you get a job.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:38 AM   #12
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Just throwing out my opinions. Can't hurt anyone
I disagree. A stated opinion that "a degree isn't necessary" can be harmful, if the words fall upon susceptible ears resulting in some poor soul deciding to skip the degree when he could have pursued one, and if the lack of degree adversely affects his career aspirations.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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Okay I see you have your own opinions too
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:07 AM   #14
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Go to college and work on a portfolio at the same time. A decent college will present you with projects to add to your portfolio and grow skills that encourage the development of non-academic projects to be added to your portfolio.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #15
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Honestly, I would focus on your portfolio. Todays world seems to be heading in a direction away from checking college degree and more towards showing what you have already done. You already have some college, which is a great thing, but even if you do continue college, you will still have to work on your portfolio before even getting looked at. If you are happy delivering pizzas, and have a dead set dream in game design, then I know you can make it!

Not trying to say that college is a bad thing, just from experience in programming, I have never been asked "What is your highest education level", but always being asked "Can I see something you have done before?"
If your heart is set on game design, ChristianModas' suggestion is not a bad direction to go. What you've done seems to carry a lot more weight than a degree for paths such as world building and level design.

More and more the main criteria that I see from studios are what a person has already done and whether they mesh well with the existing team and the company's culture/environment.

OTOH... to throw a wrench in the works... pursuing a degree at the college that you can afford and have access to would mean that you'd have a certain amount of accredited formal training and also another field to fall back on with a degree if the game industry thing doesn't pan out.

The latter doesn't mean a lack of confidence in one's abilities, rather a path that builds with the storm in mind.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:01 PM   #16
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I disagree. A stated opinion that "a degree isn't necessary" can be harmful, if the words fall upon susceptible ears resulting in some poor soul deciding to skip the degree when he could have pursued one, and if the lack of degree adversely affects his career aspirations.
50% of the designers I work with don't have a degree. Just saying.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:29 PM   #17
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50% of the designers I work with don't have a degree. Just saying.
And where do you work? Just asking.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:50 PM   #18
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And where do you work? Just asking.
Frontier Developments (Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, Thrillville, LostWinds, Kinectimals and Kinect Disneyland Adventures).
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:11 PM   #19
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OK, I see, you're in Cambridge. Company is what, 30-40 people? Of which, maybe 3 or 4 would qualify as designers? Meaning maybe 2 of them worked their way into design positions without degrees? I'm just trying to quantify this 50% number into concrete terms.

I don't think it does design aspirants a service, to lead them to think that the degree is unnecessary, that there's an easier path without having to go through the educational process. The path to designer is harder without the degree. I never said it's impossible without the degree. I say, and maintain, that the degree is widely regarded as essential. And with the growth of the industry, its importance is increasing. The circumstances in the past that permitted people to rise to design positions have narrowed since the Frontier has Developed.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:51 PM   #20
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We actually have nearer 200 people working here, with around 160 peole working on Kinect Disneyland Adventures. The design team is about 20 people strong. Thinking about it, my 50% estimation was a bit overely optimistic, it's more like 40% - but still that's a good few designers. A lot of whom are Seniors.

Edit: I'll also add that if I were personally looking to hire a designer; I wouldn't filter applicants by if they have a degree or not. If their portfolio can demonstrate their understanding of game design and I can see they can think like a designer, I'd have no issue hiring them.

I'm going to re-post something I posted a while ago, as it's still my opinion about all this:

Quote:
Right, here's some advice:

1: If you're dead set on being a designer, then no - you don't really need a degree to get a job designing games. Your portfolio should be enough to get you an interview, then it's really all down to how well you interview. If you're socially inept, then you may struggle to land a gig.

1a: Your portfolio should consist of actual playable maps in other games, sketches of those maps with annotations explaining why you did things the way you did. Write down what you expect the player to experience; you're trying to get across how your mind works in as little words a possible. Sample documentation to show your writing ability is also a plus.

1b: Get a job in the industry. Doesn't matter what you're doing - if you're inside the industry you have a better chance than being outside of it. Specifically, look at developers and see if their QA departments are hiring. So many designers and production staff come from internal QA (generally towards the end of a project when a member of staff leaves and they need someone to jump in and finish off what they were doing), so see if you can land a gig there.

2: If you're not absolutely certain you want to be a designer, then go take a degree in something else that interests you - get a skill outside of games and then try and re-enter the industry. If it doesn't work out, then go back to your other trade. Creative writing degree maybe?

I'm absolutely certain that if you put the effort in and work hard, you'll get to where you want to be. A lot of people want an easy way in, but there isn't an easy way. You have to work hard and show your worth - it's a very competitive industry!

Last edited by KRowley : 08-27-2011 at 01:05 AM.
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